Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Minor changes in linkage

Just a note alerting people to some minor link updates. The Rank and Vile blog by Gweeds has moved and is now known as the Accidental Australian. The South Women's site has another sister site, a blog which has so far mostly provided senior scores, links and increased neatness. And also the Supermercado Project has changed addresses, and due to its appalling lack of anything South related even in terms of linkage, has been moved to the miscellaneous section in this blog.

Comments on Eels at The Palais

Yeah, this was on Saturday night. Better than their previous show, but didn't blow me away like their Hamer Hall show (best gig ever). The documentary at the start was ok, but I'm not quite sure what everyone was raving on about. People who pay $72 only to get drunk and thrown out for being dickheads should probably reconsider how they spend their leisure money. Palais is a nice venue, but the crowd was quite disappointing in numbers, and of course there's always people talking during at least some part of the show. I'm not quite sure why Eels, a fairly non-confrontational, indie geek orientated band attracts such an aloof and unappreciative audience.

Best songs, Flyswatter, Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor and previously unplayed (and long awaited from my point of view) Strawberry Blonde. Eels need to release a new album though, because this is the third tour in a row now without one, and people perhaps are getting restless and jaded with having the same songs played over and over without any new material. Can we have Bad Dude In Love, License to Eel and Kennedy's Curse already?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Well that sucked - Altona Magic 1 South Melbourne 0

We had more opportunities, played the better football for the majority of the match, and yet still cop the loss, thanks to an own goal. But still more or less the same problems persist. Long balls from the back. Can't keep a clean sheet. Can't hit crosses above knee height. Can barely score against teams which aren't in the relegation zone. Will the transfer window opening up help? Am I overreacting seeing as actually we were the better team, and perhaps we were just unlucky? But we are in general playing a lot better than under Johnny A', and anyone who thunk otherwise is only looking at results and not the games themselves. Anyway, tough ask against Richmond this week Sunday at home, we'll see how we do.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Clarendon Curva Confirmed?

According to reports posted by certain people who heard it on the radio apparently, James Merlino, the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, has made the announcement that Lakeside will be shared by South and Athletics Victoria, with the running track to be built within two years or something like that. Still too early to know exactly what the details of the arrangement are, but I'm giving it my conditional approval, if it secures the club's future for a very long time. Looks like Eddie's got his way, but more details as they arise. I'm off to Paisley Park.

You give em a plug (reprise)

South Women's Thirds lost 6-0! Bah, I'm off that bandwagon. But I am back on the WVPL team bandwagon, with both Seniors and Reserves getting results against once upon a time Women's game powerhouse Casey (nee Cranbourne) Comets. Seniors had a scoreless draw breaking a long running losing streak, while the Reserves got their first points of the season with a 4-2 win!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

A bit late, but it's something

Footage of the first goal from last week's game against Fawkner... once again, not the best footage - sitting right behind the goals on the same elevation as they play is not a great idea - but at least you can see the ball a bit in this clip, and get the gist of what happened. Thanks to Cliff for the footage, and thanks to me for providing a medium for it to be uploaded without failing.

Women's Thirds team kick off season today

Good luck to one of South of the Border's favourite sources of information and mirth, the highly flammable Cindy and the rest of the team as they kick off their season today in the State League 3 South East division. And kill those Albert Park WSC feckers in the derby game in a few weeks..

Saturday, 26 April 2008

South of the Border haiku edition no.4

Another one of those I had published last year, so once again, a little bleak. Also prone to hyperbole, in line with the sense of futility often prevalent in these times, and with more than a hint of desperation, reminiscent perhaps a little of Sun Tzu's reference to 'death ground'.

On death ground
We demonstrate
The desperateness
Of the situation

Strictly speaking from a haiku rules perspective, I'm unhappy about this one; it's over the top, it lacks a 'season' word, and it has a morbidity which frightens me. And yet this heaviness, the contrast between the weight upon everyone still supporting the club and the fact that this has been caused by a lessening/lightening of numbers, in some slightly perverse way works rather well. Can you believe though that I had a far more ridiculous haiku ready to go in its place? This one seems perfectly rational in comparison.

deserted and scorned
defenders of the true faith
we still battle on

Friday, 25 April 2008

My brother's about to start playing World of Warcraft - Round 10, Altona Magic vs South Melbourne

There is a park that is known
4 the face it attracts
colorful people whose hair
On 1 side is swept back
The smile on their faces
It speaks of profound inner peace
Ask where they're going
They'll tell U nowhere
They've taken a lifetime lease
On Paisley Park

Prince, Paisley Park

Ah Prince, you crazy mf. Would he have adopted the name Paisley Park for the song and recording studio if he knew of the Australian soccer complex next to the oil refinery? I guess we'll never know the answer to that question. Will South ever earn a point out there? Turn up on Monday to find out.

Last time they met

Round 23, 2007, at Paisley Park

Altona Magic 1 South Melbourne 0

Thoroughly dull match, in which a defensive lapse in concentration saw the Magic take all three points. Michael Curcija was the goalscorer.

Altona almost without doubt now are the biggest spending team in the league. It's only got them barely in the six so far, but with some of the absolute quality they have in there, and the fact that they've never dropped a point to South in the VPL regular season, means they should consolidate their position. So far this season South has gone L, L, W, L, L, W, L ,L, W, so that means a loss is due here. Or a draw. But we won't win. The end. Not much of a preview, I know, but I'm feeling sick at the moment. And only two days before the Eels show at The Palais. Sucks bad.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

South Melbourne Hellas video goldmine

It's often been a difficult task getting to see South on the tv... whether that was because of bad broadcasting deals, Sydney bias, of simply not being on the big stage anymore, sometimes all one has are one's memories. Well, of course that's where youtube (and to a lesser extent, photobucket) comes in. Typing in South Melbourne or Hellas brings up a huge array of videos from days of yore. The quality varies of course, but most stuff is perfectly clear. Myself and another bloke have uploaded a selection of clips that we received from the legendary South fan known as Banger, but there's something about the collection of videos uploaded by 'smscmaster' (also known as 4Flares and a Souvlaki) which is quite exemplary. There's training clips including an aussie rules scratch match, footage from the stands, a friendly against the then powerhouse Victorian club Port Melbourne... so much stuff, that it makes 4Flares my favourite South fan that I've never met. I hope the acquaintance will be made one day, but for now enjoy rifling though his collection, and try not get distracted by the non South stuff if you can.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Blues Give Blues The Blues - South Melbourne 6 Fawkner 2

Now, I already did a whole entry on this game, see? It had the title 'Downhill skiing in April'. But for some reason it's disappeared off the face of the earth. Nevertheless I will attempt to replicate and improve upon the original as best as memory allows, in a more succinct manner.

Players played in their correct positions! South scoring from 2, yes 2 corners! South still conceding goals like a sieve! Jimmy Armstrong making a Clarendon Corner cameo! Staccato renditions of Vamos al a Playa! Diaco scoring his first of the year and celebrating like he won a free cheeseburger! Pasi Schwalger in a ridiculous pink top! Yianni Galanos being replaced by John Butler! Heinous in-jokes! Lights being turned on for all of 5 minutes! References to the late 1980s cartoon series M.A.S.K.! There was something for everyone there, and if you missed it, well, South is still around for at least one more week, so come on down and support the team!

- and cut! that's a wrap. that was good. see everyone next week.
- you didn't think there were too many exclamation points?
- nah, she'll be right, and besides, the 10 people who read the damn thing probably didn't even notice it was missing in the first place.
- yeah, you're right
- anyways, we've done our job, wasn't out fault we had to do it twice over, and now we've got a nice break until Monday
- what you doing for the weekend?
- me? not much mate, probably just kicking back. how about you?
- going to see Eels on Saturday at the Palais.
- Eels? never heard of them.
- yeah, sort of an indie band from the US, I'm a big fan.
- right...

scene disintegrates into various banalities

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Fernando going to Greece? Again?

Every now and again, someone puts up a crazy rumour on smfcboard. Most of the time these turn out to be crap. But regardless, here's one that has stirred up minor ripples on the forum. Dedicated fans may recall that during the 2006 season midfielder Fernando De Moraes, then in super hot form, went over to Greece to trial with then 1st Division club Egaleo. It didn't work out, he came back, kept up the good work and helped us win the title as well as nabbing himself the Jimmy Rooney medal for best on ground in the grand final.

After his unsuccesful stint in the A-League with the New Zealand Knights, and pretty average 2007 season, and now 28 years old, one would have thought that interest from overseas clubs would have been over by now, but enter apparently Ange Postecoglou and Panachaiki, according to someone not widely regarded as a reliable source, with Nando set to go to Greece to trial in about a months time. This would be after the AFC futsal championships - the squad of which one would think Nando would be a part of - but some people have questioned the veracity of the rumour, claiming to have had it confirmed that Nando is not going anywhere. We'll keep you posted on any developments, or the lack thereof.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Round the grounds

The Women's Seniors lost again, this time to Box Hill Inter 3-1, but according to South of the Border's on the spot reporters (thanks Josie and David) they more than held their own. South has played all four of the top four, and therefore one would think if they could take some of that form into games against the lower sides, they'll do alright. The Reserves are still struggling though, copping a 7-0 thrashing. There's no score on resultsvault to indicate what the under 21s did; rumour has it they were down 3-2 at one stage. And the under 18s boys, previously unbeaten, lost 3-2 to the Bulleen Lions. For once it was the Senior Men's team leading the way it seems.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Round 3, 2008 - Altona East 3 Ballarat Red Devils 1

East dominated the first half almost absolutely in both territory and possession. For the first 20 minutes the visitors struggled to even get out of their own half. Slowly played their way into the game after that, but the midfield failed to deliver anything remotely resembling decent supply. East's final balls let them down, there was a crossbar hit, but on the half hour mark Gaffar strolled in and finally gave East the lead they deserved. East scored again just before half time, Alghazaly getting that goal.

2nd half quite different. Ballarat came out with a higher level of intensity, East a little all over the place in midfield and defence, the attacks from the visitors looking more promising as the half wore on. They had a freekick well saved, and then received a penalty which was very well taken. Game on and both sides looking for the goal, with rushed end to end stuff ensuing, before late in the game Gaffar met a cross at the far post and headed over the keeper for 3-1 and the win.

Overall, this game was a bit of a wakeup call for both sides. For East, hopefully they've learnt that playing one half, even going up 2-0 is not enough, and that the game is 90 minutes long, not 45. For the Red Devils, that perhaps state 2 won't be a stroll in the park, and that against the league's better teams you better have your a-game right on from the start. By all rights they should have been out of the game at half time, but they ended up doing well in the 2nd half, and a draw would not have been a harsh result for both sides, but you always have the upper hand if you have the lead, which was a problem for East last year, often falling behind.

South of the Border Haiku edition no.3

This is a rather unsatisfactory piece in my honest opinion. It lacks genuine flow and lightness, rather being dragged down by a lack of rhythm. Anyway, following last week's almost ethereal poem, this is one is grounded in the very earth itself. Back when Middle Park was still around, my father, perhaps of his support for Heidelberg, would never park inside the adjacent parking lot; instead we'd park some distance away, and walk through the then quite neglected Albert Park. Eventually we'd reach the ground, a little oasis of life amidst the neglect.

When we left and moved further north, these cross-country journeys were over, and indeed, made impossible not just by the relocation but also the complete makeover the precinct received. Still though, if you happen to venture down by where the pit lane is, near where we used to live, the earth, perhaps because of the drought or perhaps because of some sort latent memory in the place itself, still has that sandy, uneven, and familiar quality. Many a South fan has made mention that however nice Lakeside is, it's not Middle Park; and that the club was forever changed tangibly and intangibly by the move; and I'd agree with that. It was home after all. Going back there now, even without signposts, I reckon I can still feel the presence of the past, and rather predictably, wonder what will come of the future for South.

over the wasteland
of gravel, grass and sand
Middle Park was home

Friday, 18 April 2008

Let's try this again - Round 9, South Melbourne vs Fawkner

Last week was fine, but last round's consideration of adjustment/motivational response game is gone. Done and dusted. The real stuff starts this week, again. Can we finally get this season started well and truly? We're a third of the way in now.

Also, sincere apologies for the drop in quality as evidenced in yesterday's piece, and over the past 2-3 weeks in general. Hopefully all South of the Border's troubles will be over soon.

Last time they met
Round 22, 2007, at Lakeside Stadium

South Melbourne 0 Fawkner 0

In a largely even and uninspiring contest, Fawkner managed to squeeze out a point under then new coach Vlado Vanis, and may have had a goal denied by the linesman adjudicating that a shot had not crossed the line. Otherwise, this was essentially a contest between one side intent on throwing away their finals aspirations, and one side trying desperately to survive relegation. Both ended up succeeding

Fawkner were just about everyone's pre-season relegation favourite even before it was realised that four and not two teams would be relegated. And yet, even though they're in the relegation zone, they're still fighting on, and even managed to take maximum points away to Heidelberg. So they're not necessarily the easybeats their position has them to be. But really, South should belt this mob. Their playing stocks are weak, they're scoring at less than a goal a game while conceding two, and it's about time our side, with it's many talented players finally clicked into gear and showed a signal of intent that they will not meekly acquiesce, but fight on, and play football in the traditional South Melbourne Hellas fashion, one of feverish, relentless attack. To say that's all we ask for is perhaps an indication that we've moved away from the win at all costs mentality of yesteryear; but these are strange times to be a South fan, and while the club must look to the past for inspiration and guidance, there is also another chapter that needs to be written in an unfamiliar new era. South by 2-3 goals.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

FourFourTwo's recent South obession continues

South: 'We Must Evolve For A-League'

South is struggling at the wrong end of the Victorian Premier League after a stuttering start that saw coach John Anastasiadis – an NSL winner with the club as a player – depart Bob Jane Stadium two weeks ago following a 3-0 home loss to Green Gully.

Michalakopoulos, 38, was installed soon after but could not stop the slide as high-flying local rivals Melbourne Knights beat his outfit 2-0 last weekend at Somers St.

South Melbourne now sit third bottom on six points while the Knights sit atop the VPL with 18 points from eight rounds.

But Michalakopoulos, a former 1992 Olyroo, is still upbeat that his side can claw its way into the six. “I’m positive and excited by what I’ve seen so far,” he told

“It’s still early. We’ve got 18 rounds to go. But what I’d like to bring in to the side is a more free-flowing style.

“I like having two wide men aside of the striker almost as a three-man strike force.

“There is certainly enough talent in this squad to turn it around.”

The new South coach will get a chance to turn things around when second bottom Fawkner visit Bob Jane this weekend for a cellar-dwellar dog fight.

And Michalakopoulos is hoping his time as a player under legendary South coach – and Hungarian football icon Ferenc Puskas – will stand him in good stead.

“I was part of that golden era when we won the old NSL at South under Ferenc. That was back in 1991. I learnt a lot from the great man.”

As for the other hot topic bubbling around South Melbourne FC – the club’s stated desire to put an A-League bid together in three years – Michalakopoulos said the club needs a measured approach.

“Look, this is a big club," he said. "And we have a great junior set up. But an A-League bid needs to be done right.

"There is a good committee at the club and they are on the right track. But this needs a lot of work.

“We need to evolve as a club, however, still have some links with the current set up.

“Melbourne needs a second team. For South, perhaps an image change would work. We should be prepared to do what it takes.”

So M&M puts in his two bob. And the world keeps turning. Firstly, let's deal with the minor issue, the team's performance. Puskas is long gone, the mainstream didn't care when he was here, and his memory and the part you played in it and the things you learned aren't going to be of much use here. Because memories of the Galloping Major aren't going to make the team complete simple passes, shoot away from the keeper but into the goal, or make Deano stop flapping his arms and punching away high balls that he should easily catch. Sad but true. This isn't a go at Puskas' time here; indeed the fact that he was here at all is still treated as if it didn't happen or meant anything of importance by almost everyone in Australian soccer. Rather it should be noted that perhaps the most relevant advice for these difficult times can be found in the words of former Melbourne Croatia player Joe Biskic: 'Put ball in goal'. 'Nuff said.

As for the A-League stuff... now I don't know if M&M was put up to this by the board, or whether the people at FourFourTwo Magazine are that desperate for content during the Z-League's 23 month off-season that anything to sell a a few more copies of their rag, using the faint and distorted collective memory of South Melbourne Hellas as an important entity. Anyway, is there anything there that hasn't been regurgitated by the fifty-four stomach cow that is the Melbourne Victory forum, by those for, against and middle? Not that I can see. In fact, unless I see concrete evidence of anything, and I don't mean half-arsed press releases used to jazz up fading interest - which I used in a media writing class (to much amusement and astonishment) as part of an example of how effective baseless press-releases can stir up all sorts of unnecessary and unsolicited reactions - I mean actual, nuts, bolts, etc stuff.

Now I've heard rumours from reliable people of equally reliable people preparing a bid. Seen sketches of what 'our' logo may look like. But nothing made of bricks and mortar. Admittedly, Melbourne Victory had even less than what we have, mostly Geoff Lord lying about how much money he had, Tony Ising's fantasy (see the relevant entry on here for how that turned out), but when it comes to South, people reckon we've already had our chance, and with the addition of the faulty collective memory of our past, as well the blotting out of Geoff Lord trying to destroy Hawthorn... anyway, kinda lost my train of thought there.

Basically, M&M should focus on winning games, FourFourTwo should try harder to come up with articles, - perhaps trying to figure out why Puskas' time here gets ignored by everyone - and all those people spreading Z-League rumours, could you please stop? My life's depressing enough without this bullshit getting an airing every few months. Thanks.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Trapped around the heards

Players changing numbers? Allegedly, Gianni De Nittis and Nathan Caldwell have swapped numbers. Pointless exercise or a signal of intent by the coach? Is the curse of the number 9, famously worn by Trimmers for so many years, finally going to be over?

Players sweating at training? Apparently it's all the rage these days down at Lakeside. Make of that what you will.

Angry beavers? An undisclosed amount of --- ----- have apparently told the --- to stick their new ------ ------ up their arse unless their ---------- are ---, and the ------- seem to be we won't help you unless we ---- --- -----. Or something like that. See what happens when silly people tell you what essentially anyone could have guessed anyway, and I assume was no secret in the first place?

And where the fuck is South going to find the money for all these players they're wanting to sign? And will some people just grow the fuck up? Hopefully something more substantial tomorrow. No guarantees though.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Alleged future stars of the club doing quite well for the moment thank you very much

The men's team is in the relegation zone. The under 21s are scraping draws. The senior women are playing with heart, but just aren't getting the results, and the women's reserves are also having a tough time. But there is one mob down South Melbourne way kicking arse early on in their season. The under 18s have won both their matches so far, with scores of 4-1 and 4-0. Of course, whether they continue on this form is anyone's guess, let alone how many of them will make the step up to the under 21s and senior ranks, but at least something is going right on the field somewhere at this club. Intermittent updates throughout the season hopefully.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Correction re: Tosic's loan

I could have just gone back and edited it and acted as if nothing was wrong, but well, anyway. It was previously reported here that Mladen Tosic had gone on loan to Westgate. He has in fact gone to Kingston City. The error was made a sub-editor, who has been counselled.

Scotty Mac, coming back?

South of the Border has overheard, or even perhaps been told directly, that 2006 South championship player and current Oakleigh Cannons mercenary Scot MacNicol may be on his way back to Lakeside. Unhappy with the limited game time he's been getting, there's apparently an offer to come back during the midseason transfer window. Indeed the deal may already be done. I'd welcome him back to be honest, despite the obvious reservations one has about players who leave for certain reasons that certain people construe as being against the spirit of the game, even in a (semi) professional age. In 2006, he worked hard, scored some goals at crucial, and was obviously an important part of that team. And South certainly needs that kind of grunt man on the middle. We'll see if this comes true.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Meh - Melbourne Knights 2 South Melbourne 0

Coach needs time, defence needs overhaul, we need a central midfielder, need to take our chances, Deano's well passed it, Perry Mur should be shot, Knights fans shouldn't take themselves so seriously. We dominated play, they were as bad as us if not worse, yet they sit in the top three and we're going to get relegated if we don't turn it around. But I reckon we'll survive. Not much of a review I know, but when more or less the same things keep happening, there's not much point in being descriptive.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

South of the Border Haiku Edition no.2

Technically the following isn't South related; but being a sports fan isn't just the experience of the game, or the remembrance of it, but also in the pilgrimage to the ground. Now that most major sporting clubs in this city play at centrally located venues, the journey is overlooked; next week's edition will deal with my route of reaching Middle Park, but for now, something from a more post-modern time.

I travel to Lakeside via tram, catching the 112 from the corner of Collins and Spencer streets. The inspiration for this week's haiku came before last week's match, while waiting for said tram to come. It was the day after daylight savings ended, and therefore 3pm was all of a sudden 2pm. The sun was hidden behind some buildings, but somehow standing apart from the sunlit and shadowy areas at ground level, the tram stop itself was bathed in this eerie pale blue light. The poem deals with the notions of light as fluid, change and fluidity, nature vs structure.

autumn, Collins Street;
Light curled around skyscrapers
bathes the ground in blue

Friday, 11 April 2008

Yay, more meaningless accolades

Pumpkin Seed Eaters aren't the only ones with cheap labour... one of South of the Border's own worker chimps (ok I read it off smfcboard) has alerted everyone that FourFourTwo Magazine has done anther of those lists, er, listing the best players outside the A-League. Apparently in this 'top ten' list, South's Hamlet Armenian is the only Victorian based players in there that isn't playing for the AIS, and one of the few not playing in New South Wales. Not sure how they've figured that stuff out, but anyway, good on him. I'd rather three points this week though. And can we have the NSL back already? It was the VPL with the illusion that it all mattered somehow. I guess I just wasn't made for these times.

New coach, same players, same performance, or different? - Round 8, Melbourne Knights vs South Melbourne

Last time they met
Round 21, 2007, at Knights Stadium

Melbourne Knights 0 South Melbourne 2

In a tight and tense struggle, South rode its fair share of luck, including the Knights' Mate Dugandzic missing from point blank range, to register a gritty but ultimately well deserved 2-0 win. Goals from Billy Natsioulas and Nathan Caldwell within 5 minutes of each other sunk the home sides hopes, and saw Hellas win once again on its old rivals turf.

Croatia doing alright. Hellas not doing too good. But Croatia not have good record against Hellas. Hellas have good record against Croatia, and good record at Croatia ground. Not lose game there since start of stupid, pointless, VPL journey, including semi-final against Altona Magic in 2006. Will new coach make difference for Hellas? Maybe yes, maybe not. Only one way to find out, go play game and see. Everyone should support Hellas in this big game. Not go watch Blues and Magpies. Watch Hellas beat farken Croatia, like always (except for that stupid time in the mid 1990s when they had that wretchedly and awfully talented team). Forget the piponi for one day, come watch the soccer. Hellas new coach, he fix team. Has stupid texta on his face, under his mouth, but that is the modern style. I think silly, but no matter, if he get results, is enough. South win 4-1 or 4-0, you see. I tell you now, Hellas start playing good soccer from here, win cup, you see.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Pumpkin Seed Eaters episode 5

Episode 5 now out. Petty milestone, really. Ah, I remember the 5th entry on here. Anyway, it includes a fairly silly telephone call to the FFV, a rather unfunny bit with Archie Thompson, an unnecessary and poorly researched swipe at Gamba Osaka - not named after 'some car company', but rather a clever combination of the Italian word for 'leg' and the Japanese phrase meaning 'stand firm' or 'do your best '- a very interesting Poulimeno of the Week, and bonus! a segment dealing with feedback from the Victory forum to their 'ethnic cleansing' editorial from the previous edition, provided by research monkeys working for less than minimum wage in their offices.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Recipe for a lazy autumn day - or how to get everyone else to do your work for you, and lift your sales a bit in these hard times for the print media

It's a lazy autumn day, the sun shining through the kitchen window heats up the whole room, and you really can't be bothered doing anything of importance. So here's a wonderfully self-indulgent recipe perfect for the occasion.

* Start off with about two months worth of off-season boredom. Adding more gives it a stronger flavour.

* Add 1 cup bored Sydney soccer journos gracing us Mexicans with their presence. Currently in season, so make the most of it.

* Combine with 1 cup of reactionary response from vested interest; disguise the taste of fear with essence of 'in the game's interest'. This product is now widely available in supermarkets and from the AFL.

* Add about 10 pages worth of assorted hysterical ramblings off the Victory forum. Bought separately, these come in racist, fascist, hypocrite, noob and other varieties, but I find that mixing them all together creates the best results, and you can buy them in mixed preparations now.

* Add 2 heaped tablespoons of 'South Melbourne Hellas dreams'.

* Mix it all together, and it's ready to digest. As an optional extra, serve with the comments from FourFourTwo's forums. A warning though, that first time users may feel a little nauseous and/or overwhelmed at first, while prolonged and frequent use can cause depression and boredom. This is strictly a sometimes treat!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Michalakopoulos takes reins

As widely predicted, South has turned to former striker and Australian soccer journeyman Michael Michalakopoulos to take over from John Anastasiadis who resigned earlier today. Strong information circulated last year that Michalakopoulos was almost certain to take the reins at the end of last season, only for the board to give Johnny A' the benefit of the doubt. As well as being a former striker for Hellas in the early 90s, Michalakopoulos also spent stints at various clubs, including Heidelberg, where he scored a brace in their last away win against South a long time ago.

As a coach he's had stints at clubs including Whittlesea Zebras and Essendon Royals, leaving both under seemingly less than cordial circumstances. At first he'll have to deal with the squad he's been handed, but come the transfer window, he'll be able to start moulding his vision of the team. That may well mean the departure of certain players, perhaps even popular players, and the arrival of players rumoured to be wanting to come over now that the coaching change has been made. Anyway, for those not familiar with M&M, here's some footage from the early 90s to bring you up to speed.

Against Preston

Scores the 2nd goal against Olympic

against PAOK

Anastasiadis, Gabrielson, resign - search for new coach begins

Finally, after last year's end of season dithering (strong rumours circulated that a coach had been lined up, but that the board was divided), and the awful start to this year, Johnny A's out the door. It was, to be brutally honest, inevitable. The team was on a downward spiral from the middle of last year, and apart from glimpses of their ability, the trend has continued into 2008. Rumours of player divisions; the anger of the fans; the poor results; few can withstand all three together. Some would stick it out, but seemingly for the betterment of the club, John's fallen on his sword.

Before becoming coach in 2005, Anastasiadis was already a South legend, after being a key component of the great Hellas sides of the late 1990s, scoring in both grand final wins against Carlton and Sydney United, as well as in the 2001 losing side against Wollongong Wolves. And of course, as the first Australian to score in the World Club Championships, against Necaxa, he sealed his reputation as big game player.

After his retirement, he coached Yarraville Glory for two seasons.,The first as player coach saw them get relegated, but in his second season as non-playing coach he saw them clinch the State League Division North-West 3 title and subsequent promotion. When South was in its hour of need in 2005, Johnny A' put his hand up when few else would. Starting with a squad of only 3, just weeks before the season, and with relegation widely tipped, John managed to steer his squad of veterans and no-names to 3rd place, and within a penalty kick of the grand final.

In 2006, Anastasidis claimed his greatest triumph, clinching the championship, South's first in all competitions in 6 years (the Oceania Club Champions being the previous title), as well as the pre-season cup against Fawkner-Whittlesea with a very young squad. Playing the sort of attacking football that South has always played, it was an enormous achievement, perhaps the most heartfelt win in the club's history. In 2007, a win in the Hellenic Cup final over Oakleigh, and with seemingly a much improved squad to work with, the results and consistency just never came. The 2nd half of the season typified the mess the team had got itself in, playing brilliant and at times gritty football to beat Oakleigh and the Melbourne Knights, but in general struggling to score goals, failing to score in 10 of the last 13 games. With the 2008 season not starting any better, the Preston win could have been the turning point. In the end, it was the exception not the rule, and the Gully game was the deal breaker. So ended one of the longest coaching stints at this club, and when put in perspective, one of its most successful.

South of the Border wishes both men all the best in their future endeavours, and thanks them for their long service to the club. While there has been a lot of argle-bargle, it should also be remembered that, apart from Ian Dobson, who took time off for family reasons in 2006, Anastasiadis has been the only coach who has remained at the same club and uninterrupted from the post-NSL era. Considering that in 2006 alone about 10 clubs changed managers, that is phenomenal longevity. As to who will replace him, that's a story for another day. For now, let us remember the good times.

Monday, 7 April 2008

I prefer building snowmen myself - South vs Gully up on GGVision

Download and play the video of our latest game, courtesy of the Green Gully site. Shame we don't have our own video service, but maybe someday.

Green Gully's GGVision highlights of Sunday's game

South of the Border, your no. 1 choice for South related news

Two prime cuts of news meat for you to sample on from the weekend, which you probably won't hear anywhere else.

Firstly, young and often unfairly derided goalkeeper Mladen Tosic has been loaned out to Westgate Sindjelic in State League 1, where he'll get more senior game time as well as being away from the bright lights of the VPL. Westgate didn't get off to a great start on the weekend though, copping a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Kingston City. Anyway, good luck to the lad.

Secondly, apparently Japanese side Gamba Osaka will be training on Lakeside today or this evening in preparation for their Asian Champions League match on Wednesday. While watching the under 21s meekly succumb 1-0 to Green Gully, three Japanese (or at least very fluent Japanese speakers) took up a position alongside the fence next to me. After making my inquiries, found out one was a team official of Gamba Osaka, and that they would be training there. So good on the board for getting that done. Conversation also went towards my thoughts on the Victory, NSL/A-League history, asking me if I would be at the game (which included a rather meek attempt to wrestle a free ticket out of them), and so forth. Nice people. Told them to kill the Victory. I think they appreciated the sentiment.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Sometimes, the world is black... - South Melbourne 0 Green Gully 3

Circle complete, everyone can go home now

While South is and always will be number one, I do enjoy heading down to the Paisley Park Soccer Complex every second week or so to watch my most local team Altona East take the field. At one stage I was going to pad out certain Saturdays with Altona East writeups, but this is a South blog, and thus it will remain. Anyway, good win for East today over local rival Altona City, with a healthy scoreline of 5-0. What has this got to do with South? Well former South youth team player Lester Abalos made a great debut for his new team today at right back. For those very few who were right there at the beginning, you'd perhaps remember that Lester was the catalyst for this blog starting up all the way back in December 2007. Don't believe me? Well then take a trip down memory lane via this link and see for yourself

Zeus induces Chronos to vomit up his children

Still haven't got myself a logo yet :p

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Round 1, 2008 - Altona East 5 Altona City 0

East came out firing in the opening 10 minutes, with only some great goalkeeping denying them, before one of the worst goals you'll ever see, from both a defensive and attacking point of view, ball sort of knocked around aimlessly and toe poked in eventually. City worked their way into the game after that, but didn't really create too many quality chances, though there was one chance, a shot over the bar, which should have levelled the scores. East scored again on about the half-hour mark, ref could have given the penalty against the keeper but played the advantage instead, and it was 2-0. Penalty late in the half against the City keeper had him sent off, 3-0, game just about done and dusted. Not sure if it was a penalty, too many bodies in the way for me to see.

2nd half, City fought and scrambled in defence and occasionally got some decent moves on the counter, but on the whole East on top again, had quite a few chances go begging, some really bad misses, but also a cracking long range shot which smashed against the post. East got the 4th and fifth goals in the last 5 minutes or so, Bobby with a hattrick, Tolli and Gaffar scoring the others. Apart from the penalty/send off, which as I said I'm not sure of the correctness of, I thought the ref was fantastic.

East looked good, when they were 'on' (the game lost much of its sting in the 2nd half) they looked comfortable working as a unit, and former South player Lester Abalos played very well, will be a great addition if he keeps up that kind of play. No Freddy Pedrotti or Zoric today either. City disappointed me today, they seemed startled by how East came out all fired up, but on the whole there seemed to be a general lack of direction on their part, but I reckon it was just an off day for them, and falling behind so early and then having 10 men for 45 minutes doesn't help either. Not sure who if anyone was missing for City today, but I reckon they'll bounce back.

Reserves game was a little farcical, East having only 11 players to start (coach refusing to play 3 or so unregistered players, and rightly so of course), and lost one of those 11 to injury 5 minutes in. Finished 3-0 to City, but in all honesty, based only on the 2nd half i saw, this was a really high standard game for state 2 ressies, there was a lot of neat passing from both sides, and lovely movement off the ball and on it.

I suppose some of the City people like Roger can come and give the story from the other side of this game, be interested to see their point of view.

South of the Border Haiku Edition no.1

This blog needs more culture. And no, not World Game Forum Crayshan style 'kulcha', but more ivory tower, completely up yerself, yes I am better than you because I write faggy poetry culture. And how much more ivory tower and pretentious can you get than haiku? Anyway, I had several South Melbourne related haiku published late last year in the venerable Seed Magazine, albeit not exactly with the title I asked for and presented as if it was just one regular poem rather than seven separate haiku.

For those not familiar with the form, haiku are Japanese poems with 17 'on' (meaning 'sounds' but often erroneously called syllables in English), essentially seperated into three lines, in a 5,7,5 form. Traditionally haiku is a rigid form, very serious, and with the poem requiring a so called 'season' word. Me, I like free-form haiku (not so much worrying about syllables) and haiku's non-serious relation 'senryƫ', which deals with human concerns rather than with nature. So here is an example of one I did last year and had published, and I'll try and make this a weekly segment wherein I publish one every Saturday. Once again, contributions are most welcome, with a short explanation or background piece highly encouraged, but not necessary.

As noted earlier, the first haiku in this series was written last year. Thematically, it is closely related to most of the other South haiku I had written around that time, pondering the obvious decay our great club had and has seemingly found itself in, on and off field, generally drawing on some aspect of the 'life force'. But this one seemed to stand out to me, particularly in its depiction of blood, the portrayal of the physicality of the life force itself, rather than the more symbolic allusions in some of the others.

mangled hearts bleed blue;
dreams of a happier time
are no elixir

Friday, 4 April 2008

Two victories for the price of one

Ok, so you missed the Victorian Football Show on Wednesday night for whatever reason (probably watching Spicks 'n' Specks. You make me sick.). And you're thinking that you didn't miss much, because you got the gist of the Ross Alatsas slight against South fans from me, and you've rationalised that you can always download the Green Gully - Coburg United highlights off the Green Gully site. Well then you probably don't know that the South Women's first round victory was the opening game on the highlights package. So watch it for that. Wonder how Spiranovic wasn't given the penalty to take to complete her hat-trick. Marvel at how John Vithoulkas is allowed anywhere near a microphone. Then settle down by watching the Box Hill and Heidelberg women's game. And then, finally, with a mug of warm cocoa, watch the Men's big win over Preston. Revel in how awful the surface at BT Connor looks. Be amazed at how the self-professed 'best supported club in the state' can only muster 2,300 fans to the biggest day in these miserable people's lives. Keep playing over and over Ross Alatsas' 'all fans let in' slip up until you work yourself into a Killing Joke style frenzy of persistent drums, cascading guitar lines, and a bass sound that's not very powerful because the mix is far too thin. Then pray to your chosen invisible friend (mine's the goddess Fortuna) that we play a shitload better than that this week because playing like that week in week out isn't going to get us too far.

Channel 31. Click on the FFV bit of the watch it now or whatever they call it. You're smart, you know how to do these things.

Purple Monkey Dishwasher - Round 7, South Melbourne vs Green Gully

Now that we have your attention, we can move on from the adrenaline soaked heroics of last week's match, get back to reality and see if South can make it two in a row, and get some real momentum going forward into the early middle part of the season.

Last time they met
Round 19, 2007, at Green Gully Reserve

Green Gully 0 South Melbourne 0

A fairly even game, in which South worked themselves back in after being on the back foot for awhile. Good goalkeeping and poor finishing combined to see the game end scoreless. This was the fourth consecutive game in which South had failed to score, which typified the 2nd half of the 2007 season.

Green Gully are hardly playing inspiring football from the footage I've seen, but they keep getting the points, which is what counts. Despite being earmarked as a struggler this year, their only loss so far has been to the rampant Richmond, and that was all the way back in round 1. Certain folks on certain forums have been critical of the lack of youth and goalscoring ability in this team, perhaps best exemplified in the continuance of talented young striker Matthew Sanders being overlooked for starting 11 duties, but on the flipside, they appear to have a fairly miserly defense to compensate. And with one of Australian football's best coaches in Ian Dobson still at the helm, Gully should never be written off.

For South, last week's win just may be the impetus which sets up the rest of their season. Coming from behind, against a bitter foe on their own turf, and with a reshuffled 2nd half line up which included Shane Nunes playing in defensive midfield, there's an opportunity here to at last settle on the line up that will take South on a journey up the table and nearer the finals spots instead of hovering far too close to the relegation zone. South also has a rather mixed record against Gully in recent times; in eight matches between the two, South has only scored in two of those, the 3-0 win home win in 2006, and the later in the year in the elimination final at the same venue, by the same scoreline. Back then it had seemed that perhaps South had thrown some kind of monkey off its back, after having failed to score in all three of their contests in 2005, only to get that monkey straight back on in 2007 with two uninspiring performances against Gully. I can see South winning this, but equally a side that can grind out results like Gully can should not be underestimated, and therefore South will do well to get a draw. But here's hoping.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Ross Alatsas, I reject your reality and substitute my own

Ok, so I'm watching the Victorian Football Show on Channel 31 for the first time since we beat Western Suburbs - I don't watch replays of any sporting team I follow if they lose or draw (which is not being fickle, but rather shows my dedication in that I can't stomach non-victories) - and was slightly miffed at host Ross Alatsas' little intro comment that 'wasn't it great that the doors were open to all supporters for this game'. Now maybe Ross lives in a little media pass bubble, maybe his glamorous managership job at Stars Receptions has clouded his judgment, or maybe he just wasn't there, didn't know, or no one told him, but if he likes we could go together to BT Connor Reserve (or as it also known, Lions 'Stadium' snigger), and I could show him the view about 40 of us had after we weren't let in, because Preston said they couldn't guarantee our safety. Then again, maybe we weren't let in because of our giant swastika banners (which looked oddly like our regular South Melbourne banners), our rocket flares (which when released appeared to the untrained eye as multi-coloured streamers), and off key singing of songs from the classic musical The King and I (which were so off-key, they came out sounding like our regular South chants). Or maybe we were let in, and since the game was so boring, we all had a simultaneous hallucination of being discriminated against because we were all far too good looking and would intimidate all those 1980s tracksuit wearing Preston fans. What do you think Ross?

Can you help? George Campbell

I have recently received an email from the son of former South forward George Campbell asking for some help. He would like to know if there is anyone out there who has footage of his dad playing for South (1978-82), Preston (1983-84) or Green Gully (1985-86). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

In the interests of freedom and plurality

My less tolerant side says not to give right-wing pricks any sustenance. But there's two problems with that. Unlike them I genuinely love freedom; and I've already given enough plugs and valuable oxygen in the way of criticism to those who eat pumpkin seeds, so really, it'd be a double standard of sorts. And I don't usually go in for that kind of thing. Besides, having being listening to Fantomas also means that I'm a state of confusion which will almost certainly lead to make a bad decision. I saw Fantomas once back in 2003 at the sadly departed Palace. Man, they were good, though I never could understand how someone could mosh to scattergun jazz-metal. Tomahawk were better though, bloody scary good. Maybe you were there? Or perhaps you attended on the other night they played? If so you'd know what I mean. So anyway, there's a new South Melbourne Hellas forum. It promises to be more democratic than smfcboard, which I suppose wouldn't be hard. But by virtue of the fact that it's also being run by and for predominantly people of a right wing Greek nationalist persuasion (from moderates to extremists), it'll be interesting to see how truly democratic and open it can be. As well as in the long run watching how much of it has to do with South at all. Already plenty of the videos posted there are of the Hellas Fan Club rather than South. And who exactly is running it? My guess has it narrowed down to probably 1-2 people who would make the effort, not taking into account the possibility of it being a non-South supporters prank. And what are their rules? Will they be really strict? How much leeway will there be for people whose opinions they dislike? Policy on opposition fans? How much will they clamp down on libelous statements? How will they deal with the smfcboard gimmicks, who may see an opportunity to cause havoc? Also, am I on there? If not will I be on there? Would I post? How long before their open house dream starts falling apart? Will it even get to the stage where heaps of people will sign up? Time will tell how successful they are I suppose. Link on the right hand side.

While searching through my archives...

...for a particular edition of Mad Magazine, I happened upon the sports section of the Herald Sun the day after we won the 1999 title. One day I'll scan the photos and articles, but for today here's snippet from the scores lists. Ah for the days when we were winning national titles and Heidelberg were two divisions below us.

Also check out the AIS goalscorers. Good to see someone made it out of that era in better shape, and on to bigger and better things

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Answer to yesterday's question

No, Johnny A' hasn't walked. What he did do, according to reliable sources, is hand over the reigns for the 2nd half to his assistant John Gabrielson. Johhny A' walked in at half time, said 'that was shit', told Billy Nats and Hamlet to get off, Caldwell and Zoric to go on, and left it up to the players. As far as crazy out there tactics go, it worked. Now for the rest of the season.