Monday, 24 May 2010

Jakarta Casual previews Gombak vs South Melbourne

I was going to commission a reciprocal 'tell us a bit about so and so piece' with PoHui Ko from the Bolasepako blog, but then I found that Jakarta Casual had done one with the requisite acknowledgements of the many ironies of the situation. It's a good read, from a good blog. Don't forget the game is on this Wednesday. Buggered if I know of a stream to watch it on though.

Memory Lane for Dazza against Hellas
Yeah, I know they're called South Melbourne now, the Hellas has been dropped in the name of progress, political correctness and in a bid to appeal to a broader audience. Which is crap. I knew plenty of people who had Hellas as their second team and they weren't all called Postecogelouopolus.

Time moves on if I haven't and South Melbourne, who I last saw play Wollongong Macedonia at Middle Park in 1991, they won 7-3, will next week be visiting Singapore to compete in the Singapore Cup.

It's probably fair to say the Aussies are the biggest ever team to grace the competition.

In one of those delicious twists of fate that make cup football so exciting they have been drawn against Gombak United. A side with an Aussie connection of their own.

They are coached by Darren Stewart, an NSL legend formerly of APIA Leichhardt while defensive midfielder Goran Subara has been earning rave reviews.

The Bulls have struggled so far this season to find any kind of consistency. No surprise when you are told you cannot use two of your best players and couple of games into the season. Kingsley Njokou and Gabriel Obatola had their permits terminated and had to find clubs anew leaving Stewart with only one striker, the injured Agu Casmir. After desperately trying to get Abbas Saad and Scott Ollerenshaw to come out of retirement he was left to sign players nobody else wanted.

In those circumstances 4th spot is a bloody good achievement though their goals for tally tells its own story. As does losing 1-0 at home to Balestier Khalsa, who would finish in the bottom half of a one team league, they went and drew 3-3 with runaway leaders Tampines Rovers

Gombak United FC 14 6 3 5 15 11 4 21

They are though defensively strong. The imposing Mamadou Bah is partnered by the highly thought of Obadin Aikhena, widely thought of as a future international. Obadin has impressed over the last few years with a series of classy performances for both Gombak United and the Young Lions but not just that. Everyone i speak with cannot say enough of his attitude off the field as well.

Up front Gombak will look to the timeless, ageless, Agu Casmir for goals and inspiration while this type of fixture against a truly big name would be a wonderful opportunity for Fazrul Nawaz to show what he is truly capable of.

For their part while South Melbourne have yet to set their league alight they are proving a tough nut to crack. They sit 7th in the 12 team Victoria State League but have suffered just two defeats all season.
7 South Melbourne 11 5 4 2 21 13 8 13

Like Gombak they have struggled to find any consistency. They beat Hume City (wow, a team named after a road?!) 6-0 then lost their next two games. Last time out they defeated Sunshine George Cross 3-1 which confuses the living bejeez out of me. I thought they had ditched all names that carried ethnic inference?

Anyway it promises to be a great evening in Singapore and South Melbourne can look forward to being blown away by the local's support for their heroes.

"cos remember this. Singapore was recently named the second best sports city in the world. 2nd after...Melbourne!

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