Sunday, 31 May 2009

Round 8 WVPL action.

The Seniors made it five wins in a row, beating Sandringham 4-2. The Reserves meanwhile got a belting, losing 6-0. The Seniors are in 2nd place, but have played one extra game, while the Reserves are also 2nd. Both sides have the bye next week as the season reaches its halfway point, with the Women's teams doing rather well, especially in comparison to previous years. The Seniors in particular are putting more and more good games together, and not succumbing to the inconsistency that hurt them so much last season.

Not how, but how many - Bergers 1 South 0

Think the title sums it up.

Trivia Night Shenanigans

The following is a hazy and at best only moderately accurate recollection of being a quizmaster for a night.

While killing some time on the interwebs yesterday arvo, a message pops up on msn.

(2:51:34 PM) Tony: oi
(2:51:35 PM) Tony: need your number
(2:51:41 PM) Tony: need to call you
(2:51:49 PM) Paul: 1234 5679

"Phone Rings"

Paul: Hello
Tony: Are you going to the trivia night?
Paul: Yep, will be there.
Tony: Do you mind hosting it? George Triantos is sick.
Paul: No problem mate, do we have the questions?
Tony: Nicki has them, I think it's six rounds of ten questions.
Paul: Do we have a prize?
Tony: Yeah, a signed ball. What time can you be there?
Paul: I can be there, by 7:00, 7:30 at the latest (senses this is not the best answer to give)... actually I could be there at 6:30, 7:00, not a problem...

Anyway, you can use your imagination for how the rest of this plays out. I rock up to the club at about 7:00 or so, after the South Melbourne Corporate Challenge is over (apparently a success). I've prepared some of my own ballbreaker questions in the few spare hours I had before showtime, and a gimmick round on Australian Prime Ministers, because I've been asked to stretch it out as much as possible. And it was a good thing I did too, because when I get my first look at the questions, there's only 52 of them, with no numbering. I spend some time doing that myself, breaking them up into five rounds, plus my gimmick round.

Heading back out to the social club, the turn out is not looking too flash. There's enough for about 5-6 teams, provided we make them no less than 3 and no more than 5. I manage to rustle up an assistant, we scrounge around for some more prizes - how they thought they were going to split a ball between several people is anyone's guess - Dangerous Dave gets a laptop to help us keep track of the scores, and with an internet connection to help deal with the inevitable challenges to the provided answers. We call for team names, some of them bland, two of them unmentionable in polite society, and one given some thought. And therefore All The President's Men got the bonus points for best name, and Chereka Boys and Shaven Balls pleased themselves with their childish antics.

After some initial microphone problems, the evening went rather well. The lead swapped a few times with the President's Men holding the lead for much of the contest, and the South Women's contingent doing ok until they had to answer questions about Australia. Then we get our our first challenges to questions. "What city is known as the 'pearl of the Adriatic'? Most teams had written Dubrovnik, but the answer provided was Venice. A quick check up of that on the net cleared up that situation in favour of several of the teams. The President's Men also got an additional point for having baseball down as a 1956 Olympics demonstration sport in addition to Australian Rules.

Just as everything seems to be going swimmingly, the cheating allegations start. Accusations are made that one team has too many players and is googling answers as well. The judging panel decides to delay any response until after the contest, hoping one of the other teams can win and save us some grief. After the fifth round, we hastily put together a 7th round of 15 South Melbourne related questions. The Chereka Boys do everyone a massive favour by coming out on top and not requiring us to make a difficult decision in regards to the cheating allegations. A good night had by all... I just wish more people had come. Thanks to Dave, Tony, Dubs, everyone that came and had a go, especially the winning Chereka Boys and the rather silly Shaven Balls crew.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Derby Week - Round 13, Megas Alexandros vs Hellas

Last Time They Met

South 0 Bergers 1

Osagie Ederaro mishit a cross that sailed over a rather stationary Tommich. Bergers deserved to win it though, if anyone did.


2nd vs 3rd. Derby game. Change of date and time to accommodate South fans. What more could one ask for? Been a while since we lost, and I have a bad feeling this game will see us end our 10 game unbeaten run.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Don't forget, Trivia Night this Saturday!

There's a corporate football day on before that. And some game called the FA Cup after it. But the centrepiece of this Saturday is the Trivia Night, at 8:00pm, cost $10... and there's prizes. South of the Border is almost certainly going to be there - pending any mishaps. South of the Border also expects to do quite well, provided the questions are half decent. Also, have you seen? South's Twitter service which keeps you up to date with the goings on at the club, especially live score updates from games, also has trivia on it, written and compiled by South of the Border. Some are easy, some are ballbreakers, a couple have nothing to do with South at all. Don't ask me for answer at games, chances are anyway I've forgotten what the answer was.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

South Melbourne feature club in Goal Weekly

If you pick up a copy of Goal Weekly this week, you'll get a nice double page spread dedicated to South. There's some nice photos, and some commentary from Ramazan, Jimmy Armstrong, Michael Michalakopoulos and George Koukoulas about what it to be part of the greatest football club in the world. It's pretty cool.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

It does my head in / What happened to the bigger picture?

It's all rather typical and generic. Everyone hates the same things and people. Sometimes different people and things. And sometimes they can even be convinced to change a previously held opinion, all because someone all of a sudden agreed with them, or did enough agreeable things over a period of time to sway that opinion to the other side. Or they get caught up in the emotion and half-eloquence created by someone who washes and learned how to spell.

What I am talking about? Well, in the lesser sense, football fandom and the ongoing Bitter/New Dawner trench warfare, but in a larger sense perhaps, Planet Earth. But there's humour to be found in it, humour and irony and sadness. Les Murray and SBS are despised for being pro A-League and forgetful of the old migrant and other NSL clubs, those that gave them their livelihoods for so many years. They are also accused of being anti A-League and everything that the new regime has tried to make happen. Mike Cockerill has gone from hated to loved, and loved to hated. Michael Lynch from love to hated and hated to loved, and to writing essays defending his coverage and lack of coverage to angry letter writers.

There are those who love the game above all, because without the game there is nothing. And there are those who reluctantly and not love their club above the game, for without clubs, there would only be nations, exhibition matches and park football. There are those from both sides who hate indiscriminately, and from who don't care what the evidence is. And there are those who put forth faux intellectual spins, Hephaestus inspired word and truth smithery. And then there are those caught in the middle. Those who embraced the A-League as their first true footballing love but who can see the Bitter side... and those Bitters who still attend their first love club but have an appreciation of the need to change. And we are forever painted in blacks and whites, ethnics and anglos, Bitters and New Dawners, reactionaries and other reactionaries.

Oh, and everyone being Against Modern Football, even though it's an inconsistent and never the same to two different people mix of terrace romanticism and excuse to bash the fuck out of whoever they feel like, because that's what real soccer support is all about, maaaaaaaaaan.

The broader fantasy land that is Australia, or at least huge swathes of it, says there is only one type of Australia. It is meat pies, it is kangaroos, it is Holden cars. It is Bradman, it is Digger, Aussie, Digger, Aussie, Dinkum and a flag with four foreign nations represented on it and the mistaken belief that we own the Southern Cross, or some neo-Nazi group does, or worse, Melbourne Victory fans. It is asking Asian people how long they've lived in Australia even though they were born here. It's not nearly illiterate factory wogs learning to speak different languages while working. Or babies brought up by neighbours of different ethnicities while you worked. It's not 25,000 at Olympic Park when the VFL was actively trying to kill off VFA clubs.

The NSL was, in its own typically bumbling fashion, so Australian that it was not Australian. It had the broadest range of people, and experiences, and food, and style, and all that tree hugging multicultural crap that we were told was an essential part of being Australia, that after many backward years of racism, the multicultural shift that had made Australia great. No. It was too Australian. Too pluralist, too ramshackle, too independent, too anarchic, too representative of everything the beloved mainstream didn't stand for, neat cul-de-sacs and sunny beaches to send back to the old country which was wasn't (but really was).

I'm sick of the crap and the hypocrisy, but I'm more sick of how it all misses the greater issues that this stuff taps into. That so many in this country have been duped into thinking multiculturalism means everyone acting the same, just eating different food. Reminds me of a line in a song, 'The New World Order is like the EPL; same old shit, just more expensive'. And if you stand a up like a nail, then you will be knocked down. And the Commonwealth Ban has sent me several important messages about my account through email, which is great except for one thing. I don't bank with the Commonwealth. And maybe doing Working Class Writing was a lot of fun, but it also made me even more negative. And maybe I saw or maybe I just thought I saw an old teacher of mine today, who believed in me and encouraged me, but I couldn't be sure it was him so I didn't say anything, and then came to the conclusion that if it was him, he didn't recognise me because of my hat and the fact that I was wearing a band t-shirt.

Which doesn't make any sense of course. And it's really tiring. And that looking at pictures of deepest space, or remembering lessons from Epicurus and Seneca derived from pop-philosopher/entrepreneur Alain De Botton... and thinking about a silly photocopied sheet of paper passed on to me by Mike Baylis who I haven't spoken to in 7 years and will likely never speak to again even though tracking him down is not an impossible task, from Lyle Stebbing, the aforementioned teacher, whose class I wasn't even in anymore because I'd done it the previous year, about existentialism... it changed my life, probably for the better, but it's taken a while for that fruit to ripen on that tree.

Few things to pad out a Tuesday entry

  • Item! Why is someone like Michael Cockerill of the Sydney Morning Herald calling us to ask and publish our opinions about B-Leagues and such - remember he's in Sydney - and Michael Lynch and The Age - remember, they're in Melbourne, like us - seem to have missed the boat entirely on this one? Maybe there's no real story and Cockerill was bored... I'd hope for Lynchy's sake, and that of his reputation that was the case.
  • Item! I was made aware last Saturday of a bizarre local practice of certain ethnic minorities building entire kitchens and dining areas in their garages, so they wouldn't scuff up the inside of their house. Not that I disbelieved it, but I did find it odd. And then we took a wrong turn somewhere in Dandenong, ending up in a cul-de-sac, and as we maneuvered our way out of it, we spied an open garage... with a full on kitchen set up inside... crazy!
  • Item! The online football game Hattrick! has its first ever South Melbourne Hellas Federation. The brainchild of the Hellas fan known as 'Gate 13' for some unknown reason, it's managed to get enough members within a week (five!) in order for it not to be shutdown by Hattrick's authorities! Excelsior!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Stay focused, please

In Sagan's name, I wish I could ignore this, but it appears we're obliged to offer some intellectual rigour to it. I suppose Carl wouldn't have wanted it any other way

NSL giants back second tier

FOOTBALL Federation Australia's decision to investigate a national second-tier competition has sparked intense interest among the game's traditional custodians after years of being frozen out by the game's governing body.

The FFA revealed last week that it was forming an eight-man taskforce to consider the practical and logistical implications of a proposed "second division", which would derive the majority - if not all - of its teams from the existing state leagues around the country.

Those teams most likely to be in the running are those who previously participated in the old National Soccer League, many of whom have returned to their state league roots with varying degrees of success.

Since the demolition of the NSL and subsequent creation of the A-League in 2003-04, relations between the powerbrokers of "old soccer" and "new football" have been frosty to say the least, with many feeling the FFA had unfairly distanced themselves from the game's somewhat rocky past.

Until now, little effort has been made to end the stand-off but the FFA has recently shown signs of wanting to reconnect with the storied clubs of yesteryear instead of continuing with its policy of isolating the A-League.

A national cup competition might have been postponed but will almost certainly take place in the next year, while alterations to the transfer system - including removing the $3000 transfer cap for players moving from a state league to the A-League - are being considered.

As arguably the nation's most successful club, boasting four national and eight state league titles, South Melbourne initially felt aggrieved at being overlooked for the A-League but said they would love the opportunity to return to the national stage.

"We're definitely interested in playing at a higher level and the ambition of South Melbourne will always be to compete on that kind of stage," said South Melbourne director George Triantos. "It would be a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our great club once again. We've been part of football in Australia for 50 years."

While many clubs remain bitter about the nature of the NSL's demise, South Melbourne have gradually moved on and have tried to position themselves not only as a Victorian power but as a club willing to work within the constraints of "new football".

"We've always wanted to stay relevant, and we understand that means embracing a new direction. After all, we host Socceroos training here when they're in town, the Melbourne Victory's women's team and youth teams, so we think we're a part of it," Triantos said. "Look at how we compare to other Victorian clubs in terms of the number of full-time staff we have, the training and stadium facilities, the way we present ourselves in a corporate sense, in the media, with our marketing and so on. Many other clubs don't have that.

"Are we too big for the state league? I wouldn't like to say. But you'll find that the bigger clubs are looking for either reform or something else altogether."

Should such a competition prove to be financially viable, the biggest stumbling block to bringing clubs in remains the delicate prospect of promotion and relegation and whether there was a possibility of winning a place in the A-League.

"Most clubs would look at having promotion and relegation as very important," Triantos said. "Would we enter that competition if we couldn't get in the A-League? I don't know. .. You'll find most clubs aspire to play in the top level."

First up, can I just say that George Triantos is obviously enjoying himself in this little article.

Are we too big for the state league? I wouldn't like to say.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The things we can and can't say, and the things we choose not to say, fascinating stuff. How convenient also that we could list all those things that we've contributed to pitching in for the New Dawn revolution... despite the displeasure of some people out there.

But the most important thing to remember in this situation is that this is all highly speculative, and the really big thing to do, that is being done, and should be done until it is finished, is secure the future of this club with the Lakeside redevelopment project, so that whatever happens, this club is in the best possible position to meet those challenges, and take those opportunities. B, V, E and Z Leagues are all fine and dandy, but there's no point in getting distracted by them at the expense of the main game.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

SMWFC make it four wins in a row

The seniors made it four wins in a row, with a solid if mostly unremarkable 5-0 win over Geelong Region FA. Best goal was number 4, a long range bomb which anyone could appreciate. Seniors up to 2nd place, but they have played one more game than the other sides around them. The reserves also won, 8-0, and are now top of the table, 3 points clear of Sandringham (who have played two less games) and who they meet next week.

Wild Scenes! Dandenong Thunder 2 South Melbourne 2

That was a crazy little game to be sure. Thunder cane flying out of the blocks, and were pretty much all over us for the first 10 to 15 minutes - former South player Hamlet Armenian showing the kind of form that was missing for nearly every game he played for us last season. Then the game slowed down a bit, we worked our way into it, and were it not for some poor crossing and poor finishing, who knows what could have happened - and then Dandenong scored their first goal, and they took over again - and somehow only went in 1-0 up at the break.

They scored early in the 2nd, pressed for a bit, then sat back. Michael Michalakopoulos rang the changes, threw on some of the young lads, such as Torrens and Stella, and while we pressed forward, we didn't ever look much like scoring - especially from Fernando's corners, which were either short, underhit, or floaty things way beyond use. And then Webster intervened. That was the kind of brain explosion you see once in a lifetime. It got us back into the game, and from there on, amazingly, we probably should have won it. Webster partly made amends by pulling out a great save low to his left off a De Nittis turn and shot, but the internal damage done to Thunder remains to be seen.

Because one could blame Webster for literally letting South back in the game - but it would only disguise another Stuart Munro coaching choke - sitting back so early echoing South's sitting back on a 1-0 lead at Hindmarsh in our last NSL game - even more bizarre considering Dandy were dominating the game. And it usually this season being Thunder who've scored wins and draws when they perhaps shouldn't have, digging themselves out of myriad holes - now that the shoe is on the other foot, it will be interesting to see how they respond. I don't think it will do too much damage, but it opens up a window of doubt that may not have existed before, as well as hope to other clubs as well.

And it's getting awfully messy around the finals places now. Thunder clear at the top, and Preston and Whittlesea being so far away at the bottom means that the other nine teams have been sharing the remaining points pool rather fairly. Another away game next round, to the Bergers. before the Queens Birthday long weekend break. I suspect there hasn't been that much anticipation for this game for quite awhile.

And now a word on the visitors facilities and hospitality of the Thunder. Lovely grandstand though I didn't use it myself - I liked how it had seating... please note Oakleigh. There are no hills though which, like Jack Edwards Reserve, makes viewing difficult when it's even one deep around the fenceline, and very hard to get a spot, too. The lights were good, better than most, though could be a little brighter. The pitch was in very good nick, praise Demeter. The gate organisation was a bit haphazard, but hey, I've got a media pass, so I get in easily enough. The food was good... and they had gazoza! Very classy! A proper European soft drink... you don't get that pretty much anywhere else in these leagues except the Bisleri chinotto at the Veneto Club.

But perhaps the best thing about it was the lack of police... and the lack of tension. Reportedly some Thunder supporters threw their drinks on the South players as they went through the tunnel... but apart from that, there was chanting form both sides, no segregation, fans mingling freely, and a great football buzz that was refreshing on so many levels. It proved to a lot of people - even restoring some of my lost faith in humanity - that there could be big games at this level without trouble, that tension can explode in positive ways and the buzz of a big game not be killed by idiocy. It's only one game, sure... but more of it please, and soon.

Friday, 22 May 2009

First vs Second in Darren Millane's (PBUH) backyard - Round 12 Dandy vs South

Last Time They Met

South Melbourne Stripy Shirts 0
Dandenong Christina 1

Rama own goal.


How should I put this... this guy I've been working with on several radio projects this year for school told me that he'd never heard me laugh. I thought that was a preposterous statement to make, but it did trouble me - almost as much as missing out on using the line, 'well, it's because you're not a very good comedian' - one of those barely awesome witty remarks that one typically thinks of. And then the next day I accidentally caught up with an old classmate, Dominika, and we started having a natter about various things, and I brought the incident up for some stupid reason - stupid because she ended up agreeing with it, and making the comment that I liked making fun of people.

I then said to her, who do I make fun of, no wait, that could be a long list. She said that it wasn't so much perhaps making fun of, but picking at people's work... and then we got sidetracked, because she was referring to the Writing Selves class (the best subject I've had the privilege of being in) we were in, were we supposed to be critiquing others people's work. I was just far more insightful, honest and fair than the rest of the class who tended to write works that were simultaneously solipsist and almost entirely about other people... a feat in itself, if only they'd done it on purpose.

So in my public relations class later that day, through various plausible digressions I ended up talking to my tutor Simon about the time I had a panic attack at a student union election after party, partly induced by me being in a small room in which I was the pretty much the only person not drinking - while a fair few others were rapidly getting trashed on Tia Maria and playing Pictionary... anyway, the point of this story is... well I don't know. It's just something that's been troubling me, a minor existential crisis of sorts. Should be a good game this week. I just never realised that my reputation at school of being such a miserable sod was that bad.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Women's results: Seniors and Ressies with 2-1 wins over Casey

Aimee Benton with another double to give the seniors three consecutive wins - all away too - and four unbeaten games on the trot. Great stuff. Back at home this week - and by home we mean Lakeside - against Geelong Region FA. Good chance I'll be down there.

Monday, 18 May 2009

SMFCTV - Georgies - Hellas Highlights

Youth ride luck to beat Georgies 1-0

South's under 21s struggled for possession and midfield ascendancy, but pretty much made the most of their few opportunities to snatch an important win which keeps them well and truly in the hunt for their title race.

A Little Lucky For Mine - Georgies 1 South 1

A fair few people are happier with this result than I am, and I can understand why, what with the poor ground conditions and tight dimensions of Chaplin Reserve, as well as playing a side more used to the hit 'n' hope/crunching style of play that suits such conditions. Taking that into account though, I still felt we weren't quite up to scratch, and that we'd be happier with the result rather than the performance, and vice versa for the Georgies. Clear 2nd by a point halfway through the year, and away trips in the next two weeks to Dandy and Heidelberg which will either set us up for a real double chance shot or send us back into the pack. Nine games unbeaten though, which is showing we can ride our luck a little and grind out results when we need to.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Something Really Important

It has come to my attention that someone is not happy with something I have written. That person is Ulysses Kokkinos, and the offending statements are contained within this post about the 2009 season launch. I would like to make it perfectly clear, that at no stage did I intend to cause offence to Ulysses, though I can well understand how the post would have done so - and for that I apologise. I would also like to clarify that I do not have any issues with Ulysses personally - to the best of my recollection I have never met Ulysses, or if I have, we have spoken only briefly and not at all to do with the relevant issues.

The issue that I was raising within the relevant parts of that article was as an observation of how club cultures work, specifically South's, and how some people who have committed acts which could earn them derision and ostracism from within club circles - whatever those actions may be - are treated differently from others in the same or similar boats. In my estimation, the examples of Ulysses Kokkinos and Con Boutsianis were the most relevant and well known amongst the broader South family in order to illustrate my point.

Jakarta Casual Blog

We've been a bit remiss not including the quality Jakarta Casual blog on our sidebar - after all, not only did they link us, but they also provided South of the Border with a nice image of Middle Park circa 1991. This makes it the third Asian football blog we link to, after the two Singaporean blogs Bolosepako and Sambal Football. Now while South itself has never had much to do with the Asian scene, apart from occasional moments like friendlies against the South Korean youth team and having Gamba Osaka have a training run on Lakeside, Australian football as a whole is becoming further and further entrenched within Asia, and it's not only the Socceroos and A-League clubs - not to mention our overseas players that are increasingly looking to Asia instead of division 57 European action - that can make the most if this opportunity. The former Bulleen Zebras went to Indonesia not too many seasons back for a tour - and the Melbourne Knights recently had a midweek hitout with Beijing Gouan. Something to think about no doubt.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Round 11 George Cross vs Hellas

I don't normally do this, but John Kyrou's effort on the match preview is pretty good this week, with stats and history and stuff, so we're diverting you there.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Now that wasn't so hard, was it?

Mind you, the last time I said that to someone at South I copped an earful... which I won't elaborate on, as it was so long ago, and would probably breach some notion of trust that society has placed on stuff like that.

SMFC to Star in International Documentary

Thursday, 14 May 2009 2:18 PM

By George Kouroumalis

In an exciting development for the club, South Melbourne FC has been involved in the making of a documentary mini-series that outlines the Greek Community’s involvement in Sport and Sporting clubs around Australia, and across the globe.

The documentary, which is filmed and produced by the Hellenic National Broadcasting Service ERT, will be a worldwide 26 episode documentary series that will cover all sporting organisations and individuals that have some form of Hellenic background and or influence.

South Melbourne FC was chosen by the ERT directors to be the featured organisation in Victoria, with an entire feature episode dedicated to the club.

Within the episode, ERT representatives interviewed with some SMFC legends including the great Jimmy Armstrong, Takis Mantarakis, Ulysses Kokkinos, Andreas Roussis, Jim Pyrgolios and Manny Poulakakis, each of whom assisted in telling the story about the history of this great club.

As well as recording interviews with past legends, the production crew also filmed the Altona Magic match on Sunday, as well as recording interviews with SMFC coaching staff, players and club officials.

The episode dedicated to South Melbourne FC is due to be screened worldwide via ERT World in September this year.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

More South Melbourne United and Frank Crean and Des Hamilton stuff

From Soccer News, August 1, 1953 (page 6)

It is in the junior ranks that South Melbourne United has had its greatest successes. Today we find South Melbourne Junior teams in Under 20, Under 17, Under 15 and Under 14 competitions, and in each case the club's team is well to the fore. With South Melbourne Technical School to draw on and with the club junior coach, McFadyen, coaching at the school, the club is assured of a constant stream of juniors from year to year.

The club is fortunate in having as its president a keen soccer man in Mr. Frank Crean, M.H.R.. The present secretary, Des. Hamilton, who has been a member of the VcA.S.F.A; council for five years, is a wide awake and tireless worker for soccer generally, and for his club, which for so long has had the ground at Middle Park as its headquarters

ERT filming us for some reason.

If you were at the game last Sunday, you may have noticed a fairly well equipped camera crew doing the rounds. Idle chatter from some people - damned if I can remember who now, but it wasn't anyone important in case any of the cake eaters suspect a leak - seemed to indicate that it was an ERT (Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi, Hellenic Radio [and] Television) crew. They probably won't use the fleeting glimpse of me with a plate of the Valkanis' semi-famous roast lemon potatoes. What they were doing there remains to be seen, but if I am going to be in it, at least I was wearing my good hat.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

New Pumpkin Seed Eaters Now Out

If you'd like to participate in all the fun that the word schadenfreude was invented for, download episode three from here.

Three South players in VPL Bushfire Squad

If the title doesn't make any sense to you, it's a little bit like this. The FFV and Melbourne Victory have organised a little bushfire fundraiser match at Olympic Park tonight, with a selection of VPL players set to play a rep game that more than the people of Tianjin and highranking FFV flunkies will get to see. South's Ramazan Tavsancioglu, Joseph Youssef and Steve O'Dor have been named in the squad, though with Youseff getting injured and only completing half a game on the weekend, one doubts he'll get up for this game. South of the Border is undecided on whether it will attend.

Photo: A Mazu Temple in Tianjin, a likeness of which was to be constructed outside Olympic Park for this match, but which was abandoned when funds became scarce after the FFV had a certain civil matter go against them in tremendous fashion.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

And how about those horses!

The most work they did today was eat some of the grass growing at the back off Klarendon Korner. Not what we're paying them for exactly, but still cool for those people who get a kick out of seeing police horses eat grass.

Under 21 result

1-1 it finished. The first half was pretty much garbage from both teams, but nevertheless Altona Magic took a deserved 1-0 lead into the break. The 2nd second half was much better, especially from a South point of view, though at one stage it looked more likely we'd break the crossbar then score - one excellent shot from a difficult turn and volley of sorts smashed against the crossbar, went down and went out. Equaliser came eventually and bith sides squandered some chances for a winner. Yusef Yusef got some more game time in his comeback from his knee reconstruction, which was good to see

Good win, but at what cost - South 2 Magic 0

A little lucky at times perhaps, but we rode out some of the trickier moments and managed to walk the ball in a couple of times. It'll be interesting to see how some of our injury concerns pull up... Joseph Youssef came off at halftime, and Coveny didn't start (that's if he's injured of course... could've been somewhere else). De Nittis and Nunes with the goals, Nunes' goal being his first for the club - apart from the own goal he scored at Paisley Park last year... and he was quite visibly hapy to score it too. A nice way to celebrate Fernando's 100th South game, and he showed his appreciation to the fans after the match.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

I should have mentioned...

...that last Wednesday this blog earned me a $30 book voucher at the Victoria University Bookstore. Awesome. We had some sort of mostly poorly planned and publicised "Read, Write, Debate, Fete' thingo on, and my mentioning that I do this blog at the open discussion on blogs and biographies was the starting point of my eventual obtainment of the aforementioned voucher. Took about 17 months to get something worthwhile out of this, but it's something.

SMWFC Round 5 Results

The girls were playing the Bendigo Vipers out in Benalla for some reason... the ressies had a surprise 4-2 loss, but the seniors notched up their 2nd consecutive road victory with a 2-0 win, courtesy of an Aimee Benton double.

Friday, 8 May 2009

A Note On The Forgetting Of Australian Football History - with guest writer Gweeds

Hi everyone, our friend Gweeds of the more than serviceable blog The Accidental Aussie sent us an email earlier this week to add his five cents to some issues I raised in my rundown of an interview with Ted Smith. He raises some interesting points I feel are especially pertinent, with particular emphasis on Australian's society's latent (though I'd be less inclined to treat it so benignly) xenophobic attitudes towards soccer and migrants - points which I've raised intermittently on certain forums, and which in actuality Ted himself touched upon not just in our interview but also in his chapter of Our Socceroos, a passage of which I'll quote before letting Gweeds have his say.

'Why is it that people look so fondly upon their favourite little Italian, Greek or Chinese restaurant, yet I play Wog Ball with those restaurateurs and, for some reason, our sport has never been looked upon in the same light?

Hi Paul,

I wanted to contribute to the latest post on 'South of the Border' but alas I don't have a google account, and as I found this out after I have written it :) I may as well email it to you anyway!



The usual issues of the forgetting Australian soccer history came up as well.

That paragraph tells so well what I feel as well. Unlike (I think ) yourself I am part of that group of football fans that was somewhat alienated by the fact that teams had strong links to a particular social group (despite being Italian myself) and really got into Australian football with the advent of the Carlton Soccer Club and now with Melbourne Victory.

However the more I get involved with Australian football my belief that its history must be acknowledged and highlighted gets stronger. There is no doubt that the 'ethnic' element in the sport had its negative sides (ie some unsavoury clashes between fans, but more damaging the bad administration of the Labozzettas and Scarsellas in the Soccer Australia days) but it must be asserted that without many groups supporting their teams through the years mainly in their free time football in Australia would not be where it is now. You have just have to look at many of the players forming the backbone of the national team to see how the 'ethnic' teams have contributed to the sport.

I also think that football is one of the few areas where people can be latently xenophobic without being accused of political incorrectess. The fact that the code is perceived to be foreign because it is played and followed by people of Non English Speaking Background demonstrate the belief that being 'Australian' has to conform to a narrow set of behaviour and beliefs. So a Silvagni is seen as a 'true aussie' because he plays aussie rules, while a Trimboli may not be seen in the same light because he played football.

But I also take your point that 'The New Australian migrants didn't seem and don't seem too interested in remembering what came before them on the soccer field', because as you say this re-enforce the idea that football is somewhat an import together with tiramisu and espresso coffee, something exotic and nice but not an integral part of Australian sporting culture (interesting to note that 'foreign imported games' such as rugby and cricket do not get the same treatment).

I believe that it was important for the FFA to have a break with the past, because even if unfairly, the perception of 'soccer' in the mainstream had to change. But I hope that one day after the FFA got over it allergy towards anything that is perceived to be 'old soccer' and recognise the contribution and the history of the past. But as long as we don't have football people who can competently manage the Association, and we have to resort from administrators from other codes, I can't see this happening.

The perception of football as a marginalised sport is changing. But part of that is to show that it is not a 'foreign; sport and it is part and parcel of Australian culture.

Another week, another game - Round 10, South Melbourne vs Altona Magic

Last Time They Met

South 1 Magic 0, last year at Lakeside

Sebastian Petrovich walked the ball over the line from a corner.


Things I will not be doing this week. Going to the pub before the game. Chanting. Reading or posting on smfcboard. Be missed.

Things I will attempt to do this week. Get my umbrella back. Watch the reserves game. Watch South win the main game.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Highlights from seniors and under 21s games

First up SMFCTV's highlights of the Oakleigh game. Lots of the ball and a few chances, but no goals.

Can't remember the name of the bloke who does these, but he's posted on here before and I appreciate his efforts in documenting some of what's going on at under 21 level. The result is disappointing from a South point of view, but Danny Radojicic's goal is brilliant.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A few digressions with Ted Smith

This was the third of my and Ian Syson's interviews/chats with former players and administrators... and this time we ended up with former Socceroo, Moreland, South Melbourne Hellas and Hakoah player and coach Ted Smith. So it's off to Caffe Sienna on Chapel Street. That's a regular haunt of his and a bit of a surprise to me, but it's an opportunity nevertheless for me to finally see this place that some smfcboarders like to frequent.

Now Ted at 74 is sharp as a tack - a phrase I will seek to avoid for awhile - but he does to love to digress a fair bit. So let me try and put in some sort of chronological order what went on in his career and involvement in the game. His first taste of senior football was with Moreland, one of the stronger teams prior to the migration influx, who even managed to hold their own briefly, winning the 1957 Dockerty Cup, the last major Victorian title won by one of the old Anglo teams before the utter dominance of the ethnics. During this time if I recall correctly, he also spent some time with the Victorian Colts, a sort of prototypical Victorian Institute of Sport, years ahead of its time and ultimately scuttled due to politics. Ted moved to Hellas midway through the 1961 season under Len Young, and left for Hakoah at the end of 1963 to join Hakoah.

I'd forgotten that Ted was amongst the people interviewed for Our Socceroos and so a little of what he had to say is already in that book, such as South's players receiving 70% of the gate takings after a win, 50% for a draw and 30% for a loss. Astounding and surely unsustainable numbers, but which in the vagaries of time and circumstance mean that these days they'd receive the princely sum of 4.75 each, as my friend Cuddles put it. It appears as if the long term was not something thought of too highly. which became a pattern repeated for far too long, to the demise of some clubs and to near the demise of others.

One thing that came through was the impression that soccer would find a foothold eventually in Australia, and not just minor one. Whether it would take over or simply peacefully co-exist with the local sporting culture - a point of view which neglects Australia's very long soccer history - was not elaborated upon, but it raised for some interesting questions about soccer's resilience even in the most hostile environments (and I'm counting both external hatred and internal mismanagement in that).

The issue of clubs and club loyalty came around as well - with so many players and even committee people jumping from club to club as they see fit, what does it do to the culture of our game? The effect is overstated perhaps, but it does potentially rob us of the feel good propaganda stories that other codes with more limited player movements might have - but this can just be a condition of having a multi-tied system, allowing for movement of talent upwards instead if just sideways as would happen in a suburban aussie rules competition.

The usual issues of the forgetting Australian soccer history came up as well. It was noted by myself and Ted that it's not only the current New Dawn movement which is involved with the process of forgetting, but rather it follows a pattern of historical forgetting, which goes back some time in the code but also crosses codes. The New Australian migrants didn't seem and don't seem too interested in remembering what came before them on the soccer field - and thus we have the whole 'wogs brought soccer to this country' argument. But we also have a lack of knowledge of players and clubs from other states - hardly surprising considering a wide range of factors - and it's a habit that's also intrinsic to the mythology of the AFL as well. Other competitions and their were not even sub-VFL - they don't even exist. But I digress.

But it wasn't all seriousness. Ted was happy to talk about some of the great players and coaches of the era. Manny Poulakakis was talked about in fairly glowing terms, in that he knew how to arrange a team on the park properly, but also as someone who once you found yourself on the outer, there was no way back. Con Nestoridis was described as someone who barely ran, and rather ambled, but who had excellent touch and control - his corner kicks were legendary in their time. Ted's experience of moving from one footballing culture to another was interesting too; from being just another bloke on the street while at Moreland, his time at Hellas saw his walks down Lonsdale Street garnering him minor celebrity status.

The best story perhaps was the tale of Slavia's match against a VFL combined side - at soccer. The 1963 Australian Cup champion Slavia won easily - hopefully we'll dig out the article one day - but what the VFL contingent thought they were doing at trying to play soccer against professional soccer players is anyone's guess. If they were trying to prove how easy the game was, they failed miserably. If they tried to prove how weak soccer players were, they also failed. Ron Barassi himself came off 2nd best in 50/50 challenge for the ball, injuring his knee. It's not the kind of thing that you'd hear much of the soccer knockers talking about though.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Offset 2009 looking for contributors

Here's the deal. Offset 2009 (or no.9 since Offset ditched the year system because apparently bookstores prefer numbers to years in series) is the annual literary and creative arts journal produced primarily by professional writing students at Victoria University. I have the privilege of being this year's managing editor. Now I know some of you fancy yourselves as writers - I know this because you've linked your blog to mine - so if you or anyone you know has anything of any worth, we'd love to see it. We're also putting together a multimedia DVD for the first time in the journal's history, so if you have some sort of short film or animation or whatever, we'd love to see it also. We're going up to 1000 copies this year - twice the usual amount and far more than pretty much every other equivalent journal. And we have a launch party at Readings in Carlton. And we'll all get rich and famous. Email us for any submission details and queries you may have.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Senior Women notch up first win of season

Great results for the women's teams today, with the ressies kicking things off with a 4-1 demolition of Preston, sending them to the top of the ladder, and the seniors picking up their first win with a 3-2 result at BT Connor. Great to see some of the players at men's game as well.

Where's my umbrella? South 0 Oakleigh 0

I lent it to Steven last week, so he could walk home from the Hume City game and be at least a little dry. Now it's not that I'm desperate to have it back - I have several brollies and another one similar to the lent one but with a hook end instead of just a straight and short end - I guess this is just my way of saying, we had our chances today, plenty of the ball, but couldn't score. Oakleigh play pretty crappy football, and rely on individual spark rather than any sort of method. Ah well, Magic at home next week, and three pretty important points to pick up before our seemingly customary three week mid-season away spell.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Get well Sammy

A bit slow to get on here, but former South player Sam 'Rockem Sockem' Poutakidis was recently hit by a truck while riding to work, breaking his leg in several places. South of the Border wishes Dr Evil all the best in his recovery, and hopes it's not the way to end his career.

Kati Derby Day - Round 9 South Melbourne vs Oakleigh

Last Time They Met

South 3 Oaks 1

We scored from a short corner. It was therefore kinda inevitable we would win.


I'm waiting to see which ex-South player will score on the day. Will it be Ricky? Trent? Robbie? Deano? It won't be Damianos, as he's suspended. That helps a bit.