Sunday, 28 June 2009
Anyway, the rest of the strip looked tip top.
The goals we did score were of a decent quality.
The shots we fluffed were a disgrace.
We kept a clean sheet.
And now we have a bit of a break.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
Ok that was a lie. Anyway, over to Chris now. I'll be posting a response to it eventually within the comments section, and as usual, if you would like to send something in, send it to me, at email@example.com .
The Trials and Tribulations of the Post-NSL Era
As I read Paul's blog, I realise the differing paths of our respective football clubs. I as an old NSL supporter still able to support my team in a plastic, franchise style league where attendance means more than the quality of support. The cataclysmic journey of the pathways two giants of the world game in the late 1990's is one to record for future generations, here is my take on South Melbourne and Perth Glory's post NSL history.
There were three big clubs in the NSL Perth Glory, Sydney Olympic and South Melbourne. These three seemed to have that added impetus in terms of a culture that bred success as compulsory not an option. Winning a right, not a privilege. Only one of these clubs remain in the A-League.
Forget Adelaide United and Newcastle United, they have little to celebrate from the NSL, we do. South Melbourne supporters also have much to celebrate.
Indeed my fondest memories come from the NSL days. Other than a few last minute goals against clubs such as Sydney FC and the ever annoying Newcastle Unite.
Both fans seem to be dissatisfied of what we don't have. The matchday experience, success, not being the top dog in the pack, our whole club culture neatly being packed into the A-League. Matt Carroll trying to strangle the values and culture that had been established by Glory, not being in the elite competition, dwindling crowds and finances.
South Melbourne fans seem to decry incompetent league administrators, the pitfalls of participating in a league that doesn't have the TV rights, sponsorship that would sustain better standards of football. However they are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture which has not been forced to change or challenged by new age football. They can act and do what they like without the glare or control from the governing body. They have freedom to express and continue the same match day experience they have had for 30 years. They have not had to fight for their clubs very identity, colours and history.
I watch the MCF crew who are from another world that I grew up in, completely foreign to my Anglo-Saxon community on the urban fringe of Perth. I see the Knights and I hate them more than any A-League club. I don't want them to win, fuck em, let them die. I miss this, I have honestly no club I could name that I have this sort of passion for hatred due to our poor performance restricting any decent club rivalry. The Newcastle United one is building up, especially with a thinly veiled insult by a Newcastle fan at the Socceroos pre-match regarding how many championships we have won? Bastards, we have one more title than you...
South Melbourne still has this.
I click, Perth and South Melbourne fans are both dissatisified. Glory had gone through the last four years were in all honesty many times it was a chore to go to the games. The venue, atmosphere and culture during the FFA era had been trampled on and life support was the strongest imagery I had of the club. Up until this off-season me and my friend a few years younger than me were jealous of what South Melbourne had?
Only to an A-League supporter...
I have deep suspicion for the FFA, as do most Glory fans. Sage has made a habit for mostly positive publicity purposes to attack the FFA. Indeed as a Western Australian if you don't attack the national body or Federal Government you do not gain popularity. It works well, Sage is a masterful businessma.
We have a club however that has divisions within the home end, wristbands, chanting and GSSC governance major themes that never resolve themselves. Just underlying tensions that involve official comments attacking other fans on websites when the infighting goes overboard. We also have a desire that our history must be protected - at all costs. Public outrage at colour change, name change and the Carrol inspired declaration that ruined Glory's 10th birthday.
This is our NSL culture that had run head on with an FFA that declared a national policy of newness, excitement and anti-NSL at the beginning. We are a club stuck in the wrong league. But a club too big to die. We have to compromise.
South Melbourne have nothing culturally to impede their culture, their fans are much more content because they have not had the fights against FFA and club administration to maintain our values and colours. Nothing at a Glory home game is the same, except the fans and the culture within the venue. As much as Carroll would have liked, he never could change that.
Indeed you strip out the spanky new stadiums on the Gold Coast and the new bubble dome as its been affectionately called by the folks at Austadiums and you wonder what is there? How could I ever be involved in a club that has been told who it is rivals with, has home end supporter culture sanctioned and controlled by the club. Look at the impediments of the Roar Supporters clu.
Welcome to the A-League.
We now have no club song, no longer the team everybody wants to beat, we have failure, misery and for the most part of our A-League history off-field incompetence.
I go to South Melbourne v Melbourne Knights at the humble Knights Stadium and I hear stories of corruption, hardly any clubs in profit and despair that this proud club has been reduced to this level.
Am I any better off than a South Melbourne fan?
No, the era post-NSL has been very difficult for both of us. But we probably should have seen it coming, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I think in the long run we both have the same culture, the same passion. We are brothers in kind, Glory despite being a new club at the end of the NSL embraced its history because the so called ethnic clubs did, we are a product of the league we were created in. The club itself was the lifeblood of the community, the politics would mean that you did not talk to another fan for weeks on end...three months later when it died down you had a beer with them until the next time hell broke loose.
We have both made sacrifices in the post NSL era, Glory are now associated with ineptitude and failure from both their old fans and those from opposing fans. Both clubs will have to deal with unsavoury situations as we have been transported into a league that is not our domain. Not ours to bitch about, we are a club in a foreign league fighting to maintain our clubs identity in a league that neither respects or in many cases cares of what we have previously done for Australian Football. We are nobodies...
South Melbourne will win the VPL and hopefully look at an FFA Cup into the future to present itself to the nation. It may never get back to the top league, but by god despite the 'Greek' slur being put on them, their fans and the club essentially have the same desires as Perth Glory fans.
The re-awakening of Glory has come about with understandings of our past and the positivity we view it in. I do hope in 100 years time Football historians understand this and reflect accurately the NSL and not forget about it like many within the FFA headquarters wished at the beginning of the A-League.
Indeed, South Melbourne and Perth Glory fans united in challenges will both have similar joys when success returns, regardless of whether they are in the A-League or Victorian Premier League.
We just both happen to play in a foreign league, that in one way or another is not really to our liking.
Round 5? Yeah, that was it I think. It was at Lakeside even though it was the Zebras home game because the FFV and associated types didn't think the Whittlesea Zebras playing in the last two seasons were the Whittlesea Zebras anymore. Or ever. Or something.
Whittlesea Zebras 1 South Melbourne 3
Hey, at least we won the game.
What I mean to say is that this week, much to the annoyance of some douchebags, we'll be wearing a version of our first strip because it's Foundation Week or Day or Round or something. Probably not Foundation Day though, because that would be sometime during January or February. Foundation Day was also the name of my former high school's fete/muck round/waste of time day, when we celebrated Jeff Kennett forcibly merging two high schools and two technical schools to create a public school which increasingly started behaving like a private school in its advertising, presentation and public demeanour. Well that's what I thought at the time anyway; I've lost contact with pretty much all of that eight years on.
Anyway, Foundation Day was... nah, you don't care about what that was all about do you.? How the guess how many lollies in the jar comp was rigged? The cheap cinnamon donuts left after the eating contest. Being compelled to watch a crappy movie if you didn't want to mingle with the kool kids at the disco. Bushwhacked anyone? And is it just me, or do heaps of these dropkicks or working class types in American films have Polish names? Probably just me. Anyway. Because there's a game on this week, maybe we should have a loot at that.
The Zebras are shite, but not as shite as Preston. Which means we should win, but we probably won't, because we're all over the shop at the moment.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
One story ends, another begins
You may or may not remember but last year I launched a new independent football e-zine called the84thminute with lots of grand plans for it to be the fans’ voice of football. However, with increased pressures at work and scoring a writing gig for FourFourTwo Australia I was unable to give it the full attention that it deserved and thus it has gone neglected and now will longer continue.
It was fun whilst it lasted and I thank all those who contributed articles. Whilst it’s sad to not continue with this project, that sadness is balanced out by the fact that I have started a new architecturally based blog call i don’t wear black. And don’t worry this blog will never go neglected.
Damn shame. Could have been something really good. One less link in the hall of fame then.
Friday, 19 June 2009
For those who want to know how he went, keep reading. His first question was with whom is actor/singer Vanessa Paradis in a relationship with, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Con guessed Johnny Depp, and moved one question closer to heaps of money.
Alas, the next question brought our hero undone. Asked with which part of your body would you genuflect, he answered wrist. Poor Con, the answer is of course, knee. So Con bowed out of the running and I stopped caring.
Round 4 2009 at South Melbourne footy club's ground
South Bitters 2 Melb Cro Bitters 1
Horsey is back, tell a friend. Crowd violence expected when the Geordie fans take on one of the two people who support Sunderland in Australia. Plenty of other dickheads, some flags, maybe a banner or streamer or letter folding machine. But there better be no morons asking why I don't support the A-League. Someone's already predicted an open match with plenty of poor finishing. I reckon there's a goal in this game somewhere though.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
So I went to the Australia - Japan match last night. Not under duress mind you. But it was a strange experience. But let's start from the top.
I had a fair few choices as to who to go with... but first in and best dressed was an Internet associate of mine from Perth via Adelaide... or is that Adelaide via Perth... nevermind. I'd delayed in purchasing a ticket for some reason, maybe to see if others wanted to join us, but they didn't. So Great Southern Stand about five rows back in what would normally be the Punt Road End forward pocket about 30 to 40 metres out. Tickets at $42 a pop.
But first things first. I arrange to meet with Chris at Federation Square, where he'll be with some of the Austadiums crew. They're friendly enough, even if the first call is 'no club colours' (lacking any Socceroo gear, I was wearing me South scarf and beanie) and one member asked to try to on my glasses (you wouldn't ask a paraplegic if you could try out his wheelchair... then again I don't know you, so you might - but I think you get my point regardless).
More than the flakes of ash landing on me from their cigarettes, what I found most interesting about this encounter was the lack of football talk that wasn't A-League related. It's winter, it's the A-League off season, so what else entered the discussion? Local soccer? Not one bit. The group, with members from five states, discussed mostly WAFL, SANFL, VAFA etc... and the myriad inter city politics of the Green and Gold Army.
I did get grilled though by one chap about why a club would choose to take up the role of outsiders by focusing just on one ethnic community. How to answer a question like that asked with the earnestness of the converted? I said they were treated like outsiders from the start so why wouldn't they choose to head down that path? And if this is a genuinely pluralist society, why should there be barriers on the existence of a diverse range of clubs, including those who choose to cater for a very small segment of the population? Historically these clubs have a shelf life of about 40-60 years - why not let it be on their own head if they fail due to the restrictive nature of their clientele? Mind you, he didn't seem to recognise the fact that ethnic clubs were obliged to change their names in the mid 1990s... and at various time before that too, but that's another story.
Some of us headed down towards the new Swan Street Stadium under construction. There's happy snaps of the sporting precinct, and jokes made at the expense of the legends of Australian tennis, who have bronze busts which often don't look very much like those who they're supposed to resemble - except for John Newcombe, but you could just make a bronze bit of his moustache and everybody would know who it is anyway. The stadium itself is an interesting work in progress. There's glimpses of what it might end up looking like that aren't an 'artist's impression', but I guess no matter how cliched it sounds, we'll only really know what it'll look like when it's done. A stadium unlike anything built in Australia thus far I'm guessing, not necessarily a bad thing.
We then end up at the Corner Hotel, where the Green and Gold Army have decided to decamp for pre-match drinks and stuff. It's not a hostile environment, but there's something alienating about the experience - there's boasting about trip made to countless overseas Socceroos matches and as based on mere extra sensory perception as this is - and I don't like that at all - the stench of newness. There is nothing old about these fans, it's all new and it all seems to have come out of nowhere. But that's impossible, they must have come from somewhere - but where? There's hints in the day's discussions and perhaps on the countless Internet forum debates about this but the university student in me is starting to kick in, and I want something empirical, not emotional and based on personal experience and observations.
There's an SBS camera crew floating around with Mike Tomalaris interviewing people - I ponder for a moment whether I should get up and try and get on tv with my South stuff, but I'm no media whore, and besides, would they have even included me? Opportunity lost perhaps but we'll never know, because I'm dragged back to discussion on South and the A-League and B-Leagues. What's in store in the future for South? I don't know, because soccer keeps changing in this country, but hopefully with the stadium redevelopment we can be in a great position to take on any challenge, a reasonable enough answer. A brief rundown of the history the V, B, Eastern Seaboard leagues and their viability, and what scuttled them for my Canberran inquisitor.
And then the question that everyone's been waiting for - why don't you support the A-League? I run through my list of justifications, about atmosphere, and culture and whatever else my feeble mind can dredge up - but the best answer is of course that it's not my club. I have a club. It's South Melbourne. It's been my club since I was about eight years old. It's not entirely because I'm Greek - because by rights I should have been a Heidelberg fan like my old man - but it's the club, it's my club. I did give the new thing a go - but it wasn't mine, it was someone else's, for those who didn't have something. I had something, I have something, why the need to take on something else? South Melbourne is sufficient to my needs, more than sufficient in fact. My initial curiosity notwithstanding, the fact that I already had a club was merely reinforced with my season long experiment. Did I get through to my opposite number, a former Northern Spirit fan for whom the politics of ethnicity and football are worked into seemingly neat little packages, and thus supporting Sydney FC is a logical conclusion? I don't know, but I think there's some sort of breakthrough, a small opening in the time-space continuum that separates us.
Chris and I then head out for something eat. We walk up Swan Street and decide on the Mexicali Rose. I like the vibe of the place, but the food is a little pricey for what they're putting forth, especially portion wise. My pollo con avocado is quite nice, except someone's over grilled the chicken so that it's tough as hell. Overall not a terrible experience, and we can't just eat pub and cafe food all the time, can we now?
We make the trek towards the ground, and we arrive well before kickoff. After just getting though the gate I get this text message from a mate 'Lol at all th cocks w footy gear on'. Our seats are good. Real good considering how late I bought them. And we get four or five Greeks in the row behind us, who happen to have a sense of humour as well as some sense of history - a discussion they have about the lack of Greek Australian players lets me rip out a reference to Eric Hristodoulou which garners some recognition, an occurrence far removed from everything else that day.
The game itself is by no means spectacular. Australia's first half is simply dreadful, and we're getting killed down our left hand side. Not that Japan is playing scintillating stuff, but they deserve their lead regardless. The 2nd half is a vast improvement from the Socceroos, but the old Verbeekisms are still in plentiful supply... little width, slow movement of the ball, hit and hope skied balls to Kennedy. The Green and Gold Army barely raise a whimper throughout most of the game - sure you could hear them, but it was hardly stirring stuff. The Japanese support was evident, but also not particularly amazing. The flares amuse some but not me. There's some members of the Fanatics to my right, but for once they are not the most offensive people in the stadium. That award goes the knobs on our left who grow weary of the game quite early on and start persisting with attempts at getting a Mexican Wave going. Timmy Cahill does what he does best and gets Australia out of another hole, though to be fair Australia's 2nd half was better than Japan's 2nd. The 70,000 string crowd seems mostly content, but I worry about taking that style and form to the World Cup. I train and taxi it home, try to keep my eyes open to watch the Spain vs Iraq match but I give in. Maybe that's what they want us to do.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Meanwhile, sources close to South Melbourne have confirmed that a new co-tenancy stadium deal is close to being finalised. The State Government is believed to be keen to retain South Melbourne as a long-term anchor tenant to BJS, recognising South’s contribution to the Albert Park precinct. The BJS redevelopment will provide future benefit to the SMFC and ensure they remain a vibrant and active partner in the co-tenancy and South has been fully supportive of the BJS redevelopment.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Last Time They Met
Round 3, 2009 at BT Connor Reserve
Preston 1 South Melbourne 7
Home side scored in the first minute. And that's about all they did for the rest of the game.
South should win. Preston might come out fired up because it's a derby, or because it's the last go they'll have at us for a couple of years, or because the break will have re-vitalised them, but we should still win, because we have the quality on the park, and we need to start picking up some wins again.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
You can meet the players outside of a nightclub/mosque/courtroom setting.
You could get some exercise you fat lardo, by warming up with the players.
You sit in the dressing room. Michael Michalokopoulos' spittle dusts your forehead as he urges the players on to great heights - or berates them for their inability to even downhill ski properly.
You sit on the bench. You can either have a good old fashioned chinwag with the fringe players, or stand next to the coach (if he lets you) and pretend you were a certain former football director. Earplugs recommended, but are not included in this prize.
You eat dinner, putting back in the calories you lost waddling around Bob Jane Stadium in the pre-match warm up, and then some. Awesome.
And just in case no one believes you when tell them of your awesome adventure, you'll be filmed and your face plastered all over the internet, on smfcTV as part of a special feature dedicated to you.
If you want to be in the running for this experience, head to the ebay listing, which was at $91 last time I checked, and place your bid. If I had money and there was no running involved, I'd give it a go. But me and running haven't agreed with each other for a long time. Sad but true.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
For those like myself, unfamiliar with Hugh Murney, he was a Scottish footballer who came out here to play for Hakoah in the mid 1960s after having played all over the place in Scotland, and then also played or coached at many places, and so I enjoyed having my knowledge of obscure and now defunct Melbourne soccer teams validated, as we talked about Albion Rovers (before the Turks took over), Kew Park Rangers, Sunshine City etc. One of those rare occasions where all that time spent working on OzFootball didn't go waste.
And we also talked about the great characters he's met along the way, Eddie McGuire tucking into a Scottish breakfast at Hugh's pub before the Scotland/Australia game in the 1980s, Manchester United, England and Scotland touring teams, with plenty of stories about drinking and tongue in cheek jokes about the meanness of the Scots and the Jews. And an unprompted bit about Kostas Nestoridis, and him scoring two goals from corners in one game, after having been drinking and playing cards the previous night until well into the next morning. Oh, and Footy Show (co)creator Harvey Silver's involvement in local Jewish football.
There's a hell of a story in there, or at least, hundreds of anecdotes worth collecting and preserving. But he gave us the name of one bloke writing a book, called Michael O'Hara, who's written this bizarre book about his time in MI6, of which the segment I've chosen talks about the great Hakoah side of the mid 1960s, and some other stuff. Fascinating game, Australian soccer.
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
Moe: Bye-weeks. Bronco Nagurski didn't get no bye-weeks! And now he's dead! Well, maybe they're a good thing.
I am going to watch the 'Pies on Queens Birthday. It'll be my first game for the year. Watch us lose now.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's over 600 posts on here. Most are to do with South, of course. Some aren't. There's a bit of a hint in those posts, if one cares to read between the lines, that no matter how infatuated I may seem with South, there is more to my life than that... and the fact that other stuff gets short shrift here is no accident, because this is a South blog after all, and I reckon I'd get even less people hitting their bookmarks if it was a Paul Mavroudis blog. If however, one wants to listen and learn about some of what I do in my weekday life, tune into 102.7 RRR at about 12:15pm today, because I may may be making an in studio appearance on the wonderful Aural Text program to plug Offset 2009 and try and get a few more submissions for it. Here's hoping I both get on air, and that it turns out a lot better than my Nearpost gig, which when all is said and done, sadly didn't turn out that great. And I still haven't got my copy of the entire interview.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Monday, 1 June 2009
YOUNG TORN ABOUT MOVING TO MELBOURNE
State goalkeeper Neil Young has embarked on a brave new phase in his career by joining Victorian Premier League club Melbourne Knights. The long-serving Sorrento stopper jetted out of town on Tuesday evening and is likely to make his debut for the Knights in Sunday's game with Richmond. "It's a bigger stage in Melbourne and you never know what may come of it," commented Young on moving east. "I've only ever played for Sorrento so I'm looking forward to experiencing another club and improving myself as a player ... and to get a trial with an A-League club would also be nice."
The Knights, currently tenth in the twelve-team VPL, made initial contact with Young earlier this year. "They've been in touch since the roughly the beginning of our season and made me a pretty good offer," said Young. "It wasn't the easiest decision I've ever made as I'm leaving my wife and two young boys behind. And when I told (Sorrento coach) Steve Neville I was a blubbering mess - so was he I might add - then telling the boys before the game on Saturday again brought tears to my eyes. I've been at the club fourteen seasons and have a lot of mates there who I'd also call family."
And it's that camaraderie that Young says he'll miss most about not being a Sorrento player. "There's some great banter in the change rooms, Thommo, Todd, Macca, Ordy, Nuggs, Banksy, Monty and even Kilkelly are good team mates but are also my best friends and it will be hard not to miss them," said the 29-year old 'keeper. "Sorrento is a family. Tom Bartlett and Derek Harnwell are great men and have looked after me like one of their own sons. And Nevs is a quality coach and a mate, he's always there for his players."
Young kept goal during the most successful period in Sorrento's history and has many fond memories from his time at the club. "Winning the Premier League title three times, once as captain, rate as the highlight along with being named the 2006 Goalkeeper of the Year, it's great to get personal awards too," said Young, who on four occasions wore State team colours. "It's a great honour to be selected in the State squad, and to hold the number one shirt for the games I played is something I'll always cherish."
Off some WA club forum
His command of his area is also a tremendous credit to him, an on song Neil Young will win you games. Also very aware of his tendency to 'self destruct', If he was a painter he would have probably cut off both of his ears by now! At this point he probably needs a new challenge and possesses the talent to rise to it.