Saturday, 29 January 2011

Amended Hellenic Cup fixture available

In the same place as before, on the left hand side. The fixtures has been amended due to the extreme heat for Sunday which has seen the cancellation and rescheduling of the games meant to be played tomorrow. If you do not see your particular fixtures in the amended file - especially those for the women's comp - you should contact the Hellenic Cup organising committee if they haven't called you yet.

I would also like to reiterate that I am not affiliated with the Hellenic Cup in any official capacity - I'm just a fan trying to keep people updated in the absence of the Hellenic Cup's usual online presence. Any questions or doubts, send it their way. Thanks

For South fans, our game against Kingston has been moved to Tuesday February 1st, kickoff at 8:30.

Hellenic Cup fixtures for Sunday cancelled

Apparently, all Hellenic Cup matches scheduled for Sunday 30th January have been cancelled due to the extreme temperatures expected. Those games will be rescheduled.

Since this site does not have access to the amended fixture - which apparently also includes the withdrawal of the south-east veterans team Panserraikos - participating clubs are advised to contact the Hellenic Cup organising committee to receive information on the rescheduled games.

Friday, 28 January 2011

South Melbourne 9 Beaumaris 1

Once more, no idea about lineups etc. Final group game is against Kingston City on Sunday, 5pm at Bentleigh Greens.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Galanos out for at least six months?

Report from Neos Kosmos today, that the injury (a broken leg?) sustained by last year's Gold Medal runner up and new South signing Yianni Galanos in the friendly against Dandenong just a little while back, is worse than initially thought, and he will be out of action for at least six months. A blow for Yianni and a blow for South, as no doubt Eddie Krncevic would have been looking to him for his versatility in plugging a few gaps here and there.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hellenic Cup - South 5 Box Hill 0

Don't know diddly about lineups, style or whatever else, but we won 5-0. Next game is on Thursday against Beaumaris, kick off 8:30.

Friday, 21 January 2011

South of the Border - Your completely unofficial sorta home of the 2011 Hellenic Cup

Hi everyone. I've noticed that there are a few people visiting here looking for information on this year's Hellenic Cup - mostly because thus far the official site has not been updated with information. In the event that this situation is not sorted out, I will attempt to update this online file with the results from the tournament. There is also a link to the file on the left hand side above the 'show racism the red card' image.

It will not be instantaneous - I'm not affiliated with the Hellenic Cup committee in any capacity. It will not have tables - you'll have to use your imaginations for that. But I'll try my best and see how we go. Results should preferably be posted in this thread on soccer-forum or sent to or chuck it the comments section. Thanks.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Google Translate

This is pretty much only for the Greek speaking and reading folks out there. Some random reader recently translated a post in here, which in turn translated several of the labels on the right hand side. See if you can figure out what they're all supposed to be, and have fun. I was going to be in a lot more, but decided to go for what I thought was the cream of the crop.

  1. Τώρα Ακρόπολης
  2. Όλα τα λευκά
  3. Brisbane απεργούς (my personal favourite)
  4. Πασπαλισμένο με φρυγανιά Πικάντικες Πτέρυγα κοτόπουλο
  5. Doug Καφέ
  6. Frankston Πεύκα
  7. Κατεψυγμένα δάκρυα 
  8. Πράσινο και του Στρατού Gold 
  9. Καταπράσινη ρεματιά
  10. Χαϊδελβέργη Φίλε Laser 
  11. Hooped Κάλτσες 
  12. James Σπανός 
  13. Φιλί του θανάτου 
  14. Μεγάλα Έργα Βικτώρια 
  15. Ο κ. Cleansheets
  16. Κανείς δεν μας αρέσει εμάς δε μας ενδιαφέρει 
  17. Φυστίκι Man
  18. Κολοκύθα Eaters Σπόρων 
  19. ΚΠΡ
  20. Πίνακας αποτελεσμάτων  
  21. Sno Κώνοι
  22. Η ηλικία 
  23. Δυτικά του Σίδνεϊ Μούρα
What it chooses to translate is too random. Some Greek names are entirely in English; others half and half; others still, entirely in Greek. The same word or phrase will sometimes be translated into Greek, while other times it's just left alone. And then, just when you thought it couldn't get any stupider, some obviously not-Greek names, like Ante Kovacevic, get the full Greek treatment. Going through this has also reminded me of how much crap I have written.

2011 Hellenic Cup kicks off this week

They've weeded out a few of the weaker teams this year with qualifiers prior to the main tournament. We're in the South East section this year, which will be played at Bentleigh Greens. In our group, Southern Suburbs, Kingston City and a qualifier. Below is our initial schedule. For more detailed info, please see this document, kindly provided by one of our loyal readers.

  • Sunday 23rd January, 5pm, South Melbourne FC vs. Southern Suburbs SC
  • Thursday 27th January, 8:30pm, South Melbourne FC vs. Qualifier
  • Sunday 30th January, 5pm, South Melbourne FC vs. Kingston City SC

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Hobart Trip 2011 - Superwow!

This is the less serious look back at this trip. It likely has no particular rhyme or reason.

I hadn't flown for 11 years, and that was in a four seater. Before that, I hadn't been in a commercial sized aircraft for 15 years. I thought I'd be more nervous, but to my relief I actually found it a lot of fun. Cloud cover on the way there meant I didn't get to see much except on the approach to Hobart; on the way back, nightfall meant that we got to see Launceston lit up, but that's about it. I was a bit worried about the bloke on the flight to Hobart who felt he needed to have a bourbon and coke before eight in the morning.

If you can afford it, and if you can drive, do hire a car. You will save money, time and effort in the long or short term. Cuddles and I did several Chap Laps around Hobart's CBD and other inner suburbs. Hobart is essentially a large country town. It has an adequate but utterly unremarkable airport – for a comparison, see my notes on Canberra's airport - and the distances between Points A, B and C are artificially extended only by the confusing road system, which especially in the CBD relies heavily on one way streets where left and right turns are severely restricted. I lost count of the amount of three point turns, multiple lane changes and illegal u-turns we made.  I wish I'd brought my ipod though - it would have made a nice change from the Greek music and the doof doof I had to sit through.

Cadbury Factory
When you go to Hobart, the one mandatory task that everyone seems to have to tick off is a visit to the Cadbury factory. Once upon a time this may have included an actual tour of the plant, but these days this experience is restricted to a half hour session in which you are given basic statistics and information about chocolate production via a presenter and a short film, and the opportunity to taste the lesser refined and unmixed ingredients that eventually end up as chocolate. Apart from that, you can waste some time and and money in the gift shop and on slightly discounted chocolate. The highlight of this part of the trip had more to do with running into South president Leo Athanasakis, who recognised my hat while we were driving in the area adjacent to the factory. We had a robust but friendly discussion about board politics and personalities.

Hobart Olympia
After picking up our two companions from the airport and returning to the hotel, with about 20 minutes until kickoff in our friendly against Hobart Olympia, we decide to head off to the KGV soccer field. We make it just in time, but on the same token, everything in Hobart seems on close proximity to most everything else. Both sides field youthful outfits – South only has two or three senior regulars on the ground, and despite some occasional sloppiness, dominates proceedings – another young prospect, one Nicky Jacobs, does the damage, with two first half goals, the first an elegant looping chip over the keeper. He made it a hattrick soon after play resumed for the second half, and as more senior players were given time, the result and the game degenerated even further for Olympia.

Olympia have struggled on field in recent seasons. They obviously gave this one a good go, at least in the initial stages, but their attempt to stand toe to toe with their opponents didn't work well. As the match progress, their mistakes became worse. The locals took it in their stride though. It was refereed by a bloke we dubbed Inzamam ul-Haq, whom I was a little disappointed to later learn had the surname Collins. How plain.

Good Morning, Sunshine
At 7am on a saturday, hobart is dead. This is perhaps a relief to some people, who don't believe that anything should be in motion at that time of the week, but after taking a quick walk around the block and finding myself amongst the few living, it was a little disconcerting. It didn't even have that old school ghost town feel – it was just more reflective of the malaise perhaps (an incorrect, but still somewhat appropriate word) that seems to infect the town.

Frappé Fury
It would be quite safe to suggest that the Greek iced coffee drink known as frappé is a cultural institution in its homeland, and has a legion of devotees here in Australia amongst the Greek diaspora. Now I'm hardly one of those people who can barely last a couple of days without this drink, but at least one of the people I happened to be traveling with is one of those types. What luck then that we found a Greek restaurant in Salamanca (called Mezethes). The menu located outside didn't list frappé, but we decided to ask anyway. Much to our horror, not only did they not have frappé, but Elia Donoudis' long lost son didn't even know what it was! For some reason I was almost as riled by this fact as everyone else, and I hardly touch the stuff. I mean, even in my dad's village of a couple of thousand mostly elderly people, grown men will sip this drink through their straws, and somehow this place didn't know about it? Qué horror!

Salamanca Markets
You might as well head down here when it's open on Saturday, especially if you like Tasmanian produce like honey, jam and whatever they can carve out of wood. Me, I bought a mixed set of ginger beer (regular, 'extra zing' and alcoholic), and a couple of bottles of cider (a sweet perry and a scrumpy). The bag the cider (which is chilling in my fridge) was in was faulty, and therefore the scrumpy bottle smashed onto the pavement. The lady at the next stall helped clean up the glass, and I was offered a replacement bottle by the stallholder I'd bought the cider from, and I managed to prevent it from tearing through the paper bag until we got back to the hotel.

Let's be honest - people love hype, and they love succumbing to the overriding public opinion to the extent that it clouds their judgment. That's the case with several food items at the Queen Victoria Market, most notably the hot jam donuts and the grilled bratwurst. While the former are criminally overrated by people who like their donuts undercooked and doughy, the bratwurst are at least edible. The pork bratwurst with garlic and herbs that one can buy at the Salamanca Market are on another level altogether. It's one of those instances where you are compelled to readjust your thinking about the world. Yes, it was tasty.

The Dutch fruit donut Oliebollen (literally 'oily balls') aren't anything special, and it was a good thing I had only bought one. One of the more confusing stalls was the Gypsy Rolls food stand. Turns out they were just Balkan skinless sausages (aka cevapi). Still, we got a laugh out of it, in part due to reminiscing about the Albanian marinated chicken rolls. The ice cream at the Salamanca Markets is amazing. I had a scoop of boysenberry which came in a crispy, sugary - but not too sugary - waffle cone.

The Hellenic Club 
We went to the Hellenic Club twice. The first time was after we'd played Olympia, where the team (and the rest of us) were treated to dinner - tender goat, OKish chicken, chips, salad and Mythos beer. We were on the same table as some of the Olympia officials, maybe a bloke allegedly banned from dozens of casinos for being a champion card counter, as well the local Greek Orthodox priest who preferred a traditional VB to the Greek lager. The hospitality was fantastic all night, but being involved in several simultaneous conversations we couldn't take too much notice of the surrounds.

Going back there on the Sunday after the South Hobart game, what with our last chance to have dinner in town as well as the only known provider of frappe in Hobart, we got to have a better look. Approaching the venue, we weren't really sure if it was open, but we saw the television on from outside.

You could hardly find a more different Hellenic Club to the one located in Canberra. The Canberran version is massive, full of pokies, garishly decorated, and lacking in any real identifier outside its name of actually being a Greek venue. The Hobart version was small and cosy, and decorated in every bit of naff Greek kitsch ephemera and they could lay their hands on. Posters with the heroes of '21 and Greek singers, a big scarf over the bar with the word 'Pontian' on there. I loved it. I felt like I was home.

That feeling though was encouraged by the presence of the locals, who lacked pretension. There was a sorta disheveled bloke outside the venue, having a bit of a sleep. After we had gone in, he came in a bit later, and had another nap at one of the tables. He had a drink, another nap, got up and said goodbye. The locals seemed to take it in their stride.

More fun were the blokes at the bar, two of whom spent a good half hour talking about good fishing spots and how to cook different fish. One of the blokes eventually came over and starting talking to us about the degradation of Tasmanian soccer and the bloke who was running it about 20 years ago, and the selfishness of the southern clubs who weren't willing to make the trip up to Launceston once a season. That was the cue for one of the blokes behind to let rip with 'Αν τον πιάσω τον πουστι, θα τον γαμισω τη μάνα!', which is not a nice thing to say about anyone really, but was still bloody funny. There were several other expletive laden sentences after that, but the laughter didn't end there. We found out that not only did he live in Melbourne in the late 1960s, and was self-confessed card-player seven days a week, but he turned out to be a cousin of Kris Kalifatidis, long time South player and member of our 1984 NSL championship team. That, and there was a sign which clearly stated that foul language and bad behaviour would not be tolerated. They probably should have had it in Greek as well.

The Hellenic Club doesn't appear to have either a set menu, nor a price list, but they did a sorta Gary Ablett lookalike who offered to makes us psarokeftedes (Greek fish croquettes), which took so long to make that I wondered if he'd gone to catch the fish himself - but they were pretty good, as were the two massive bowls of salad (although someone ate all the feta cheese), and the even the all important frappedes. And the price? All up, $60, just $15 a head. Amazing value, great hospitality, too many laughs.

Boat Trips
If you can, definitely take a trip out on one of the boats. We went up to North Bruny Island and back. Saw a lighthouse, penguins, an abandoned whaling settlement. I got sunburnt, someone lost a hat (that had just been bought that day - not mine though). There's a photo of me out there holding on to my hat, and I'm not ashamed of that.

Hobart's restaurants seem to turn in for the night at about 10pm even on weekends.

Some people in the group were curious to know whether we would need collars to get into the clubs. Turns out we didn't.

As for the nightclubs, once and for all I had my doubts wiped away about these places. I can and do listen to and tolerate all sorts of music, but the relentless and inhuman 'doof, doof, doof, doof' I find unbearable. I was in the Observatory Bar for about 30 minutes and for 28 of those of minutes felt like I was being beaten into submission by the music. As Kyle Reese once said of another relentless machine:

Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. 

Good thing I left the building, much to confusion of my friends. Apparently I missed much frivolity with members of the Glenorchy Knights women's team, but I'm OK with that. I preferred, strangely I know, to watch the AFC Cup.

Cascade Brewery
Is definitely worth a trip, but try and go during the working week so you can see the brewery in action. It lasts a good hour and a half or so, you learn some history which isn't solely brewery related, and you get three tokens to have drinks at the end of it. The Mercury Dry cider isn't up to scratch; it lacks that crispness and kick that a 'dry' should have. If you opt for the stout, get it last; you don't get as much and it has a robust but simple coffee flavour that will dominate your tastebuds for a while. I took a bottle home afterwards, and it's better to have an entire bottle than the small sample they give you. I also had a go at the raspberry cordial, also quite nice.

Darcy Street
The welcome at Darcy Street was terrific. It's one of the most scenic grounds you could ever hope to visit. I bought two copies of the South Hobart 100 year history book. They also had caps, but no scarves. Thanks to the ladies at the merchandise tent who put aside our items until the end of the match, and for giving us a $10 discount.

There was a little bloke playing for South Hobart trying to throw his weight around, whom we dubbed Craig David; far too much time and effort was spent telling to him to just 'walk away'. South Hobart's first choice goalie got injured in the second half, to be replaced by a barrel of a bloke called Mike McKenna - he actually did OK, got off the ground a couple of times as well. He didn't have a numbered top, and apparently he'd been out of the game for a year or two with injury, but he did better than either of Hobart Olympia's goalkeepers.

David Bartlett, Tasmania's Premier, was there, though apparently he didn't stay for the whole game. The bloke next to me, a former striker for Olympia back in the 1970s was good value, he taught me about the Hobart soccer scene, I let him know about some of our players and explained the term downhill skiing. Players haven't been paid here for about 15 years or so at least. One team, Caledonians, sent themselves broke to win a championship. It's a familiar story wherever you go in this country it seems.

It was a pleasure to meet Walter Pless, however briefly.

South of the Border is an unashamed fan of Hellas kitman Frank Piccione, but does not take it as far as some do. Hopefully I'll never be in the position one of the traveling fans was, hoping the pregnancy test came out negative.

It was difficult, but the pacifist in me won out, and I didn't belt the Perth Glory fan that was seemingly following us everywhere - OK, maybe not everywhere, but he was at both games we played and we saw him in Salamanca as well. At this rate I'll never be hardcore enough to reach the heights of Silesian football hooliganism.

If you ever go to a hotel with 'internet', and you're bringing your laptop or netbook with you, you should pack an ethernet cable. Don't bet on them having wireless, and don't bet on the wireless being much good. Thanks to the hotel for loaning me a cable for the duration of our stay.

Contrary to what I told him, I could have spared the teenage lout we bumped into on the Saturday night a couple of dollars to buy some goon. But really, it wouldn't have done him any good.

Eddie Krncevic will from here on in be known as the Green Hornet. Not my creation, but it's so appropriate, I'm going to run it into the ground.

Other buzzwords which got a thorough working over: superwow; tsibouklou; Ceca; mounopano.

Finally, thank you to the waiter at Ciuccio, who defended my decision to drink a normal sugar laden Coke as opposed to the wussy Coke Zeros that everyone else was having.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Hobart Trip 2011 - Long way to go for all concerned

This article will be purely about the football. For an article about the more touristy stuff and Hobart's eccentricities - and its eccentrics - there'll be something in another article about that.

Hobart Olympia 0 - South Melbourne 9

Our first match was against Hobart Olympia, at the Federation's home of KGV Park. It's an adequate set up - a small stand, beautiful surface, and pretty poor lighting that wasn't really needed for an evening game in the height of summer. After decades of wandering aimlessly from ground to ground, Olympia are busy building a new facility, in an attempt to stamp themselves on a locality and find a means to attract and keep the junior talent that exists in the Hobart area.

It fits into their plan to develop their own young players - an overall plan 20 years too late perhaps, but when you're left with no option after years of neglect, you might as well start from a position of humility and work your way up. It's apparently not necessarily a popular or unanimous decision amongst the Olympia faithful to go back to the drawing board and rely on youth, but the top brass there seem prepared at this early stage to stick out and see if it works.

To that end, in only their second match of their pre-season one could forgive a bit of rustiness from the hosts. Both sides fielded young sides - only two or three first choice players took the field in the first half for Hellas - the rest of the team being youngsters from the under 21s and below. Likewise for Olympia, a lot of young and inexperienced players. It''s worth remembering also that our under 21s won the VPL title last season, finishing streets ahead of the field.

With all that in mind, they made perhaps the unusual and gutsy decision to try and stand toe to toe against their more fancied opponents. They were competitive enough in the first half, winning a few corners and sending in a few crosses, and they also managed to put in a few good tackles, but the gulf in class was obvious for all to see. The South boys played the ball from the back, with quick short passes and tended to hold the ball until the right moment presented itself.

We were up 2-0 at halftime, courtesy of a double to the hitherto unknown - even to his teammates - Nicky Jacobs. His first goal was delightful, a delicate chip over the top of the keeper that floated into goal. The football department think he's a work in progress, and it's hard to gauge how good he really is against such poor opposition. James Riccobene also impressed - his decision making seems good, and he can put in a half decent corner as well.

The second half started off well for South, as Nicky Jacobs got his hattrick early on in the piece. From there on, the home side more or less disintegrates. While admittedly more senior players were brought over the course of the second half, and the home side tried various formations and players, there was an ineptitude that was troubling. Both of Olympia's goalkeepers could not accurately kick the ball, nor gain much distance. Rather kicking the ball long from defence from goalkicks, they attempted to play the ball out from the back with disastrous results.

Football is a possession game, but it's also a territorial game, and where the ball is located at any given moment is just as important. For a team seemingly destined to struggle at least in the short term, would it have been worthwhile to attempt to play conservatively? Would the players have learned anything from such an approach? I'm not sure. As it is, the Olympia coach suggested that at least one cause of the heavy defeat - it finished 9-0, with Jesse Krncevic bagging five goals in his 28 minutes on the ground - was due to a lack of ticker.

Now actually giving a stuff about the game you're playing is important, but singling that out - regardless of the fact that as far as I could tell, the Olympia boys did have a red hot go for the majority of the game - seems so anachronistic that one wonders what kind of hope there is for the players. To use a famous example from another sport:

While commentating during a match in which Pakistan was faring badly in all departments of the game, Bill Lawry, offering a solution said "I think Pakistan's problem is they've got to relax", to which Benaud replies nonchalantly, "I don't agree. I think Pakistan have got to learn how to bat, bowl and field. It's a simple game."

Meanwhile, South's assistant coach Joe Montemurro spent a great deal of time talking to his substitutes, giving them what appeared to be quite detailed instructions. Now this may just be me taking something of out of context and blowing it completely out of proportion, but it was a comment that stood out above all the others. For their part, the people watching the game appeared to be realistic about where the two sides and indeed the overall depth and quality of football between the two states, were at in relation to each other.

At the end of the game, Leo Athanasakis jumped the gun and said we'd be back next year to play them again, in all likelihood without consulting anyone else. If that is to be the case, it'll be interesting to see what difference a year would make. Having seen Olympia struggle in our Hellenic Cup a few years ago, I'm wary of how much improvement there might be - here's hoping though that they follow through on their plan to blood the young players and not flinch at the first sign of danger or failure.

South Hobart 0 - South Melbourne 5
The ground at Darcy Street is gorgeous - two stands side by side, spanning the length of the field, a perfect pitch, and on the other side, the mountains in full view. A good crowd of 700 turned up for the match, which was both tighter and of  a higher quality than the Friday game - Hellas fielded many more of its senior players right from the start, and South Hobart have been the dominant team in Hobart for the past few seasons - last season they did not lose a single game, and won the senior, reserve and under 19 competitions.

South Hobart's success (which has bucked the trend of their rather mediocre post-war history) has not been without its share of cynicism and controversy. Their coach is Ken Morton, the former NSL coach, who also sponsors the club via his private soccer academy, and whose partner happens to be the president of the club. While some locals have lauded the increased professionalism and style of play brought about by South Hobart in recent years, equally there are detractors who are waiting for the day when Morton leaves (for whatever reason) and the whole system falls apart.

While South Hobart put in a performance at several levels above that of Olympia, and should have scored at least a couple of goals, it's fair to say that once again the gulf in class was significant, especially considering that Hellas was far from its best. While missing three of our more skillful players in Joe Keenan, usual frontman Gianni De Nittis, captain and defender Ramazan Tavsancioglou and new recruit Yianni Galanos, we were still able to create several good chances at goal.

The home side's pressure did lead to several mistakes being made in defense however, and that will be of some concern - and playing the ball out of the back will not be so easy against better opposition and on fields of far inferior quality. It was good to see Kyle Joryeff play up front in both matches. His reputation as a 'downhill skier' won't have been helped by the opposition he faced, but he showed that he is a classy finisher, and that his close control is amongst the best in the side. I've been of the opinion for a while that the only position he could play is upfront - his lack of defensive mettle rules him out from playing on the wings.

Both Stefaan Sardelic and Zain Zenali had stints in the keeper's position. Sardelic was forced to scurry across goal to deal with several loose back passes, and his dealing with them wasn't always convincing. Neither was his field kicking, but his distribution by hand and most of his aerial work were very good. Zenali had less to do in the second half, and was penalised somewhat harshly for picking up a backpass that appeared to clearly to be the result of the South Hobart player being dispossessed.

Seb Petrovich, after being overlooked so much last season after having won our best and fairest in 2009, did reasonably well on a wing. He has grit and skill, but he lacks that bit of pace that would make him a threat in that position - he is far better suited to his usual central midfield role. Steven Topalovic at right back did some excellent and awful things. He gave away the ball in several dangerous situations, particularly in the first half, and looked a little lost with players running at him. On the other hand, he easily won several tests of strength when fighting for the ball, and could be a useful and intimidating physical force if played more centrally.

In the VPL, Hellas is not considered one of the more physical sides, and yet we were able to win most of the 50/50 balls and moments when physical strength were needed most, which only served to further emphasise the gulf in skill. For their part, South Hobart tried to keep the ball on the ground, and their effectiveness was hampered by several injuries during the course of the match, but there would still be little doubt that there is a long way to go for both South Hobart and Tasmanian football to catch up to even the lesser mainland states.

Some naive observations

Their isolation from the rest of Australian soccer, coupled with the internal divisions - despite several attempts at a unified state league, the north and south of the state still seem to conduct separate competitions - and the lack of funds from councils from improved facilities, the general apathy of the local public towards senior soccer, means that the game there will always have several obstacles to overcome. And while lopsided results against touring sides may reinforce their inferiority, we can't let Tasmanian soccer remain in isolation.

The more open-minded supporters certainly see it as an opportunity to showcase both the game's qualities as a spectacle, as well as a chance to show where improvement can be made and how much of it is needed to start bridging the gap. Whether the game there can find the unity of cause to stem the decline of standards both on field and off, is something that remains to be seen. Otherwise, Tasmanian soccer may very well end up like football in Mildura - effectively a place for a social kickabout, unable to retain juniors into their adult squads or even within the greater sphere of the game as a volunteer or spectator. The Melbourne Knights are heading down there this week to play the Glenorchy Knights. Short tours like this, especially by Victorian teams, are the bare minimum required to keep Tasmania connected to the rest of Australian soccer family.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hobart Olympia 0 South Melbounre 9

Played mostly a second string/young side in the first half, before gradually introducing some senior players into the match. The wireless net here sucks, but that just may be my linux setup not adapting well to the Tasmanian internet wilderness. A cable has sorted that problem out. Rest assured that I will be posting a lengthy piece or two once I get back to Melbourne. For a detailed look at this match, Walter Pless has an article on his blog.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Eddie Krncevic excited about bringing South to Tasmania

The scratch match that was scheduled for tonight between ourselves and South Hobart has been canceled or postponed due to the inclement weather down in Hobart. In the meantime, please enjoy this piece by Tasmanian football blogger and journalist Walter Pless, looking at a previous trip by South to the Apple Isle in 1986 - there's some nice photos in there as well.

There are so many interesting coincidences when one looks at football history.

This is even the case in Tasmania.

South Melbourne Hellas first visited Tasmania in 1986 to play Olympia at KGV Park. That was before the administration building was constructed at KGV Park. In one of the above photos taken at the time of that visit, one can see the skeleton of that building in its early stages.

Former Greek international John Margaritis had been appointed coach of South Melbourne in 1980 and again in 1986.

Margaritis had, in fact, coached Olympia for a season before moving to Victoria.

He was replaced at South Melbourne in 1982 by former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty.

Docherty had actually played in Tasmania in 1965. He was manager of Chelsea when they toured Australia that year.

Chelsea beat Tasmania 12-0 at North Hobart and Docherty put himself on in the second half and scored a penalty.

The Olympia team that played South Melbourne in 1986 was coached by current South Hobart supremo Ken Morton.

Alan Davidson, the Australian international who had just returned from Nottingham Forest, was a member of the South Melbourne squad that met Olympia at KGV Park, but he did not play.

He had played for the Socceroos against Tasmania at KGV Park in about 1984.

Ange Postecoglu, the Brisbane Roar coach in the A-League, was also in the South Melbourne team against Olympia and he is shown in the team photos above.

South Melbourne coach Eddie Krncevic, 50, is looking forward to this week’s visit to Hobart and is hoping for good attendances at the games.

Krncevic, born in Geelong, played professionally in Croatia, Germany and Belgium and represented the Socceroos 35 times, scoring 17 goals for his country.

“I’m quite excited about the visit,” said Krncevic from Melbourne today. “The last time I was in Tasmania I was only 14.

“I haven’t been back since. I’m excited about it and I’m looking forward to having a look to see what’s available, to see what’s happening in Tasmania and to establish a good working relationship with the clubs and people in Tasmania.

“I think it’s important because I think Tasmania has been neglected.

“I look forward to seeing what sort of talent the boys have got to offer. Yes, I’m excited.

“It’s a preparation for my players. We’re bringing a mixture of young ones and senior ones in a squad of 19 players, with two goalkeepers.

“Some of my players will fly in on Saturday as they’ve got work commitments.

“It’s a fairly competitive team and it’s our pre-season so I’m looking to hopefully play my best team, especially on Sunday, but fielding a strong team in every game we play.”

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

South Melbourne and Tasmanian soccer - by Walter Pless

I've basically copied and pasted the main parts of this entry from this blog piece from Walter Pless' excellent Tasmanian soccer blog. There's a couple of photos in there that I haven't included, and it's a great blog, so it's worth clicking on the link anyway.

The famous South Melbourne arrive in Hobart on Thursday for a 3-match tour

South Melbourne Hellas arrive at Hobart Airport on a Jetstar flight at 9.30am on Thursday.

South Melbourne will play South Hobart twice during their four-day stay and Olympia Warriors once.

On Thursday, South Melbourne will play South Hobart at South Hobart at 6pm, but this match will probably feature youth and reserve players from both clubs.

South Melbourne will then play Olympia Warriors at KGV Park on Friday at 7pm.

The visitors are likely to train at South Hobart on Saturday prior to the big game against South Hobart at South Hobart at 4pm on Sunday for the Hill Street-Thrifty Cup.

At 1pm on Sunday at South Hobart, there will be a curtain-raiser between the South Hobart development squad and the Glenorchy Knights under-19s.

“We are really excited about the visit by South Melbourne and would like to invite all football supporters in Tasmania to come along on Sunday afternoon as there will be plenty of good football, great food and drink and fairy floss and slushies for the kids,” said South Hobart President, Vicki Woods.

“Over many years, South Melbourne have boasted some of Australia’s best football players, including the likes of Oscar Crino, Alan Davidson, Ange Postecoglou [current Brisbane Roar Coach], Paul Wade and Paul Trimboli.

“South Melbourne have a rich history, having won the former National Soccer League on four occasions, and the Oceania Club Cup in 1999. They were FIFA World Club Cup Finalists in 2000 and, last year, were recognised as the FIFA Oceania Club of the 20th Century.”

Former Tasmanian David Clarkson, who played for Brighton and Hove Albion in England and also in Hong Kong, was a star with South Melbourne and captained the side for a couple of seasons before retiring.

The legendary ‘Galloping Major’ from Hungary, and of Real Madrid and Panathinaikos fame, the left-footed Ferenc Puskas, also coached South Melbourne Hellas in the early 1990s.

Puskas, who also coached Panathinaikos in a European Cup final against Ajax at Wembley, possessed one of the most powerful shots in the game.

He was once coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada but his contract was terminated because he intimidated the club’s goalkeepers and shattered their confidence with his shooting at training.

Puskas conducted a coaching session in Launceston in the 1990s and one of my biggest regrets in the game is that I did not attend that session as he was one of my heroes.

A Tasmanian team coached by Steve Darby beat South Melbourne 2-1 at South Hobart in the 1980s. Former Liverpool star Alun Evans was a member of that South Melbourne team.

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, is excited at welcoming the visitors, who have been to Tasmania before on several occasions, including when Morton was coach of Olympia in the early 1980s.

South Hobart, under Morton, have visited Melbourne twice in the past two years to play South Melbourne Hellas in pre-season practice matches.

“It is so important for Tasmanian football players to be playing the better teams from interstate on a fairly regular basis if we are serious about improving our football standard here in Tasmania,” said Ken Morton.

“Over the last two years, we have taken our lads to Victoria and performed well against teams like South Melbourne and Oakleigh Cannons and there is no doubt this has helped us greatly with our preparation over the last two seasons.

“This year, South Melbourne have come to us as they are having renovation work done to their home ground and we look forward to welcoming them and playing some good attacking football.”

The South Melbourne Team will boast some of the best players in the country with the likes of Rama Tavsancioglu, from A-League Club North Queensland Fury, and Brazilian Fernando de Moraes (formerly New Zealand Knights) sure to be big winners with the fans.

Former Socceroo Eddie Krncevic is the South Melbourne coach and he is joined by his son, Jessie Krncevic, a recent signing from Richmond Eagles.

The match details are:

Thursday, 13 January 2011 (SQUAD MATCH)

Darcy Street, South Hobart

South Hobart FC v South Melbourne Hellas FC


Friday, 14 January 2011

KGV Park

Olympia Warriors v South Melbourne Hellas FC


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Darcy Street, South Hobart

South Hobart Development Squad v Glenorchy Knights Under 19’s



Darcy Street, South Hobart

South Hobart FC v South Melbourne Hellas FC


South Melbourne fly out of Hobart Airport at 10pm on Sunday night.

Budget Cuts Go Overboard

Finally the SBS segment goes to air. And finally I can acquiesce to the disillusionment that was building up inside me. Now I know we're stuck in a Global Financial Crisis™, but is 90 seconds all we could get? And what's this about six state championships? Hello, we've actually won, like, eight of them. Unless we sold a couple of them off to pay off some debts. If that's the case, can the bigwigs let me know which ones were sacrificed, so I can take them off the wikipedia page? Ta.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Francesco Stella and the value of archives

Remember this article about Francesco Stella signing with Siena? Anyway, here's a fairly old tribalfootball article, with news that Stella signed a pro-contract with Siena. I mean, it's from October 2010. Has anyone chased down or submitted a claim on the development fees? We'll keep track of this story as it develops.

Monday, 10 January 2011

2011 Memberships now available

You can go here for more info. Fairly streamlined options this season, what with playing out of Northcote all season, but some good value hidden in there somewhere. I encourage everyone out there to get onboard, as I do every year that I'm still around. But in addition to all that, here's a quick and cryptic editorial reply.

You are members of the board.

You know who you are.

I know who you are.

Cease the feel good rhetoric and commence real action to actually engage with your local community.

Power to those people who can see the value of the future in the present moment and are not afraid to chase it.

Death to hasbeen tyrants who have found themselves emasculated due to the club not needing a self-appointed Moses to lead us lemmings away from the cliff's edge and into the promised land.

Extinction to all those caught in a 1961 timewarp and who even have decades old copies of the Athletic Echo and Athletic Flame to convince themselves that they are not located in 2011.

Needless to say, I don't like the slogan.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Friendly against Bentleigh tonight


Nah, like seriously, the game kicks off at 7:30pm, and will be at Kingston Heath.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Joe Keenan injured while on loan

Star left-winger Joe Keenan has apparently broken his ankle while on loan to Adelaide United, in their match against Brisbane Roar. The preliminary diagnosis seems to be a 6-8 week layoff, which means he'll miss most if not all of the pre-season schedule. Just more bad luck for Keenan, who missed much of the opening half of the 2010 season after having his appendix removed, as well as succumbing to other injuries.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Dean Anastasiadis wearing a TISM shirt

Is his choice of clothing more interesting than anything he has to say, in this interview post our 1995 Dockerty Cup win? I suppose you'd have to check it out for yourselves. With thanks to Boo for the clip.