Ever since it was announced that the AIS would seek to host 'home' games in regional Victoria and it's own base in Canberra (with them subsidising travel costs for the visiting teams), there's been rumours flying around who would play where, with the most common ones being the Knights playing in Canberra and Preston in Shepparton respectively, where both clubs have numerous supporters. Frankston Pines are travelling up to Canberra this week, meaning this ain't no pipe dream.
But what about South? Up to this point it's been more of a wish-list sort of scenario without any real concrete evidence suggesting we'll go anywhere at all. Canberra seemed popular amongst fans, though allegedly players find Albury far more fun. Morwell would be a nostalgic option, a return to Falcons Park after so many years absence. But according to a recent article in the Shepparton News, negotiations are taking place to send South to the Goulburn Valley.
Shepparton South has targeted former National Soccer League champion South Melbourne's match against AIS on the weekend of June 21 and 22.
"We are hoping to play the match on the Saturday with Shepparton United as the curtain raiser," South assistant coach Joe Artavilla said.
Anywhere's fine with me, as long as we get a road trip of sorts. I've been to 'Shepp' only the once, the first time we stopped on the way to the Gold Coast for a school camp (more a theme park tour really). When we left Melbourne the temperature would have been in the low 20s and was overcast. When we got to Shepp, it was fucking hot, 30+ degrees, and there was someone aboout 50 years the wrong side of 17 working at the Hungry Jacks we stopped at, which only added to the culture shock. The old man used to work out there too in the tomato fields. If it does go ahead, and I hope that it does, it'd be good to actually get there early enough for the proposed curtain raiser between Shepp United and Shepp South. Come on people, make this happen!