Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goran Zoric signs 2 year deal with Police United

Well there you go, it's official (in Thai). Thanks to Tony for keeping us up to speed with what's been going on over there, we'll try our best to keep up with Goran's Thai adventure. South of the Border wishes him all the best at his new club.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Forgot one thing, but no surprise really.

Two years of doing this thing. Just eight more years before it earns me a life membership, so I can then grumble like the rest of the life members about having to pay the $50 life membersip renewal fee. But like that will ever happen.
This is what happened this year. No value judgments.
  • Less articles, in part because there were no interstate trips, no A-League bid, and the Eels' Hombre Lobo was actually a pretty crappy record.
  • Talked to public service people about stuff.
  • Pissed off some people intentionally.
  • Pissed off some people unintentionally.
  • Didn't change the layout a billion times.
  • Lost Cliff to muzzadom.

Thankyou to CC White for another win, Ian for free books, Cuddles for telling me all the things I can't say, Psile for matching my cynicism stride for stride, Gains for providing a stupid sense of hope that this club's support base can be replenished, Tony for letting me be a quizmaster, Mildura Vasili for being a fan, Michal for being on msn a lot, Nick 'the other Polish South fan', the Offset no. 9 team for putting out a decent book, and the people who had my back went it counted - you know who you are.

You know, like, whatever

Last week we here at South of the Border deliberately ignored the Battle of La Trobe Street stoush where several Victory fans/keyboard warriors attacked the Duke of Kent Hotel because some Sydney FC fans were drinking there. But along came the winner for biggest genuine New Dawn comment of the year.

The rivalry goes back many years, when emotions between former National Soccer League clubs sometimes turned ugly. Many hardcore supporters of clubs such as Sydney Olympic, Marconi, Sydney United, South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights stuck with their clubs when the A-League began. Some were put off by what they saw as a ''manufactured'' league with no tradition. Many made the transition and the Victory and Sydney FC also drew in thousands of new supporters. However, a small number of agitators are unwilling to move with the times.

David Sygall, you're an idiot. But then again, he's only following the template set out years ago.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Four doors in an appointment

When posting the news about Goran 'Gozza' Zoric allegedly set to sign with Police United, I was unable to read nor provide any sort of usable translation of fellow member of the blogosphere Tony's piece on the matter. Fear not good reader, for we have been provided with a translation by our Polish correspondent via google's translation function. It still makes more sense the Ultimate Warrior's comic book from the mid 1990s though.

After news came to know some. But not that much interested in anything. Soccer is Aassie from Melbourne to test the foot with a friend, police team. I have been appropriate in the interests of this player today and treasured Eastern. It informed the press in Thailand that. Soccer this close to becoming one of the very police troops Soccer friends.

According to the data for the Global Hotel run by Eric web site and blog sites are different enough to make that this player. Same pace uncommon. And should make enough friends, fans, police teams have peace of mind initially. If he has to join the team. Try not believe he shot clips help Boasting a team of South Melbourne to 4 doors in a single appointment. Appointment of a war game in Victorian Premier League Seasons past. 

Goran Zoric trialling in Thailand

Here's how I figure it: if some random dude from Sydney knows about it, then chances are others do too. Goran Zoric had been rumoured amongst other places to be going to Green Gully and Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Both of those are not true. What Goran has been doing is trialling in Thailand, apparently at Chonburi. But this Thai student studying in Australia called Tony, who seems to be a real football nut, especially for all things Thai football - he writes a column for a local Thai newspaper - who knew we had one? - and also has his own blog on aussie soccer (it's in Thai, but there's an smfctv clip showcasing Zoric's four goal haul against Preston - that was a good day) - anyway, this bloke reckons, as posted in the comments section of a recent article, that he's now trialling at Police United, who have seemingly bounced between the top two tiers of Thai football.

So, to answer your question from that page Tony - here it basically is. I think Goran's a player of some potential. Despite having trials with Melbourne Victory's youth team, he's been overlooked for a full place in that squad. He's quick, he can dribble a little bit - more than a great deal of Aussie players anyway - has half decent control, and at South has been played as either a right winger or as a small forward playing off a bigger striker, such as Vaughan Coveny. His finishing is ultimately what lets him down, as sometimes he can be a little tentative or even cute with it. When his confidence is up though, that is not an issue. And as attested in the fact that he trialled with the Victory youth squad, he's still young - I'd tell you exactly how old he is, but the player details have been taken off the South website in preparation for next year.

Thanks for writing in Tony! And good luck to Goran if a club over there decides to pick him up! 

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Melbourne Knights dig hole to 1987. Or something.


I'm bored. I don't like Christmas, the FFV didn't manage to get the 2010 VPL fixtures out before they went on their well deserved 18 month break, and I'm getting over some sort of short lived but kinda punchy flu thing. People also aren't sending me their Offset reports so I can make a pretty folder for next year's group, so it will likely appear that I am writing more nonsense than usual.

The Main Part

It's not often that it happens, but every now and again we at South of the Border like to take a look at what's happening at place that aren't South Melbourne. Because you know, we love to whinge about the board, the team, about losing our Greekness, and that most cardinal of sins, selling out to THE (Zionist) MAN, that sometimes we forget how good we have it compared to others.

We could talk about Preston sinking to State League 1, but there for the grace of Dawkins go I and all that. We could talk about Heidelberg's endless shenanigans, but that would necessitate a whole other blog - try out their HUFC-TV, if it's still working, for how not to do a vodcast. Or we could we like the remnants of the once mighty Brunswick Juventus, broken into a million pieces and scattered across this great brown land, one team with the trophies, one team with the grounds, one team with the colours, and several other clubs blended, decanted and spat out along the way. Or George Cross, who owned their own ground, seemingly never made an improvement to it in the 25 or so years they were there, sold it 15 times, boast that at least they had their own venue, but don't seem from an outsider's point of view to know where they're going, what they're doing, and are more akin to being the mule with the spinning wheel.

But instead we'll talk about the attempted regeneration of what was once a mighty foe, who like us was dumped from the top flight or humbly chose to withdraw from those aspirations, depending on whose version of events you go by. The glory days of the Melbourne Knights - or Melbourne Croatia as they were once known - are long gone, especially from the heady on field days of the mid 1990s, where their machine, by a probable combination of good management and fortune took all before it, before its best and brightest left to light up the world's football stage.

After a decade's worth of decline on the park and off it, as the local Croatian community, with a newly independent homeland secured and the relative flood of immigration drawing to a mere trickle - pretty much like every other European community - local crane entrepreneur and alleged underworld identity Matt Tomas took over with a plan. The plan was to take the Knights forward, into the boldness of tomorrow. There were tangible differences and speculative fairytale stuff that's harder to pin the compass of truth on. The more or less truth. More money was splashed around, and results, at least initially, seemed to improve. They got to a grand final, which they lost in the 120th minute. They got massive sponsors on board, including online gaming behemoth Mansion88 - who also sponsor the Tottenham Hotspur - and they even repainted the Mark Viduka Stand - hell, they even got Mansion88 as the ground's naming rights sponsor.

Off the field, the stories flew into FourFourTwo Australia's inbox thick and fast. They were going to move to Melton. They would be part of the 2nd Melbourne A-league licence bid. They'd become a feeder to Adelaide United, after Tomas and friends would take it over. Stuff like that. Stuff that seemingly never happened. And to do all that, the club would have to be de-Croatianised. A club which, even in the heady mainstreaming days of the NSL, barely made a tokenistic effort to open up - and it was their absolute right not do to so - was heading head first into the future. And the majority of its support base, those that were left anyway, were not impressed. Every club must have a reason for being. The reason doesn't always stay the same, but there must be something to underpin why anyone would bother to turn up and do what needs to be done to keep such an operation in motion. The reasons that Tomas and his board provided - a board that included former South board member Jim Marinis - didn't seem to wash with the majority of the diehards.

And so, at their recent AGM, Tomas and friends seemingly left, and the vacuum was filled by other people, with a new agenda. Well, perhaps not so much a new agenda, but rather a very old one. To go back to the past, and to do it unapologetically. An old logo, with the grb's checkerboard pattern replacing David Hill's mandated diamond scheme. A membership campaign highlighting the importance and centrality of the club to Australian Croatian identity, and the importance of Croatian identity to the club. A Croatian club for Croatians - pretty much everyone won't be excluded as a matter of practice, but the emphasis has been turned inward - while most of the old school wog clubs of any note have dithered on which direction to take - the vague promises of the future or the direction the Knights have chosen. Will it work? I have my doubts. It all seems too much like St George Budapest circa 1975, but with even less optimism and less opportunity to make something great out of it. It all seems rather reactionary than anything resembling a genuine plan.

What does this have to do with South? Well apart from them stealing entire passages from our own membership campaigns - see the 'Member get member section' of their 2010 membership brochure - it provides a chance for the two different reactions to the post-NSL landscape to be somewhat compared. Of course, the clubs come from different angles, have always had different reasons for being, and substantially different cultures - but it'll be interesting to see if either plan works. South's 'Need more Greeks' contingent is largely defeated, but as the events of the recent 2009 finals loss to Hume showed, sadly not entirely gone (Shane Nunes was racially abused by a couple of our so called fans, as well as hearing the catch cry of needing more Greeks who'd play with passion for the shirt, allegedly).

And it also shows two clubs who, in spite of the FFV's utter neglect in promoting or reforming the VPL, are at least taking matters into their own hands. It's not always entirely someone else's fault when things go wrong. Sometimes it can even be no one's fault at all. But at least taking a stance, following one direction, wherever it may lead, is a sign that these two clubs at least are seeking to take control of their own destiny. It's easier for some than others, of course. Cash, cultures, locations, history and demographic compatibility with the urgency of now, plus the question of how long committees with grand dreams can be held together. We'll see in time where it all ends up. And here I was thinking there wouldn't be anything to write about for the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 21 December 2009

It was rather appropriate really...

...that the more time I spent off the field, the better the mighty Clarendon Corner Whites did against those dastardly Clarendon Corner Blues. In a remarkable game, the Whites came from 3-1 down (3-2 at the break) and 5-4 with eight minutes to play, and in the face of some disgraceful refereeing to seal a famous 7-5 win. Can you believe that not once in the four times this game has been played, has the side leading at half time won? HavingLeo Athanasakis and Tom Kalas helped immensely - having George Triantos not so much. But it was a team effort that got us over the line after all looked lost. I am so sore today. Oh, and nobody cares what happened in the main game. Ole!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Hellenic Cup 2010

A title to defend. We've been grouped in the North/West section, which this season is actually in the north and/or west. Yarraville to be more precise. Whose ground is actually in Spotswood. They have better souvs than Bentleigh at least, and their proximity to my place is a cause for celebration. As for the fixturing, you can head to the website for all the rest of the organisation's games - our women are apparently fielding two sides in opposite side of their draw. It does not appear to be the most difficult draw in the world - mind you, there is a paucity of Greek backed teams in state 1, and the VPL teams have been kept away from each other as you'd expect.

Sunday January 24th
South Melbourne FC vs Altona East
Kick Off - 5pm

Thursday January 28th
South Melbourne FC vs Essendon United
Kick Off - 7pm

Saturday January 30th
South Melbourne FC vs Lalor
Kick Off - 5pm

Tuesday February 2nd
South Melbourne FC vs Keon Park
Kick Off - 7pm

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Monday, 14 December 2009

Mellas, Patitsas, gone

Usually when the AGM rolls around and resignations happen at around the same time, the announcement is made in front of the members. Not so yesterday for some reason. Indeed, they didn't even sit with the rest of the board. What does it all mean? Who knows, and perhaps it doesn't matter anyway, I'm probably reading too much into it. Still, it would have been nice to know what heir future plans were, why they gave up their spot on the board etc.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

It's done

The AGM passed the motion giving permission to the board to continue negotiating with the government on the Lakeside redevelopment.

And it was great, after several flat AGMs, to see a passionate response on several issues from the membership - and the board - when it counted.

One shouldn't count their chickens before they hatch - but this may genuinely be the real deal, this time, after several false new dawns.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

And another thing

This is the last word I'll have anywhere online about this. From here on in, just look it up yourselves.

The so called $3000 rule, as it stands, is a myth.

It does not relate to transfers. It relates to development fees, the regulations and gradings of which are implemented by FIFA.

Depending on whether a player signs their first or second professional contract, $3000 or $5000 is split between the clubs they were at between the ages of something like 12 and 21.

Transfers in Australia are capped at 50% of what's remaining on the player's contract. So hypothetically if Carl Recchia (for demonstration purposes only, snigger) signed with us on a 1 year contract at $1000 a game, and an A-League club wanted to snare him 4 weeks before the end of our season, the maximum we could ask for is $1000 - half of what is left due to him.

In reality, it really is just an update of what Paul Wade did back in the day - he'd demand 1 year contracts with a maximum transfer clause - with the added assistance of the Bosman ruling and an over supply of dumb clubs overspending on over the hill park footballers and their counterpart greenhorns who are rightly milking the cash cow for as much and as long as they can.

And just how stupid can these clubs get? Well apart from board member and pleb fan alike still running an incorrect line 5 long years after it all went to shit, there are clubs who still insist on paying their players under the table payments, which in the event that a player is picked up by an A-League club, they can't sell him for what they're actaully paying him! It's fucking genius stuff.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Could it be that one small voice, doesn't count in the room?

So sang Michael Stipe nearly 30 years ago, with a poignant yearning, or something. Anyway, before I lose my train of thought, this has nothing to do with South Melbourne Hellas, the game of futebol, or anything else that would interest 99.9% of my readership.

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way home from an outing with my youngest brother. Waiting at the bus shelter, I get this call from an unrecognisable number. Straining to hear over the Mason Street traffic, I eventually agree to attend a session where I would be a part of a student panel being surveyed about our experiences at Victoria University. I've been recommended by one of the higher ups. I get the email detailing the when and where the next day, and my elation is slightly dampened, because apparently it'll be one 45 minute session. But there's be lunch. Neat.

So the day finally comes, when I can unload all my praise and loathing. But no. The couple of Arts students that have bothered to turn up are lumped in with the Education students. Again. I say again, because this is what happens a lot in my course - education students are required to take some electives, and a lot of them end up in literature and writing classes. And the problems with that are multidimensional. Education students are required to take weeks off to perform their placements at schools - so either everyone who stays behind keeps going, disadvantaging those doing their placements, or we collectively miss weeks every time they go, meaning we lose a ton of momentum, as well as force a 12 week semester's worth of work into 10 weeks. Not good for anybody. Couple that with the fact that a fair proportion of the education students have little passion or interest for what they're learning and are only there because they have to be, and it gets even messier.

So, the point being, once again, the needs of education and arts students are lumped together. So while there were similar threads running through the discussion - about staff, facilities, course structures - overall, it just didn't fit. And it only went for a half hour. There was not a single comment made by the students in that room that I felt was a waste of time. But it had barely scratched the surface of what could have been covered - certainly some of the other students when speaking later thought I could have gone for a couple of hours at a bare minimum. So no, not a complete waste of time, but this is why time-share accommodation sucks. Just a little taste, but never the whole pie.

I really like Victoria University. Academically, its emphasis on class contact and partipation suits me very well. But at the St Albans campus, socially it's a desert. There's no union presence. There's no common lunch hour to even begin thinking about orgainsing a club or society. There's no pub. The food's shit. And they're going to stuff another few hundred or thousand people there when they shut down Melton and Sunbury. The sessionals, who are sometimes teaching courses they've created themselves, have one small common computer lab. I could've gone on and on. And I felt I was robbed of that chance today. Or maybe it's the fact that they, the questioning panel of academics and university admin, know exactly what's wrong, and it was more of a perfunctory exercise. That's harsh to say, but half an hour, being grouped together with the students of a different stream - why?

Let's be honest for a moment

Because this blog is full of heinous lies most of the time.

Isn't AGM time the happiest time of the year? I certainly think so. All the fun of hearing bigmouth motherfuckers, even people I more or less like, become weak as kittens when they come face to face with a bloke armed with a Powerpoint presentation and a microphone set to a dodgy level.

It's not an election year, that's next year if they get enough candidates, and there was thing called the Global Financial Crisis - which for so many people is just the continuation of their relative poverty, and nothing particularly special - so a few people anecdotely at least, didn't buy a social club membership. And the funny thing about that is? This year the club has made a pledge to check names at the door so that only voting rights members can get in. Brilliant, just the way it should be. And there will not be the allowance of proxy voting.

If you are unsure if this includes you, ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. Did you get a letter in the mail about the AGM
  2. Are you a Heritage Club member?
  3. Part of the Southern Cross Corporate Coterie?
  4. A South Gold member, like me?
  5. Paid up Life Member?
  6. A holder of a Family membership, which allows one vote?

If you couldn't answer yes to any of these questions, you probably won't be allowed in. If you're not sure, and hell, why trust the info on a random poorly spellchecked blog, contact Nicki up at the club. Or even pop in and say hi, and leave your name in the guest book.

So what are going to be the big issues this year? The redevelopment of course and the juniors. That's no secret. And to be fair, most of my questions have been answered by the board and government public service types, and I've parlayed most of the info that I've been able to towards you, the loyal readers of this blog. So this year I reckon I'll take a backseat, leave the clipboard at home, and just enjoy the ride, and the power that comes with getting a vote on the most crucial matter since the club sank down to peepee soaked heckhole that is the VPL. I can sense one board member in particular breathing a sigh of relief at that.

For those concerned at about any pent up aggression I might have, I'll be getting my organisational performance review angry question and answer jollies off at a tailor made session today for Victoria University's Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development. And I also get lunch at the end of that.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

What does South Melbourne Mean To You? Gala Ball Edition

South of the Border tried to get its head on this, but was not able too. Pity. Too many names to list in the labels section.

And another thing

Fuck you Blogger and your fucking 200 character limit in the labels section.

Daniel Vasilevski joins South too

Yep, the drip feed of press releases keeps coming. Should be over soon though.

And speaking of righteous indignation

A portion of Les Murray's speech at the gala ball has been approved for released to the masses. And hey, there's a couple of interesting cameos too.

Stella to Siena

The Prince of Stepovers, Francesco Stella, has signed with Serie A side Siena - who have apparently promptly loaned to some random chips and mayonnaise outfit in Belgium's second division. Good luck to the kid, at least he entertained. By the way, he was on an amateur contract, so all we get is a slice of the development fee.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Carl Recchia signed up

Cynicism prevails somewhat. South's a great club. Hell, any club's a great club when all is new and you've just joined up, and the sun is shining in the summer time.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The week that was

Peter Zois signed up. So did Marinos Gasparis and James Stefanou. Is that enough Greeks now? Joe Montemurro is back 21s coach. I helped pack away some chairs and had a club sandwich. We got the low down about how the children are our future. And Laura and Amelia Spiranovic got a feature article done about them in the Geelong Advertiser. I didn't realise they were both so young.

Children - Children - Future - Future

It was a not particularly well attended event. Which was a pity, because while yes, on a weeknight it may be difficult for some people to attend, a lot of the forum grumble bums weren't in attendance. But meh. I didn't take any notes last night - for some reason I didn't feel that it was necessary - but here's the gist.

For those who've kept up with the redevelopment stuff, there was nothing particularly new. The financial repercussions will be discussed at the AGM - where only eligible members will be allowed entry, with names checked against the door. That should be fun.

The new FFV constitutional requirements were gone over very briefly - they will apparently have no great bearing in how we run our operations. New board member Tom Kalas gave a summary of his 90 minute version of his youth development/academy plan. Considering the very small attendance, it managed to receive a rousing reception.

I will say this though. I don't know if I should be taking any personal credit for it, because really, it's probably just a natural and long overdue cultural change, but the calibre of questions seems to be improving. I'm looking forward to the AGM next week.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009