Friday, 31 October 2008

South fans still waiting for call; believe its occurence imminent

On Wednesday evening, somewhere in Melbourne, a South Melbourne FC supporter reiterated the belief that that Football Federation Australia, and it's apparently floundering national competition, the A-League, needed or would need South Melbourne's participation, quite possibly sooner rather than later.

A recently re-admitted member of the unofficial South Melbourne internet forum 'smfcboard', known only as 'Puskas' - after legendary San Francisco Golden Gate Gales and Vancouver Royals coach Ferenc Puskas - claimed that eventually South would be let back in, therefore perpetuating one of the self-delusional myths which have hindered the club's progress since its fall from national league ranks.

In response to the most recent sunshine and lollipop fueled burst of rekindled hope, South Melbourne has extended the tenure of its dedicated staff whose sole purpose is to wait by the phone for that magical call.

Below: a dedicated worker waits for the call which will re-instate South to its rightful place in Australian football. 

Thursday, 30 October 2008

South of the Border confessional

OK, enough is enough.

We all know there are plenty of present day South fans who, because of the stigma attached to it especially on smfcboard, are reticent to admit or are even fearful of admitting that they go to the Victory, either as a fan of the team or game in general, or who go to games semi regularly as a guest of other people, or who once did and have stopped, or any of the myriad possible combinations therein. This closeted approach is a cancer which blinds us to the reality of who is following our club these days. The pretence and the effort required to sustain the illusion is not worth the effort.

It's high time we had a confessional or amnesty for people to come forward, in safety from being mocked or belittled, where they can freely admit to their truer selves. I would love to see this happen on smfcboard - maybe I'll even be the one to start the thread - but to show that I'm genuine about this exercise, I will open myself up to the healing power of confession, in the hope of encouraging others to come forward and do likewise, and lay their conscience and souls bare for the world, to be free of the weight they carry.

I went to the Victory's 3 pre-season games and every home match of version 1. On a couple of occasions I listened to live radio broadcasts of matches. I have never seen an A-League game on tv, though I do not have Foxtel which makes it easier. I was curious, but by the end it was obvious the whole thing was not for me. The only contact I have had with a Victory game since February 2006 was the South-Victory friendly.

In the ensuing years, I have had offers to pay for my ticket, rationales thrust at me as to why I should accept, and I have rejected them with my entire being. That may work for some but not for all. If it doesn't there need no longer be any shame! This is not for those who have never had contact with Victory to get on their highhorses... but I would imagine there'd be very few people who have not dabbled in some sort of potentially 'poulimeno' behaviour along the wide spectrum available. So I say 'Confess, confess, confess!' And have that unholy weight lifted from thy shoulders. You can do it here if you wish, or you can do it in the darkness of smfcboard. But I beseech thee, for yours and South's sake, end the lies of omission now!

Wishing Eamonn all the best with his recovery

Now I don't know what our friend Eamonn's ailment is, but nevertheless, South of the Border wishes him all the best with his recovery, and a speedy return to full health and if not that, at least a speedy return to regular blogging. I'm not going to jump on the Canberra A-League bandwagon though. That's going a weeny bit too far. And where's my full copy of my interview? How will the Canberra bid cope without you and your relentless plugging and effort? :P

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Kabaddi action at Lakeside this Sunday!

Well how about to this for something to do in the off season? If you're not familiar with this interesting sport, have a look at this clip for an example.

Not sure about what it's going to cost to get in, but seems like a worthwhile venture nevertheless. Apparently they had trouble finding a venue. Isn't it nice that the place is getting some use when we're not using it ourselves?

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Yes, it's true... South of the Border book is coming out soon (hopefully)

But you can't have it. Why? Because there'll only be about five copies made, as part of my university course's 'publishing principles and practice' subject, where me and my team, ie, Scott, are supposed to create a full on, actual book, except for the legal stuff such as ISBNs, legal deposits and such. I'd put up a screenshot of the possible cover, but I'd rather show you the full on finished product. Who knows, maybe in 5-6 years time, there'll be a proper legit book put out? We'll see.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Apologies for my far too subtle ironing

This is a public apology directed to all those on smfcboard who took my 'big bombshell tomorrow' post seriously. What I will not tolerate however are accusations that I do not take the club's future seriously. I think I do take it quite seriously. In fact, I could probably list a whole bunch of examples of how seriously I do consider the issue... but they'd probably get lost in amongst all the Greek soccer threads. Oh well.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Politicial grandstanding or something more meaningful?

Thanks to Peter for giving us the heads up

Stadium funding dispute riles athletics community

Cameron Houston

October 23, 2008

A FUNDING dispute over the new athletics stadium in Albert Park could see the contentious project substantially scaled back and delayed, infuriating Melbourne's track and field fraternity.

Plans for the 5000-seat State Athletics Centre at Bob Jane Stadium have reached an impasse after the Department of Premier and Cabinet refused to increase funding for the project from $50 million.

Several senior State Government sources warned the new home of Athletics Victoria and the Victorian Institute of Sport might need to be reduced substantially.

A Government source said: "They want a modern stadium to accommodate crowds of 10,000, state-of-the-art facilities for the VIS and Athletics Australia and the redevelopment of Olympic Park for Collingwood and Melbourne (football clubs). They also want new soccer pitches for South Melbourne Soccer Club to keep them happy, but it simply can't be done for $50 million — something has to give."

The crowd figure of 10,000 would include 5000 seats and standing room for 5000 people.

The source said an initial budget request of $60 million had been rejected by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

"Victorian athletics is probably going to be the loser in all this," another Government source said.

A spokesman for Major Projects Victoria said the size and scope of the new athletics centre were being finalised, and would receive the bulk of government funding before the Olympic Park redevelopment.

Preparatory work on the Albert Park site began earlier this month, the spokesman said.

Last night, athletics legend Ron Clarke slammed the State Government's decision to relocate track and field from its spiritual base at Olympic Park and not adequately finance the move.

"They should never have moved athletics from Olympic Park," Mr Clarke said.

"Tradition counts for a lot and we saw with the AFL's decision to move its base to Waverley that bureaucrats often get it wrong."

He said track and field events had been ignored and underfunded by state governments around the country

"Despite that, we still produce champions and it's about time governments recognised and rewarded those efforts," Mr Clarke said.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates recently backed calls for more government money for elite athletes if Australia was to "take back the Ashes" at the 2012 London Olympics after Great Britain finished ahead of Australia in the Beijing medal count.

Athletics Victoria and the VIS said they had not seen plans for the Albert Park site and declined to comment on project funding.

Athletics Victoria has been kicking up a stink with a quite well run public relations campaign, but its been largely ineffective in the 'real world' - after all, most Australians only give a stuff about athletics every four years, and that boat has has just left port, not to be seen again for awhile. Do they really think they'll be thrown a bone? Because the inevitability of them being moved is, well, inevitable. Of course negotiations are still taking place behind closed doors as well; so really I'm thinking this is just part of the game rather than anything serious. Chances are they might win some concessions, and probably become the dominant tenant anyway, and thus this is an attempt to wrangle some token gesture. After all, Olympic Park has history - not just for them mind you - but it's also a shit venue on its last legs. They know it, everyone knows it. So why not just calmly come along and accept the situation and get it over and done with?

Not that South is the master of PR domain, but their silence also says something about the situation. That we are quite happy with how things are going, or that nobody really cares what we think unless it's to comment on a riot. Perhaps both. The funny thing is, we're in the position of power, with 7 years left on our lease, starting to maximise our ground hire earnings potential, and the need to appease us to get Collingwood in to Olympic Park and Athletics Victoria out as soon as possible. Not that I think we'll learn anything concrete about our move at this year's AGM, but it should be interesting at least in the way they try to deflect questions and overcome the classic Greek big mouth tendencies. Otherwise, this is largely aa filler piece, brining up something which is probably progressing as per usual behind closed doors.

Dollars and Sense, or what kind of price can you put on abstract concepts?

Stick with me as best you can because this might go all over the place or even nowhere. I was thinking recently about how much players might get paid in this league, and what influences other than money might have an impact on where players choose to spend their playing time.

A few years back on smfcboard, someone claiming to be Sam Poutakidis made what seemed to be an outrageous claim at the time, that someone might choose a club like Oakleigh not for the money but for its facilities. We all had a good laugh (and whinge)... but no one thought to start putting dollar signs or devising some kind of method. Now that's perfectly ok; the players themselves probably don't go through and list every detail and put a price on it, and it may even be that money is 90% of the deal.

But looking back on certain cases... Hamlet Armenian allegedly coming to South to cut down on travel time... Diaco enjoying having some sort of fandom to play in front of... a Billy Nats playing for the club he grew up supporting... a Scotty MacNicol coming back perhaps because of a lack of opportunities despite what he may have been getting... players coming to South perhaps in the belief that their A-League ambitions would be better suited at Lakeside than say Chaplin or Monterey Reserve... liking or disliking one coach over another... and never forgetting the lure of a championship, where rogue players and their clubs tolerate each other for as long as possible as long as glory is within sight... all of this to be considered within a framework where the next paycheque might never come in.

I don't know what the average VPL player gets for certain, let alone our boys. But for simplicity's sake let's say our boys get about $350-500 on average. The better players a little more, the younger fringe players a little less. If they were to be offered more money at other clubs, or perhaps less money to play for a geographically more suitable team, or any of the myriad options possible, how much would it take to tip them over the edge one way or another? If a player came out and said, 'I'm mostly about the money', would we all break out in shock, or applaud their honesty? Would other players follow suit? I'm not holding my breath for it to happen, nor do I suggest that a thought process is that rational... but players, coaches and clubs all make financial decisions which are not exclusively decided by money, and only hindsight, such as every payment cleared or a new trophy in the cabinet, gives us perhaps any clue if it was the right choice.

Monday, 20 October 2008

This is why I love my readers

Last Saturday I made a hasty post highlighting the recent activities of a couple of ex-South boys in the WA cstate side, completely overlooking Richie Alagich and Scott Tunbridge in the SA state team. Kudos to 'Anonymous' for picking up on this!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

By Apollo I was bored on Friday

Got my brother to take a photo so I could have a profile pic as well as chuck a smaller version on the front page too. If anyone can think of a wittier witticism for a caption  and/or headline send it our way.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Week old news with tidbits on ex-South boys

26 game South veteran Ante Kovacevic, VPL championship player Antonio Naglieri and one time 2008 goalkeeping prospect - before 'fate' got in the way - Neil Young, all played for the Western Australia state team. They lost, but it's nice to know they're still alive I suppose.

WA Gunned down by South Aussies

Saturday, 11 October 2008
Western Australia have gone down 3-0 to South Australia in the Stratco Cup clash at Marden Sports Complex today.

SA took an early lead after a Chad Bugeja strike and doubled their advantage before the half time break thanks to a Ivan Karlovic header. Fred Agius wrapped up the victory with a well taken goal 13 minutes into the second half.

The gaee was played in sweltering 30 degree temperatures with both teams using their full complement of substitutions.

WA midfielder Marc Anthony underlined his credentials with a man of the match performance for the losing side.

Adelaide will travel to WA in 2009 for the return leg of the Stratco Cup, with a date yet to be formalised.

SA: Ben Moore (Daniel Godley 68'), Richie Alagich, Kristian Rees, Michael D'Aloisio, Ivan Karlovic, Aaron Goulding (Kim Stavrides 68'), Simon Catanzaro (Michael Lastella 81'), Chad Bugeja (Mimi Saric 73'), Fred Aguis, Scott Tunbridge

WA: Neil Young (Gareth Deeg 79'), Danny Cain, Jeff Bright, John Migas (Craig Young 67'), Shaun Kilkelly (Daryl Platten 71'), Andy Brown, Marc Anthony, Phillip O'Callaghan (Brad Scott 67'), Ante Kovacevic, David Micevski (Ian McMurray 45'), Antonio Naglieri

Friday, 17 October 2008

As per Bells request

Bells wanted to see this pic, and that's why it's going up. Classic stuff, enjoy. As with all picture placed on here, you can click on them to go to a full size version.

Attention People Hitting This Blog Looking For Summer League Fixtures

I don't have any, and there will not be any, unless South is in somehow. This is not an apology, more so a friendly piece of advice to direct you away from here and towards places where you may find them. Have a swell day.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

And can I just say...

... that rearranging the furniture in my study/pc room was the best thing I've done this month... at least... maybe even this whole semester... because now less extensions means much better internet access and speeds which means me being able to watch streaming videos like the Socceroos beating a pathetic Qatar 4-0 with few breaks in quality until the last 20 minutes or so, when my bro started doing crap on the pc... anyway, the bad side was of actually having to listen to that farkstick Robbie Slater, especially when the Arabic language channel coverage cut out at 4-0 and went back to regular programming... which is a shame because I quite like Arabic commentary.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I've already said too much

So I was down at ye olde club offices yesterday, for evil purposes of course, when I was asked for my opinion on a number of matters. I was also placed under a gag order of sorts, which sucks. So I won't go into specific details, but I suppose I can give you the gist of went down last night, in an effort to show you, our loyal readers, that people at the club are working hard in the off-season for next year. I was shown two possible designs for next year's strip. Both were good, but I went with one over the other for reasons I can't go into. Both were an improvement over this year's strip, and probably every jersey we've had for a very long time. But that's just opinion.

I was also asked to look at the club's marketing strategy. Was pretty good, not much I could add to it really. Again, I can't say what was in it, but I can tell you one thing that wasn't. South of the Border. Oh, you know, as with any marketing strategy, ideas are canvassed about what media to make use of... and we didn't get a look in. I guess they just expect me to make my own way or some shite like that, or maybe they know that we can't be controlled... which is not true because I'm respecting their request to non-disclosure... well sorta. There was one other thing I was asked my opinion on, but I can't go into that whatsoever. I wasn't asked, in the words of erstwhile Croatian World Game forumite Novi Kralj, to compare apples to truck tyres though, you can rest assured of that.

Monday, 13 October 2008

End of season ball

Apparently there was a very good turnout - something that can't be said of game attendances for some reason - and peoples generally seemed to have a very good time. Not that I was there, but kudos to one board member who seemed to really to get into the spirit of things with a slightly outlandish costume. That just about wraps up the formalities of what could be attached to season 2008... except for the announcement of what should be an interesting AGM. Whaddaya say fellas? Some time in early November perhaps? There's a whole bunch of questions I want to to ask. And this time I will ask them.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Rumours and a little bit of truth

We knew it before, but now it's come from the Federation's own mouthpiece - our senior women are staying in the WVPL. Our thirds need to reapply though, otherwise they'll end up in the metro  league. As for the rumours... players such as Fernando De Moraes are allegedly shopping themselves around... hmm... remember nothing is official until January 1st and after any and all cheques clear... meanwhile, all quiet on all fronts basically about who's coming to us... a little unnerving.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Which one was the bigger game?

For those who haven't seen it already... as well as something to keep the blog going while I'm seriously busy and unable to do substantial updates, nor even troll the forums too much because of crappy internet at home.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

South women finish 4th in Tracie McGovern Cup

South's women lost their 3rd/4th place platyofff against Illawarra 1-0 in extra time to finish 4th overall in the Tracie McGovern Cup. Alonmg the way they topped their qualifying group, and only a narrow loss to eventual winner and WVPL rival Casey Comets prevented them from reaching thr final.

Monday, 6 October 2008

A Sydney fan, a Glory fan and a South fan don't walk into a bar

Despite what many think and try to enforce as the only available discourse(s) on the New Dawn/Draining The Pond era, if people are willing to look for the complexities within, and have people willing to discuss them, even if we disagree, we can still learn a fair bit. What am I saying exactly? That on Saturday evening I had some great discussions about Australian soccer, the plight of Perth Glory which or may not be karma, inter and intra A-League club politics, and how you can earn 100k a year working at McDonalds in northern Western Australia. Which makes one reflect upon why that level of conversation/dialogue is seldom if ever carried out on a forum, and why the Sydney FC forum contains people, who though I may disagree with them, far more often than their Victory couterparts at least seem to come from a point of view of actually knowing about stuff that happened in the bad old days as opposed to merely repeating haphazardly what they learnt at NSL-hating school.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Leo and George walked in the 3XY studios...

...and had a chat with the presenter about Southern Cross things and South Melbourne things. Not knowing who they were representing and who was meant to say what was reassuring. Their future focus is now on South Melbourne and the Lakeside redevelopment of all things. Will Greeks support the Heart franchise? Who cares! They've either sold out or dropped out altogether, and are therefore irrelevant to us. Too much fumbling around, not really knowing what to say or whether it was worth it all. Apparently when asked if we're breaking even, Leo said yes! Really? I find that very hard to believe. Good luck to them anyway. Hey boys, when's the AGM on?

Friday, 3 October 2008

Hot Knights!

OK, so like a few weeks back I was at Laverton Market, and I happened to be searching through some second hand cds, when I happened upon this.

And it only cost $2! Well of course you have to have a listen. Would it be awesome, or would it totally suck balls? Would it justify all the Frozen Tears bagging by supporter and opposition alike? The lyrics didn't bode well. And after trying to resist for as long as possible, I finally strapped myself in for the ride so to speak. And for mine, it's just awful. Real awful. Some faux-Ricky Martin-lite dancey crap is probably the best explanation I can give. Frozen Tears "South Melbourne" by comparison is sheer genius. And hey, I like our unofficial theme song, but am ready to admit it's not the greatest song of all time. So who's responsible fot his travesty?

Well, quite surprisingly, people a lot more famous than Arthur Akritidis and co. David 'son of Jimmy Barnes' Campbell. Some local cover band guy Zoran Romic. And Brian Canham, yes the Brian Canham, lead singer of Guido Hatzis favourite band Pseudo Echo. How the mighty have fallen. Or not. To listen to the song, head here.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Apparently there some benefits to being a member

How about that? According to the South offiicial site, you can get a nifty 5% discount when shopping at Rebel Sport if you follow the instructions. Even better, South gets that 5% discount as a rebate. Yay. Pity I don't buy sports equipment, like, ever, but it might be useful for other peoples out there.