From Walter Pless's blog. It looks like we're heading in the direction of building an actual sister club relationship with Olympia, by letting them sign a player a year and going over there on a yearly basis for pre-season training and matches, and even to play a home game. Can't say that I'm at all happy with playing a home game in Tasmania, and I'm not sure the team that will drawn to play us away there will be that stoked either unless they get their expenses paid.
Good luck to Jake anyway, hopefully it's a worthwhile stint and he comes back to South better for the experience, but I can't say I'm sold on the concept of sister club relationships as it is, and the way this whole thing seems to have been done. Just concerned that it's part of a trend to get rid of our young players. It's not Ange Dallas' motives that I'm worried about. Whether he's right or wrong, I believe he has the best interests of the club and players at heart. But as for Eddie - I don't have nearly the same confidence in him as I would like.
Olympia Warriors have signed 19-year-old defender Jake Van der Mey from South Melbourne Hellas in the Victorian Premier League.
He was cleared by South Melbourne and signed by Olympia today in time for the club’s Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League showdown with Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park on Friday at 8pm.
Van der Mey was a member of the South Melbourne squad that played South Hobart at South Hobart in January’s Hill Street/Thrifty Cup.
The signing comes following a visit to Melbourne this week by Olympia president George Mamacas and senior coach Franco Previdi, where they had discussions with South Melbourne’s coach, Eddie Krncevic, club president Leo Athanaskis and football director Ange Dallas.
“From watching him training, he’s a good player,” said Previdi this afternoon.
“I had some very good chats with Eddie [Krncevic] and he basically said he’s a good kid who has played three or four games in the seniors.
“He needs a little bit more development and playing in senior football. South Melbourne are obviously aiming to win the league and they’ve just signed three or four players aged about 24 with a bit more experience.
“He’s a really good player and a few of our players played against him when they went over there to train with South Melbourne. They remember him.
“He’s a good kid. He’s 19 years old and I’m sure he can stand on his own, but I don’t want to put him under any more pressure.
“He’ll most likely play in defence, but we’ll wait and see our resources.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll probably sign another one.”
Olympia president, George Mamacas, sees this signing as part of a developing relationship between the Warriors and South Melbourne Hellas.
“Our club’s vision is to set up a pathway for youth players of the Olympia FC Warriors to attain a higher level of football on the mainland,” Mamacas said today.
“The South Melbourne FC facility, Bob Jane Stadium, is currently under construction and there is a projected 90 million dollars of refurbishments.
“We are aiming to set up a pilot program whereby fringe Victorian Premier League players of South Melbourne FC would be identified and spend one season with the Olympia FC Warriors in Tasmania on a yearly basis.
“South Melbourne FC would also make an annual visit to Warrior Park for pre-season training with the Olympia FC Warriors, and this would also include practice games.
“There would also be a scheduling of a South Melbourne FC Premier League home game during the season proper here in Tasmania to coincide with an Olympia FC Warriors home game as the curtain-raiser.
“Our club is now ready to embrace what will be a fruitful and everlasting relationship with South Melbourne FC.
“We see many benefits for our club and the football community throughout Tasmania.
“South Melbourne FC coach and former Australian international Eddie Krncevic will come down in a few weeks’ time and take a training session and be a guest at one of our home games.
“It is worth noting that the club’s vision was always to talk to South Melbourne in regard to players on their list that may be available.
“We, as a club, believe having players within our squad who are playing at a higher level will advance the development of our youth and give the younger players aspirations to take the next step.
“Also, it will give them a perspective and an insight into what is required to make it to the next level.
“The player we have signed for the duration of season 2011 is 19-year-old Jake Van der Mey.
“Playing in the centre-back position, he has made appearances at senior level this year.
“Eddie Krncevic has a high opinion of him and wants him to play senior football before seeing him push for a permanent starting position in 2012 with South Melbourne FC in the Victorian Premier League.
“Olympia FC Warriors want to be seen to be raising the bar and improving football both on and off the field.
“The reality is that this is great news for football in general and Olympia FC Warriors are playing their part at helping the game grow in our island state of Tasmania.”