This is basically a wrap up of the two remaining group games played over this weekend.
Saturday's match was against South Springvale Aris, a state league 2 outfit. Mix of regulars and ressies. Got there late, so missed Caldwell's opener. Caldwell also got the 2nd, and was denied a hat-trick by a spectacular save from a free kick by the opposition keeper. In general, South barely raised a sweat and rarely looked inspiring, but having said that, Aris never even got close. Ricky Diaco missed the game with a groin injury but should be right for the start of the season. Your correspondent had a terse conversation with Rockem Sockem Poutakidis about the whereabouts of Perth goalkeeping recruit Neill Young. Rumour is that he hasn't signed, unhappy about having to play second fiddle to Johnny A's brother Dean. "No comment" was the response, in my opinion more or less an admission that it was true. He stuck to his guns and I stuck to mine. I reckon I won that argument on a points decision, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, what with an experienced and seemingly quite capable keeper being let go for reasons other than talent.
Sunday's game was against amateur side South Springvale Serres. With the exceptions of Natsioulas and Tosic in goal, no one else could be considered even close to a senior player. Still, the performance was very disconcerting. A bunch of young, fit and allegedly talented guys struggled to put together almost any decent moves. Luckily, Serres almost never threatened to score, but still, Hellas needed a dubious penalty to make sure of the result. There were some bad tackles in this game, the one that will stick the mind the most is that of a South player lucky to stay on the field after committing an atrocious and plainly deliberate two footed studs up tackle. Johnny A's absence was also noticed by some supporters, and not with pleasure either.
South now goes on to meet Bentleigh Greens on Thursday evening, with the winner of that going through to the semi final on Sunday.