Sunday, 28 February 2010

First point there in six years - Altona Magic 1 South Melbourne 1

A failed clearance from a corner gave Altona the lead - an undeserved one, as up to that point we were the better team. The 2nd half saw gradual improvement, and we managed to get some reward late on for our efforts when defensive confusion in the Altona defense gave substitute Fernando De Moreas the chance to score - and he did, after rounding Tommi Tommich, who had a solid game as you'd expetc now hat he wasn't in a South uniform. A point more than we've got there the previous 5 years. Rama was caught drifting towards the middle too often, while Rhodri Payne had a very solid game at left back. The new players showed glimpses of what we'll be capable of this year, but I'm not sold on this only one man up front business. Bentleigh at home next week.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Pumpkin Seed Eaters back for 2010

The Pumpkin Seed Eaters are back - this time with promises to put episodes out on a more consistent basis. 2010's first episode is available for download here.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Here we go again - Round 1, Altona Magic vs South Melbourne

My previews suck just as much as my reviews, and I'm not sure if I can be bothered writing them anymore.

Last Time They Met

Round 21, 2009, at Paisley Park

Magic 3 South 0

Just a woeful performance.


Still haven't won a game at Paisley Park since rejoining the VPL. Good as chance as any to get a win over these guys, who have a new largely untested squad, and former South keeper Tommi Tommich in goals - who'll probably rip out several top notch saves just to piss me off. Had my wisdom tooth surgery yesterday, and I'm recovering well enough that I should be there on Sunday to witness the hilarity.

Futsalroos win ASEAN Zone final

They beat hosts Indonesia 3-0 - Fernando started the match, but did not score any goals this time around. Hopefully this win gives our lads a good seeding in the AFC finals in May.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Futsalroos beat Vietnam; now officially through to AFC titles

Fernando came off the bench and scored twice as the Futsalroos brushed aside Vietnam 4-1 in their ASEAN zone semi-final. They'll now play Indonesia again, this coming Friday in the final of the tournament. Well done to the lads and to Nando especially.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Scenes from the class struggle

How much does a souvlaki cost at Doxa Yarraville? Well, if memory serves me correctly, about $6. Add in a drink, and you're probably close to the $10 mark, with change to spare to buy a raffle ticket. So why was Heidelberg president Nick Katsakis handing out $100 dollar notes to one of his new English recruits during the Hellenic Cup? Especially considering that it's not general practice to pay players during the pre-season? And what would those players from previous years who have allegedly not been paid - such as diehard Alexandrino Tony Ouliaris, who went on what seemed like a heartfelt and justified rant on Facebook late last year - have to say about the matter. I'm guessing they wouldn't be too happy. Thanks to the person with the camera and quick reflexes to take the photo. Of course, this is a warning that there by the grace of Zeus go I - or as one of the Beastie Boys put it, be careful what you mock, because one day you might become it.

Crowds get smaller, media gets bigger

Firstly, you may have heard that GoalWeekly has now gone national. This is terrific news for the local game and the people behind that publication.

In an even more amazing twist though. the FFV will be showing one VPL match a week via internet streaming. Now, as is well known, when the FFV does bad, I give them the appropriate of stick. So now that they're doing something really very good, I have to give them a thumbs up. Reports are that the trial run last night went real well. Principal venues will likely be Knights Stadium, Green Gully Reserve, Lakeside and Olympic Park. 

Apart from the obvious potential sponsorship opportunities, it also provides an incentive for clubs in and around the VPL to build the appropriate facilities in order to cash in on this service. And it takes up the do it yourself ethos that I'm so fond of. Good move FFV - let's hope that this thing lasts and is expanded upon in the future.

Some sort of South Melbourne outfit 0 NTC 4

Only a few what you might call senior players had a hit out - the rest were under 21s, and they didn't give too good of an account of themselves. A couple of the NTC boys were moderately impressive. The rest of the night was spent talking about classic television shows, such as E Street.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Brief pre-season interview with assistant coach David Lugli

Futsalroos move through group stage of ASEAN qualifying group

The Futsalroos have finished on top of their group of three, after winning both their group matches against Myanmar (6-1) and Indonesia (4-1). Fernando has started both games so far on the bench, but has managed to snare a goal in each game. They'll be taking on Vietnam in the semi finals on Wednesday - a win enough to see them through to the AFC titles in May.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Opening match against NTC moved to tomorrow

A reminder that our opening match of the season  - sort of, as it's not for points, but cards do count - is on tomorrow at Lakeside, at 7:45. There under 21s will also be in action beforehand, and they will be playing for points.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

And sometimes you lose - Bentleigh win Hellenic Cup on penalties

We certainly had lour chances in this game, but it ultimately came down to the lottery of the penalty shootout - and despite having two shots to win it, we couldn't put either of those shots away, and thus had to settle for the runners up cheque. Pity. Some good sign though - Eddie Cetkin surprised many with a very good game in defense in particular.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

All the best to Fernando and the Futsalroos

While our boys in blue will be vying for the Hellenic Cup, our very own Fernando De Moraes will be over in Indonesia with the Futsalroos, in their quest to qualify for the 2010 AFC Futsal Championships in Uzbekistan in May. First up are Burma (Myanmar) tonight, and the host nation on Monday evening. It's a group of three (as opposed to the other group of four), and the top go through to the knockout stage - where the two finalists and the winner of the 3rd/4th place playoff qualify for the AFC titles. We'll try and keep you updated as best we can, or you can keep yourself informed with the AFC's rather good website.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Hellenic Cup finals on tomorrow

At Kingston City's ground, The Grange. Our Under 21s are involved, playing against Heidelberg, at 10am, if you can be bothered going. Our women (can we still call them that?) are not involved - they've lost some key players, though the main team pushed Heidelberg in the semis last week. The senior men are playing against Bentleigh at 6pm. It's our fourth final in 5 years - a then state league 1 Bentleigh knocked us out in the quarter finals at The Grange in 2008. Bentleigh were the last team to win back to back Hellenic Cups. Four teams have won the tournament in successive attempts - Northcote (1984-85), Oakleigh (1987 and 1990), Port Melbourne (1994-95), and Bentleigh (1996-97 and 2002-03). In the great scheme of things, this tarted up pre-season guff isn't worth much. But we're here now, the prizemoney's good, and it's a very nice trophy.

The One Club Policy and its Discontent

First up, the competing press releases, starting with the SMFC one. For those who've been trying to follow the kerfuffle going on in the background, it seemed a rather sudden resolution.

SMFC – Women’s News

Monday, 15 February 2010 6:44 PM

As of today, South Melbourne FC will be directly managing all of our club’s Girls’ Sub Junior (Under 7s, 9s, 11s teams) and the Junior Girls’ Under 14 team as well.

The SMFC Girls' teams will be playing out of the Albert Park Precinct.

All coaches will be appointed by Ange Dallas (SMFC Director of Football) and Maryanne Rizopoulos (SMFC Girls’ Coordinator), and will sign SMFC contracts which include:

1. Performance Review mechanisms
2. Responsibilities schedule
3. Football Federation Victorian (FFV) Code of Conduct provisions
4. Annual player written report processes
5. Adherence to the new SMFC Curriculum

In our 51st year, the club is entering a new phase of development both in the construction of new facilities at the Albert Park precinct and more importantly in the design and implementation of the new Youth program. 2010 will be an exciting new year and earmarking the foundation process of many new initiatives in both boys' and girls' junior development. As part of the implementation of the ‘One Club Policy’, all junior boys’ teams have come under the SMFC umbrella, as are the junior girls’ teams as well.

Our Women’s Senior, Reserves, State League 3, and Under 16 teams will continue to be operated by SMWFC for the 2010 season.

For any further enquiries regarding the Junior Girls’ junior teams, please contact our SMFC Girls’ Coordinator, Maryanne Rizopoulos on 0411 968 826 or

The response from SMWFC was swift - and they obviously did not agree that they had agreed to anything.

South Melbourne Women's FC - Club Statement

The South Melbourne Women's Football Club (SMWFC) purpose is to promote and develop female football, both for participation and elite pathways, for example - our Senior Team achieved 3rd place last season in the Women's Premier League. The club will field the following teams in 2010: Under 9s, Under 11s, Under 14s, Under 16s, State League 3, and Women's Premier League - Seniors/Reserves. We were the first club to setup girls teams in Port Phillip in 2005, and will continue to grow as part of our Strategic Plan. We have dedicated facilities for our players and SMWFC’s members will directly benefit from the Albert Park Re-development. At present, the club does not support the South Melbourne FC's attempts to manage and control our existing girls' teams. No agreement has been made for SMFC to operate SMWFC’s teams. We strongly object to recent statements and actions made by SMFC that they will be managing our existing junior teams. Currently there are no agreements in place for SMFC’s girls teams to play out of Albert Park. SMWFC has a proud history of developing and promoting female football and will continue to do so. SMWFC's committee is more that happy to field any questions or concerns from the South Melbourne Football Family in relation to this matter. All inquiries should be directed to or by calling Alex on 0408 560 206.

While this particular game of tug of war is being played within South Melbourne, the core issues are those that face almost every women's sporting club attached to a men's organisation. You can change the laws to outlaw discrimination. You can put on your public relations face and say how important women's soccer participation is, and try and seem like you mean it. But in a socially conservative club like South, it has mostly been a case of bare minimums and lip service - as long as someone else does the work for the women's sides, keeps out of the way as much as possible, and as long as they understand that they will never be really equal, everyone loves women's participation in sport. There are also other issues, such as accessing SMFC and SMHSC's (amended) constitutions, which are notoriously difficult to get a copy of.

At last year's AGM there was, via the introduction of the junior revolution (and Lakeside/Albert Park redevelopment) at South, an opportunity to not only move forward in an operational sense, but also to rectify the follies of the past in a club sense, by bringing everything together under the one roof of the 'one club policy'. The main obstacle at the time was the belligerence of some of the members of the SMJFC board - what their true motives were, it's hard to be sure of. But they were soundly defeated by a near unanimous response from the SMHFC membership. The women's side giving their assent (or is that capitulation?) was presented as a mere formality. But, a few months down the track, it does not appear to be so. The women's side are attempting to assert their autonomy, and SMFC has reacted against that - with the apparent help of the junior wing, eager to get their hands on more talent. Oh, and there are some grounds at stake too...

Aside from all those issues, the problem as far as I can tell, seem to be more of poor communication. Both sides, or at least, the non disingenuous parts of both sides, want essentially the same thing, and they should be able, to come to a proper resolution if they put the sabres down. My belief is that should this battle continue to a point of irreparable damage, in the long run SMFC will win this battle. Despite whatever ambitions it may have to it, SMWFC does not own the South Melbourne name nor logo - and nor can it trace its lineage back to the original South Melbourne Hellas women's teams of 1978-82. Any advantages it may hold in the short term of being a women's only club, catering to that particular culture, won't last long, as talented junior girls seek to push themselves further, seek trophies instead of mere participation, as Victorian women's football starts to catch up to its northern counterparts, and dinosaur relics running men's clubs start to wither away. But that's just me blathering. I'm probably wrong on so many levels.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ahmet Turer gone to Northcote

A real shame, because I liked the look of this kid - listen to me use the word kid on a 19 year old when I'm only twenty six and one half. For those new to the scene, Turer was a striker who was a key cog in the under 21s runner up team last year - he also scored a sub or two for the seniors during the season, and scored in the Football Superstar game as well. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

South Family Day this Sunday

You know the drill by now. You wake up early in the morning to watch some random music programmes on ABC2, before realising that they've converted to a near 24/7 kids channel, so ABC3 won't get lonely. And they're not even playing Rocko's Modern Life, one of the most underrated shows of all time. And for some reason, in this dream you're having, you have some kids, a girl, Persephone, and a boy, Diogenes, and they need something to do. So rather than do something fun, you decide to take them to South Melbourne Hellas Family Funday Extravanganza, which is on from 11-3 this Sunday 21st February. 

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentijn's Day!

After our 2006 championship, in late December, the club started its trials for the new season. So we found ourselves, for some reason, out in Burnley, at Kevin Bartlett Reserve, in the evening sun, playing a game against Richmond's trialists. We got smacked something like 7-1, but there's a tall blond kid who looks kind of interesting.
Then in early 2007, I was standing on the outer side of Chaplin Reserve, watching the lads have a pre-season hit out against George Cross, with a few more regulars and new signings playing, including Yusef Yusef. The tall blond kid, who rumour has it is Dutch and named Jasper, and has walked in off the street, does well in defense but looks less sure when crossing the halfway line. Bloke next to me says he looks ok, but lacks control. Cue Jasper pulling out two 360 degree turns to get himself out of trouble.

He gets a few starts in the Hellenic Cup, and we kinda assume he'd be close to getting in - after all he does get his picture taken in the new jersey on the official website - but come the start of the season he is nowhere to be seen. Not on the bench, not in the country. So that little saga was seemingly over. But whatever happened to Jasper Valentijn?

Well, his career didn't end. He kept playing back home, and in 2009, was playing in the Finnish 2nd division for Atlantis FC - the Heidelberg of Finnish football, if the following excerpt from this article is anything to go by
The problem at Atlantis boiled down to money. Like most Ykkönen clubs, Atlantis find it difficult to finance operations. Unlike most, they signed new players while failing to pay those already under contract, before sacking the coach and bringing in a new man after a poor start to the season.
So several players walked, amongst them Valentijn, to FC Honka, where he's still apparently on the list at Pallohonka, FC Honka's 2nd division feeder club. Before we let you go, here's some more things we've learnt about Jasper.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Phil Taverna Testimonial Game - South Melbourne 2 Heidelberg 0

Good enough I guess, efficient enough when we needed to be, and they gave up after the second goal, mostly, after putting in a decent effort before that. On to the final next week against either Oakleigh or Bentleigh.

Brunswick City 1 South Melbourne 7

They had creaming soda. Their only goal came after our keeper let a regulation catch bounce straight through his hands for a goal. The squad mostly made up oif under 21s acquitted themselves fairly well. It was pretty dark by the end.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Another friendly

South Melbourne FC vs Brunswick City, Friday, February 12th, 7pm. Their ground is, Dunstan Reserve, 22c Peacock Street, West Brunswick. Easily amongst the best souvlaki I've had at a suburban ground. Apparently this game is to celebrate Brunswick City's 40th anniversary, as worthy as cause as any I suppose. by the way, Brunswick City should not be confused with 1960s Greek club Brunswick Athena, which seemingly fell off the face of the earth in 1972 (there has to be a good story there, but what it is I do not know). Brunswick City Leonidas were known as Thornbury from 1970-79, moving to Brunswick and taking the Leonidas name in 1980.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

South Melbourne 3 Northcote 0

Reasonably comfortable victory - our better finishing was my major factor in the scoreline taking that shape, but we generally also controlled the midfield in a rather messy game. Next up is the semi final on Saturday, 4:30, against either Heidelberg or Lalor.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hellenic Cup update

We'll be playing Northcote in the quarter finals on Wednesday at Yarraville. Winner of that plays the winner of the Heidelberg vs Lalor match. In less relevant news, having nothing better to do,  I was at Yarraville today and ended up having a chat with former South youth player and cult favourite Lester Abalos' mum. She has heaps of pride and passion, I'll give her that.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

South season launch, er, launched

The season launch or Jersey Presentation night is back to more familiar surrounds at Albert by the Lake, on Friday 26th February, cost $105. All things being equal, South of the Border will be there. Will it be more or less eventful than last time? We'll see.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

South Melbourne 10 Keon Park 0

Pretty much as you'd expect considering the massive gulf in divisions. We'll probably finish top of the group now, meaning we'll very likely play Northcote next Wednesday. Or in the very unlikely event that we finish second in our group, we'll probably play Heidelberg next Thursday. But I'd recommend keeping the evening of Wednesday 10th open.