Sunday, 27 June 2010

Stuck at home and in despair - South 2 Thunder 3

Couldn't make it out there today, having to make do with watching the Bet365 updates, which is very similar to watching a Hattrick game. We were down 2-0 very quickly, I then went and had some fish n chips, when I got back, it was still 2-0 but with Thunder having copped a red card on the stroke of haftime. Would it make a difference? I didn't think so, but we managed to pull it back to 2-2 in the space of minutes, courtesy of Joryeff and O'Dor. But then O'Dor gave away a penalty for handball, and we found ourselves 3-2 down. It appears we gave away another late penalty, as we had a player (don't know who) sent off at the end, but it was seemingly missed.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Kiss of Death, Round 16, 2010

A reminder this week that our 'home' game against the Thunder is at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. I won't be at this game (recovering from surgery to remove my appendix), it's not the VPL live match of the round, and my new internet service still hasn\t kicked in yet either, so that may not have made much of a difference. Hopefully everyone enjoys the game, and South can get a much needed win - I'll see you all next week hopefully. In the mean time, please enjoy this week's Kiss of Death column.

Bentleigh Greens vs Northcote City
Northcote was involved in a 12 goal pearler last week again the Magic, and I think they still have goals left over to hand to Bentleigh. Bentleigh is for the tip despite their poor win last week and all their money. I expect Northcote to come out of Bentleigh with at least 6 goals in the bag. Bentleigh Greens 1 – Northcote City 6.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Heidelberg United
Well, well, well. Choakleigh copped three down at Dandenong last weekend, and I can sense them beginning to have the customary wobbles as we approach the finals series. The Bergers had an excellent win against high flying Richmond last week, but will come down with a thud this week at Oakleigh. Oakleigh 4 – Bergers 0.

Richmond vs Melbourne Knights
Only for the sake of the ladder am I tipping Richmond. If everyone below South loses, then that’s good for us. Sorry Knights, but this week I’m tipping against your free flowing football. Richmond 2 – Melbourne Knights 0.

Altona Magic vs Green Gully Cavaliers
I couldn’t separate these teams solely because I want them both to lose. Unfortunately this can’t happen so I’m calling this one as a draw. South needs both these teams to drop points. Magic are banging them in, but have also started leaking them. Altona Magic 1 – Green Gully 1.

South Melbourne vs Dandenong Thunder
Crunch time. At the writing of this weeks Kiss of Death, Vaughan Coveny was still employed at SMFC as senior coach. I would not be surprised if he is changed either prior to or after this particular game. If Kyle Joryeff doesn’t get a run, then South will comfortably beat the Funder. How this player starts and keeps out Vasilevski, Youssef or even Petrovic is beyond a joke. He is not the player for South, and we did not need him. And NO! I am not pointing the finger solely at him. A few of the players need to pull their fingers out, and start performing. There are not many games to go, so if anything, now is the time to start getting these wins under our belts. 3 of our next 4 games are at ‘home’. I know the chardonnay sipping, suit and tie wearing upperclass read this blog, especially this section, so u lot start emptying out ur chardonnay and do something before it is too late. South Melbourne 4 – Dandy Funder 0.

Sunshine Georgies vs Hume City
Another result South needs to go its way. Sunshine Georgies 1 – Hume City 3. By the way, what is a ‘Georgie’?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Not even close - Gully 2 South 0

That was pathetic, one of the perfiormances in years. Out-muscled, out-coached. The first half in particular saw next to no midfield presence. The defence, overwhelmed by the constant attacks, did well to somehow keep the score at 0-0 - though one of Gully's misses had to be seen to be believed. The 2nd half was not much better. We got a bit more of the ball, but did next to nothing with it. Kyle Joryeff repeatedly got out of and then back into trouble with some terrible decision making. The strikers had limited supply, but also failed to present themselves in any meaningful way. When eventually we gave away a penalty, after being caught out for the umpteenth time, it was a relief when it went in (and counted...). Not a single shot on target, and never looked like it. A resurgent Dandenong Thunder is next up, and if we're to be any chance, a change in the game plan and a change in attitude is requited. Fifteen minute bursts are not adequate.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Kiss of Death, Round 15 2010

Tell us how you really feel, Kiss of Death...

Bentleigh Greens vs Sunshine Georgies
This game will end in a bore 0-0 draw. Both sides are pretty crap and Bentleigh once again showed me nothing against South last Friday night. They have money so they will do well……said someone. 0-0.

Green Gully Cavaliers vs South Melbourne
South Melbourne to finally get a win down at Green Gully Reserve. Will be a tough task as usual, with gale force winds most likely, but the South win will be the only odd event of the day. Green Gully 0 – South Melbourne 2.

Northcote City vs Altona Magic
Northcote City will be no match for a re-vitalised Altona Magic. BAPDAP is on the warpath and have hit their straps at the right time. Northcote City 1 – Altona Magic 4.

Dandenong Thunder vs Oakleigh Cannons
Dandy Funder entertains the Cannons on Saturday night at 8pm down at wherever they play. The league leaders Oakleigh are still not convincing enough for me to put my hard earned on. Dandy continues to have a miserable season, but if Munro and his mates get a quick goal in this one, then consider the game all wrapped up. Dandy Funder 1 – Oakleigh 0.

Melbourne Knights vs Hume City
The Knights need a win and need it quick. I couldn’t fathom seeing such a great club playing in State 1 next season. What I can fathom though are Hume losing on Sunday down at Somers St. CROOOO-AAAA—TTSSSSIIII---AAAA . Melbourne Knights 2 – Hume City 0

Heidelberg Utd vs Richmond
Bah. Possibly the only game I don’t give a dead dingo's donger about. Bergertrons 1 – Richmond 9.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

SMFCTV Singapore Cup special part 1

Please kick back and enjoy the SMFCTV Singapore Cup special. Part 1 is mostly flying, sightseeing, training etc.

Monday, 14 June 2010

To everything there is a season

Read Dan Silkstone's Knights go from A-League to B-Grade in The Age. Wait, I bet you already have; and what's more, you've also split yourself into our self satisfied groupings of bitter and new dawn. Well done. What I will say about this article, and the academic works which most of my audience doesn't get to see, is that it's part of a curious trend - in academic circles at least - where there has been a recent swivel and turn towards documenting what has occurred to the 'other' side of the Lowy reform machine - that is, people like us. It's quite late in the piece; it's taken five or six years to get here. It's not necessarily too well informed; even the academic works seem to let people from both sides get away with too much of their blame shifting, defensive, self-promoting rhetoric. And it doesn't really, definitively tackle the core issue, although some have started skirting around it - Australia's attitudes to pluralism and multiculturalism. It's fair to say we're still some way off making that 'discovery', which like all hidden things, is actually there waiting merely to be 'seen'.

So, now for a different tangent perhaps. The war of attrition. And yes, there is one - it is closely tied to the struggle for relevancy. A-League clubs would not have been able to survive five minutes in the situation we and the Knights found ourselves in, and one could make the reasonable argument that they would not even try - playing on behalf of a community, within the community, is not what they were built for. See this post from all the way back in late 2009 for slightly more in depth analysis of reasons for being. But back to the war of attrition. Being effectively barred from even considering applying for the A-League. Not being allowed to play in the 2004 VPL season. Not even getting a phonecall or a note to say to say yeah, we've received your expression of interest in actually applying for the A-League. The media starvation, the covert and overt denigration and the re-writing of history - and yes, I acknowledge that history is always being re-written. All part of the game being played, to wear us down, until we wither and die, or give up, and tell the world, heads bowed, that we are nothing, we were nothing, and we were a burden on the game and the nation.

OK, step back a bit. The thing is, it's easy to get worked up about all these things, like I just did. The point is, as I've mostly said, to focus most of your energies on what can be done to salvage, secure, and re-commit to the task of making South Melbourne a great football club again, and I honestly think we're on the right track. Whether we'll ever get to the storied heights of just a decade ago, is doubtful, but no one but the most realistic of us ever thought we could be in the place we found ourselves in mid 2004. So while giving ourselves a pat on the back for 'keeping it real' is great, there's still a job to do, and with the ignorance and manifestos that prevail in this society, it's an uphill one.

Steal this avatar

Someone on The World Game Forum - the best damn football forum in the world, if you're not too fussed about racial slurs, ridiculous and plentiful in jokes and a lack of football talk - wanted to know where I got my kickarse avatar from, and if I could make a Sydney Croatia one for him. And I'm telling everyone what I told him. It's just a generic animated gif I found on the interwebs, and which I got my youngest brother to add 'SMFC' to. He dabbles in animation, video game making and such and such. He still hates it, but I love it.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Fernando Strikes Again - Greens 0 South 1

A really entertaining game in difficult conditions - apart from the rain, which fell consistently throughout the game, the field itself was in a terrible state, with the ball playing dead in some areas and bouncing with venom in others. Both sides had chances to open the scoring before De Moraes' curling shot from the edge of the box in the 85th minute, but I felt we were the better team for the most part. Rhodri Payne for mine was immense at left back, probably the best game I've seen him play. Steven O'Dor  came off injured midway through the first half. De Nittis seems to be getting into the awing of things again - though how many times have we said that here? He also needs to time his runs just that bit better to beat the offside trap. Rama was fairly solid as well 0 it's pleasing to see how he's come along, in that he now understands how to perform an aggressive tackle without the recklessness that characterised some of his efforts in bygone years. An important win - albeit against an opponent seriously on the slide - especially being a catch up game and all, three points bagged in a tight season made unpredictable by the flurry of point deductions. Next week Gully away - a chance to break our longstanding drought there.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The view from the sky, 16th April 2010

A few weeks ago, some friends, Romans and countrymen (but not your correspondent, who was not invited) stood on the supposedly hallowed turf of Lakeside Stadium, as the end of one era was ushered out the door with the subtlety of a bulldozer, to herald the oncoming of a new era in squeezing multiple sport and athletic entities that aren't Australian rules or cricket clubs into as small a space as possible. It guarantees our future somewhat, after the mess that some people who want all the glory but none of the stick got us into, but more on that another time. So it was perhaps, but in reality probably not worthwhile as we start this amazing journey which already started before this photo but ceremony is a complex thing, with a reminder of what we will lose - remembering the old place as it was - well, not old because there was something and someone there before us, and before them even, and while our tenure has thus far been relatively short, the promise is that we will be here for a lot longer - provided we make the required sacrifices. First photo courtesy of Cuddles. Second photo from the Nearmap service, with updates as they come to hand. Nearmap is a terrific alternative to Google Maps when it comes to Australian cities, the detail is often quite remarkable, and the feature which allows you to look back through previous editions is a terrific tool as well.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Me and Brendan Schwab have a bit of a chat

Brendan Schwab, before he was top of the heap at the Professional Footballer's Association, was a briefly CEO of South Melbourne. Tonight, he was on the SBS tv program 'Insight', which has a live chat component after the show. I skipped the show (partly because I was watching the Colbert Report, and rescuing Hartlepool from a 2-0 deficit against Lincoln City to finish 2-2), but I did join the live chat. All but one of my questions got through (it's a fairly poorly moderated operation), and I wasn't surprised about the one that didn't get through because it referred to a semi-apocryphal story about Brendan's time at South and his relationship with former president George Vasilopoulos.

I didn't bother asking about so called injustices inflicted on the ex-NSL clubs, because there were plenty of other emotive posts that got through, and I sure as hell didn't reckon they would get answered - there were a couple of other blokes as well doing the love chat thing - you can read the chat transcript here. It's fairly interesting, mostly in what gets answered and what doesn't - some searing questions on the legal status of certain player agents seemed to be ones that Brendan would have liked to avoid. One of my questions got answered - I also borrowed one from a mate of mine without his knowledge, to see what would come out of it - nothing as it turned out. Here's the record of my correspondence.

[Comment From Paul]
How is it that clubs can get away with charging $400+ for junior soccer, and equivalent auskick only costs about $65?

[Comment From Paul]
When will an independent A-league commission be established?

[Brendan Schwab]
Paul - the A-League independent commission is not on the table at the moment. It was an important recommendation in the Crawford Report. However, the current FFA Board runs both FFA and the national league. It is unclear if FFA intends to fully implement the Crawford Report but, at this late stage, probably unlikely.

[Comment From Paul]
Last season, the Football Federation Victoria raised over $400,000 in fines and penalties - it is appropriate that a state federation is reliant on these fines to keep in the black?

[Comment From Paul]
Why is the FFA still raking in the player levy which was set up to bail out the old Soccer Australia?

[Comment From Chips]
Excellent question, Paul. Still there and rising. Disgraceful.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Women notch up first win of season

And somewhat remarkably, their 2-0 win yesterday was against frontrunner Ashburton. They're still on the bottom, 2 points behind Altona City and Preston, but they do have a game in hand. Can they perform a great escape? Still half a season to go.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Kiss of Death, Round 14, 2010

Greetings once again all my Eastern European/Asian betting counterparts. It is with great pleasure I bring to you this weeks Kiss of Death Round 14 for the VPL. After a one week hiatus I am GomBACK !

Richmond vs Dandenong Thunder
Richmond will have this game wrapped up after 35 minutes. I can’t see Dandy getting up for this game. Their fans will be in attendance down at KB Reserve, and all that pressure will be just too much for Munro and his mates. Jesse Krncevic with a hattrick by the 75th minute. Jesse’s suit provided by Christian Armani of Lucky Plaza, Scotts Rd. Singapore. Richmond 3 – Dandy Funder 0.

Altona Magic vs Bentleigh
Altona gifted Andy O'Dell’s Sunshine six last week, making him bow down to Centrelink. Is this a flash in the pan from the Magic? Me thinks not my friends. Expect the Magic to start their Top 5 charge legitimately against a very poor Bentleigh. Bentleigh might have the cash, but money don’t buy you love. It might buy it for a short time, but definitely not a long time. Altona Magic 3 – Bentleigh Green$ 1.

South Melbourne vs Northcote 
After returning from Singapore on a high and with morale through the roof, Northcote beware! South Melbourne has found what it needs to take this year's VPL title. Am I moving ahead too quick? Honestly, and I am a fickle cunt… NO. Northcote is defying all odds and stuffing up the multibets I understand, however, after this weekend they are done as a dog's dinner. Northcote will receive a footballing lesson and a couple of lashes of the Rattan Cane. South Melbourne 4 – Northcote City 0.

Hume City vs Heidelberg United
Should I even bother? Bergers are on a three game winning streak, but this will mean shit when they visit Hume. Vlahos is fighting for his coaching career, and the players will respond against a piss poor Heidelberg. The Bergers will feel like they put down a couple of those un-refrigerated chicken and rice packs sitting in 33 degree heat for who knows how long at the Jalan Besar Stadium food outlet. Hume City 3 – Heidelberg 0.

Sunshine George Cross vs Melbourne Knights
I love the Knights, you all know that. I’m going with my heart on this one. If a cab is hit by a car, it better be a Mercedes or BMW because they pay. Unfortunately Sunshine will be hit by a truck. Sunshine George Cross 0 – Melbourne Knights 2.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Green Gully Cavaliers
Chokeleigh will just scrape through this weekend. They will be ahead 2-0 at the break before Gully equalises and cops a ridiculous penalty decision in the 93rd, for Oakleigh to put away. Even though the Cannons are on top, they are yet to convince me that they are a serious contender to the title. Gully's reaction to the penalty will be like trying to buy a Canon Speedlite 270ex from a fiery store owner for $150. Bullshit! Oakleigh Cannons 3 – Green Gully 2.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fixturing updates

Confirmation that our remaining home matches for 2010 will be at John Cain Memorial Park starting with this week's game at home to Northcote City. There is of course, an exception to the rule, and that is with the round 16 match against Dandenong Thunder, which will be held at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. All home matches will be Sundays at 3pm.