Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Harismidis not happy with Lakeside Redevelopment

Don't ask why Con Harismidis decided to reply to a seven year old blog post on another site. Also, don't ask how I came across this piece at all. 

Con_Harismidis_Is_Hellas said...

My cousin freild Rick say this is maybe South melbourne Hellas mesagae board or do you now if where sm sc borad is.

I come back here and all is diferent. Many bad thing are in Melbouren and my uncle even say if you want to seeHellas there is now track and feild track. What is happening is there tracka nd feild track for Hellas soccer stadium.

I now Premiere Brack does not like Greece but to put a track and feild track at the home of Greek and all soccer is a bad thing. My uncle is old and if he has to see with track and feild track in the way it is hard to see that far.The anglo football league is crime. The rugby is crome and a aleague is crime. South Melbounre Hellas is I am told elected best soccer club in all australai asia ocenia.

All the government do is take from Greek and give to people of crime and bad country. 60 year ago the Australai is third world and the Greek invited and build the dam and the roada and the bridge. To have a stadium for Hellas soccer is deserved and good. Now Sergee Bubker and Daily Tomson take it over. How can you play soccer with hole from javelen and sout putt in grass.

Why do the Greek make good country and then the anglo give it to asia, africa, mexico , turk and they do crime. My uncle say he will nevr go on train again in Melborune if someone like Mannix is not there to protect him and good people.

When i come on the bus and go back to Melbouren there is africa people at spencer street station wanting me give them money. I tell my uncle and he say it is very difrent and scarry. My uncle would go to Dandonong to see his freind and he say there are so manyh africa in Dandeonong that it look like France.

My uncle is wise. he is Greek born and bread. My uncle say what if there is Mesolongion who are good and Kardhitsa is bad. If Mesolongion has good people who build a good place and Kardhitsa burn the house in Kardhitsa down and have no crop. Mesolongion can help Kardhitsa build the house and help the cr0p and give them maybe some fish. You do not say to bad people come live in my house and burn down my house.

Greek and some nonGreek make the NSL. Then shopping mall person and other people steel from good people for aleague. I nevr go to aleague or if Hellas is there I will or if Anwar Sedat come and chain me and drag me to game.

I have one country to cheer for World Cup and other team. Yes Greece you are the best. I also want the team that play cheeting bush socceroo to win. Pim Ver Beak is very ugly.

My dream and your dream is Greece in World Cup final and bad Austraali scocceroo in final. the score is Greece 24 and other team 0.

my uncle also say Yusif Yusif is a player South Melb9orunr eHellas. That can not be right. Mustafa Mustafa then Yusif Yusif. What is the world coming to. Anastasiadis. Boutsianis. Anastasiadis. Those are the name you want to here for the team. Is Yusif Yusif the Cat Steven.

I was waiting for the bus on tuesday or wensdeday with my cousin and the woman walk by with the pillow case on the head. I said to my cousin "What was that" and he said "She a muslem. A few minute later a big guy with bald hair and giant beard and a black t shirt with map of Austrlia colour with Lebanon flag walk by. When he had gone away and I stop hiding I said to my cousin 'what was that" and he said "She a muslem". Just before bus was there a tall person with white shiek shirt and trouser walk by and I look at my cousin. My cousin told me "Sunny muslem". The the morale of it is that sunny muslem where brighter clothe than she a muslem.

I want stadium for only soccer and only Hellas.I vote for no track and feild track.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Former South player Frank Munro passes away

Amidst the chaos of last week, former South Melbourne defender Frank Munro passed away at the age of 63. A 'tough as nails' centre back, Munro played a handful of games for South in 1978 and '79 under Dave MacLaren. The bulk of his career however was spent at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he played 296 games for the Molineux club and became a firm club favourite..

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

All Over, Red Rover for Season 2011 - Oakleigh 1 South Melbourne 0

Curious. I did only write this up last night, but thought I had already posted it. 

The simple truth of the matter is that we created few chances and were reliant on Zaim Zeneli making several important saves. Oakleigh dominated us with their physical approach to the game - aided by lenient officials - and the absence of either Carl Recchia (playing in defense) or the suspended Sebastian Petrovich in midfield meant that far too often we were second to the ball and on the back foot.

Much speculation had been raised during the week over who who would take the place of Petrovich and the injured Steven Topalovic. The latter's place was unsurprisingly taken over by Rhodri Payne, while the former was the surprise of the night and perhaps season when Yanni Galanos, who had played all of 25 minutes for the entire campaign was picked ahead of Marinos Gasparis and Fernando De Moraes.

Hindsight is a terrific thing to have, but the coaching staff must have felt that Galanos' ability as a defensive midfielder would make up for the creativity lost by not playing one of the other two. As it turned out, even when Fernando did come on, he had little impact on the game, and as has often been the case, looked a shadow of his 2010 Gold Medal winning form. Galanos, too, had little impact, while Payne, so often a Jekyll and Hyde player, reverted to his Hyde persona, constantly giving the ball away in dangerous areas.

Fernando though, was not alone in producing a sub par performance. For whatever reason, the side looked flatfooted and bereft of ideas, with perhaps the effects of playing several cutthroat games in a row eventually taking its toll. From the Dandenong Thunder game onwards, just about every game the side had played was do or die. In some ways, it was a feat to reach this far, but five consecutive sudden death games was too much for the side.

Zeneli was undoubtedly South's best player. He pulled off several important saves, including one from point blank range in the first half. He was also the victim of two crude challenges, one of which by Oakleigh hardman/biggest dog in the VPL Josh Groenwald left Zeneli with a large gash on his head which required several minutes worth of medical attention. Neither challenge, nor several other rough moments, were dealt with in any serious manner by the officials except for belated yellow cards.

Perhaps the worst and most heinous of all those challenges was from former beloved captain Ramazan Tavsancioglu who, to borrow the words of one spectator, had been lining up Jesse Krncevic since January. An awfully late challenge on the striker off the ball in front of the South bench did little to endear the 2006 championship player to his critics, as well as denting the respect that he had among those supporters who sympathised with his exit from the club.

The closest we got to scoring was early on when Stephen Weir, who otherwise was shut out of the game, hit the crossbar; and midway through the second half, when Jesse Krncevic broke through for a one on one opportunity against Peter Zois, and while he put the ball in the back of the net, the flag had gone up for offside. From my vantage point behind that goal, my instinct was that it was a fair goal. Reports from the better placed patrons on the sideline generally claimed that it was onside, but there was the odd fan who claimed that it was offside. Perhaps the video, when it comes out, may clear up the matter. Perhaps not.

Coach Krncevic delayed in making substitutions, seemingly hoping that the game would reach extra time. It was always a dangerous tactic to pursue, and the team paid for its reluctance in going for the win when a long range shot by Oakleigh nestled into the opposite corner. The player had an eternity to line up the shot, and there was little that Zeneli could do to prevent it going in. Kyle Joryeff was brought on at the death, but had little chance to change the situation, and thus South's rollercoaster season ended with a whimper.

At the time of writing of course, the fate of the coach and several players was yet to be known, and is as usual likely to be hotly debated in the months ahead. As for the blog, the standard procedure will apply, as I wrap up the season that was, hand out the awards, let the Kiss of Death runs its course for 2011 and eventually slow down to the usual off-season pace.

Fair to say that I'm still devastated by the loss, but in full acknowledgment of the crazy season that we had.

The Peter Zois Barriers/The FFV wouldn't know what to do with a crowd
One of the more ludicrous things ever seen at a VPL game - and really, that's some effort to make such a shortlist - were the taped off areas behind each of the goals, allegedly to prevent the goalkeepers from having items thrown at them or have them come into contact with rowdy fans. Among a large part of the Clarendon Corner/smfcboard and assorted hangers on community, this was taken as at least a moral victory for the vocal fan known as Stathi.

Stathi is not even close to approaching any sort of wordsmithery. He can be crude, but he generally never enters the more turgid and offensive territory of the fan known as Columbo, who is currently serving a suspension for his role in last year's pitch invasion against Heidelberg. Both have their supporters and detractors. For all the antics of this game however, Peter Zois didn't snap this time until the end of the game, when he turned around to pick up his towel and grab hold of the badge on his chest and step forward to try and have a few words.

What price Zois places on any sense of loyalty to any club is a mystery to me, and probably many other VPL folk who could rattle off several clubs he has been at and left - but perhaps that is hypocritical to point out considering that we were at least fourth in line out of those clubs. Still, the whole 'I love this club' saga obviously did rankle with him, and will do so into the future. That, and the fact that Joe Keenan speaks better Greek than he does.

As for the FFV, a large crowd turned up, were accommodated poorly both in lining up and inside the ground, and left the poor security staff to their own wits as to how to try and prevent a pathetic barrier not be moved at all. By the time the game had ended, the blockaded area I was behind in the second half had moved closer to the fence by about 3-4 metres, almost as if by magic. There was also a moderately dicey moment early in the game when the lights flickered ominously, but they stayed on. The field itself was a bobbling hovel, sand everywhere and not suited to playing a decent brand of football. Still, if we'd had the double chance we perhaps could have avoided the situation.
The FFV's idea of soccer crowd control. It's so genius that they should think about exporting it to the Balkans or South America. Photo: Gains.

Drinking/How Clarendon Corner keeps on keeping on
I do like a drop of cider, but never to excess.

Clarendon Corner almost always rises to the occasion at Jack Edwards Reserve, and last night was no exception. The return of Lefteri helped things even further, and the interplay with the behind the goals crowd was also very good, considering there were very few chanting types on that side.

Apparently next year is Clarendon's 10th anniversary, with the majority of that spell being spent in the club's most difficult years. For better and worse, it's been one constant that has kept some people coming back, and provided a bit of atmosphere, colour and a point of difference to the other clubs and their crowds that increasingly being made up of old men. I've never always approved, occasionally found myself on the opposite side of an issue, and tend not to forgive the mistakes, but at the same time, been through a lot of good times as well. Maybe time to finally bury whatever hatchets we all have?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Syson vs Lynch!

The Age's chief soccer writer Michael Lynch (left), has his undies snapped by academic Ian Syson (centre), as part of a fledgling annual tradition in which local soccer fans take Lynch and The Age to task for not publishing material about the Victorian Premier League. South of the Border creator Paul Mavroudis (right), looks on, characteristically unamused by the spectacle.

This entry is also known as why Twitter sucks, and The Annual Disaffected, Bitter, Semi-Literate, Quasi Intelligent VPL Fan's Snapping of Michael Lynch's Undies.

I don't like Twitter and therefore I don't use Twitter. The website sucks and 160 characters is a daft number to choose. 255 is a much better choice.

Of course, if like me you don't have a smart phone, it's probably utterly pointless.

And besides, I like to waffle on, see where my muse leads me.

But epic manifestos on my self-diagnosed depression and where to get a good and cheap feed in Melbourne on a Sunday evening aren't for everyone.

And some of you like to consider yourselves as more technologically savvy than this blog, and more power to you in that regard.

So if you're one of those people with the attention span of a newt, then I suppose something like Twitter is your friend, and you may be interested in the stoush being played out between The Age's 'sokkah' writer Michael Lynch and academic (and sort of friend of South of the Border) Ian Syson, about why the VPL doesn't get more coverage in The Age.

Is there anything new here, in comparison to the last time we had this conversation? Nah, but it's become an annual ritual which we like to think we've played a part in establishing courtesy of an angry email I sent a few years ago after our last grand final win, but which is now lost because it was on my Bigpond email account and I'm on TPG now, and I didn't have the foresight to save it.

Why was it via Bigpond? Because I reasoned that The Age would probably automatically filter out my hotmail and gmail attempts at reaching them. All of which should be a footnote, because the arguments being employed are still much the same.
  • We don't cover second tier sport.
  • There's not enough interest/it's only followed by a few hardcores.
  • I would love to do it, but there's limited space.
  • I'll try and get something online next year.
  • The Age is about selling papers and entertaining people, not informing them.

To which this year there's been a couple of new additions
  • We (Fairfax) have a deal with the FFV to get stuff published in local papers.
  • Coverage of Victorian soccer is the best it's ever been!

There are obvious responses to all these things, which have been covered before (see the above links and the Michael Lynch tag on this blog) as well as in this current mini-fracas, but to save time, let's go over them one more (last?) time.

  • The Age does cover second and third tier sport, when they report on VFL, VAFA, District Cricket etc.
  • There would be VPL crowds that would easily match or cover an equivalent VFL, VAFA, District Cricket fixture.
  • The notion of limited space is a crock. Ghostwritten articles by AFL players which probably no one reads are somehow more important and integral than a VPL grand final?
  • When it comes to the internet and getting more content on there, next year never seems to arrive for our daily newspapers. 
  • Yes, yes, we know that we can follow our teams in the free suburban papers. But that goes for the aforementioned aussie rules and premier cricket competitions as well, and yet they still get press coverage in the dailies.
  • Unless one counts the coverage of the Victory and Heart as part of the tally, coverage of Victorian soccer is non-existent in The Age.
  • It is easy to prove that soccer coverage was more extensive just by looking up old papers. Was it as well written? Probably not. Was it to the point and did it cover the main details of the weekend's action? In quite a few cases, yes.
I don't think anyone in their right mind is asking for wall to wall coverage of the competition, merely acknowledgement of its importance relative to the other junk that they cover, as well as a cessation in the bullshit they peddle about why the VPL does not get coverage in their paper. That's what I want at least. If they discarded all the other lower tier sport, then there'd be one less bit of hypocrisy for the cynics, who perhaps see this as just another part of the australian rules conspiracy, to aim at.

The Age may be operating in a global field, but it is a Melbourne paper which should accurately reflect the things which are happening in this city, and not merely favour those things which are the enclave of a few Old Boys, nor use their professed parochialism solely as an advertising tool and not as a deeper operating philosophy. Yes, I've walked past your ads at Spencer Street Station, and no, I don't believe what they're telling me.

Then again, with so much of their material operations being outsourced away from Victoria, are they even a genuinely local enterprise any longer? Who the hell cares, as long people are entertained by what they read in preference to being informed about their world; because the logical conclusion about selling papers and giving people what they want to read, is that you eventually stop giving people items that they should be reading.

I'd wager that there's plenty of people out there who already think that The Age has headed down the path of treating it's readership in an increasingly condescending manner. Me, I just hope to see everyone here again next year, so we can give this ride another whirl.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

FFA Cup Survey

Honestly, this is one of the dumbest and even borderline offensive surveys I've ever done. If you want to take a stab it as well, head here.

Personally, I'm all for a magically violent ethnic knockout style competition, that's also has a grassroots international flavour that's family friendly, while being unpredictable and completely commercialised.

Kiss of Death, Finals Week 2, 2011

Kiss of Death – Early Edition

Major Semi Final
Green Gully Cavaliers (1st) v Hume City (3rd) @ Green Gully Reserve on Saturday, 3pm

This will be Green Gully's virgin 2011 finals series appearance as they had the week off due to being crowned Minor Premiers. Hume City on the other hand fought out a 3-4 away win at the Cannons, after trailing 2-0 at the half time interval. What a choke by Oakleigh. I cannot see Green Gully losing this one and to be honest I reckon that Hume threw everything they had for the finals series all at Oakleigh. Green Gully have not beaten Hume at all this season, but I can see this ending. The winner progresses to the Grand Final while the loser plays the winner of the minor semi. Green Gully 3 – Hume City 1.

2011 Results
  • Round 6 Green Gully 0 – Hume City 1
  • Round 17 Hume City 4 – Green Gully 0

Minor Semi Final 
Oakleigh Cannons (2nd) v South Melbourne (4th) @ Jack Edwards Reserve on Sunday 6pm

As expected South Melbourne overcame Heidelberg last week down at Port Melbourne 1-0. Heidelberg had a chance gifted to them by referee Hakan Anaz, only to see Hamlet Armenian snuff it. Unlucky, but good to see Hamlet still has a soft spot for South Melbourne. Oakleigh on the other hand continued their finals series choking habits with a 3-4 home loss to Hume. My futbol24 app was going bananas in the 2nd half, and I nearly choked on my burger when Hume hit the lead in the 90th. South Melbourne hasn’t lost to Oakleigh since round 10 of season 2010, and hasn’t lost at Jack Edwards reserve since Round 4 of 2008. This will be the match of Season 2011, with not only a Preliminary final appearance on the line, but also bragging rights. You see, there is a false sense of belief down at Jack Edwards that the Oakleigh Cannons are the biggest Greek club on the planet to the point that the weekly spreads they get in the Neos Kosmos, refers to them as “Le Bleus” and their coach as “Mourinho”. Please, don’t make the people sick. When South plays Oakleigh, it always seems like an intra club match as they are the only ones who seem to pick up Souths rejects. Either way, South will beat them on Sunday. On paper and on field, I see nothing at Oakleigh which South should be fearful of. Pappas has been outfoxed twice this season by Krncevic and I expect the same on Sunday. The loser of this game goes on their end of season trip, while the winner plays the loser of the major semi. Oakleigh Cannons 0 – South Melbourne 2

2011 Results
  • Round 5 Oakleigh Cannons 1 – South Melbourne 2
  • Round 16 South Melbourne 1 – Oakleigh Cannons 0

Monday, 15 August 2011

At Last - South Melbourne 1 Heidelberg United 0

This blog entry/match report will not be a linear account. Linear narratives are pretty stupid anyway. Five years of hurt was almost worth it yesterday. After five years of losing games we dominated, of needing late scrambling efforts to snare a draw from the jaws of defeat, of finding ever more ludicrous ways of not taking all three points against these chumps, to win with a semi or three quarters dodgy penalty, and see them miss their chance at the other end, was all too bloody sweet.

Stephen Weir was involved in most of our attacks. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Stephen Weir played his best game for the club - is that what I said last week as well? Quite simply, he was in just about everything. Next to him, Jesse Krncevic's absence has been incredibly evident, with five goals from his four games after returning from suspension. He challenges for the ball, chases well, and seems to have a decent rapport with Weir. Carl Recchia was also a rock in defense, and there seems to be a good vibe amongst the squad. Winning can do strange and unpredictable things.

So after all the unsubstantiated rumours (which we at South of the Border didn't start, but happily passed along) and innuendo (he's in Malaysia!) about Osagie Ederaro's visa ending, he of course did end up playing, allegedly at a cost of $5,000 per week to extend his stay. But George Katsakis, being the master tactician that he is - and seriously, how has this moron had the better of us for so long? - played his best player at his most optimum position of right back. Not forward, where he scores bucketloads of goals. Not perhaps on the wing, where he can dribble and run past defenders. But at right back where he was in a great position to hear the 'where's your visa' chant.

There was bad news from the game for us as well though. Steven Topalovic reportedly has a broken tibia - he came off just before halftime, with Trent Waterson replacing him. Topa's not everyone's favourite player, but you still don't want to see that kind of thing happen - mind you, the joke's have already begun that he still has one good leg, so Eddie may yet start him next week. Also missing next week will be Seb Petrovich, who was sent off about five minutes from the end of regulation after copping a second, and some say unnecessary yellow card.

A midfield and defensive reshuffle of sorts may be in order, but the main reason we'll even need one is because we're still in the finals. And apart from some desperate defending and Jesse's well taken penalty, we have Zaim Zeneli to thank for that. He gave away the penalty - I'd pass judgment but I couldn't see anything through the mass of bodies and all the way from the other side of the ground - but he also saved it, and it was a double save to boot, after he manged to collect the follow up shot.

The penalty was won about 20 seconds after Petrovich was sent off. A sense of doom spread around the ground, except amongst the small pocket of Heidelberg support on the hill who were celebrating as if it had already gone in. Surprisingly, it was Hamlet Armenian who stepped up to take the spot kick. To his credit, Hamlet works hard, but as first choice for a steely nerves moment of life and death, he wouldn't be my first choice. And yes, that is based a lot on the poor season that he had with us a few years back. But with Osagie and Saso Alexovski, two of the better strikers in the league at your disposal, or Craig Elvin, the experienced defender, why Hamlet?

Jesse's stoked after scoring from the spot. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Was our penalty legit? The talk after the game was apparently about whether or not the foul was committed in or out of the box. My thoughts at the time were about whether there was really enough contact, whether it was more of a 50/50 ball that Weir merely lost a battle of strength for. Normally I'd be more diplomatic, but after the last five years of crap, the dodgier the calls in our favour the better. Who could forget Osagie winning that penalty with the most blatant dive this side of Serie A? Or Vassiliadis getting Coveny sent off by rolling around like he'd been shot? Or fast forward to just a few months ago when Krncevic was sent off for calling Griffin McMaster a fucking cheat. No, I'll take a dodgy win. Screw Heidelberg.

It was a tight and niggly affair, without much flow to the game. Some have blamed the ref for that, but if there's dodgy tackles being thrown in what else can a ref do? Both sides hit the woodwork in the second half with the game still at 0-0, Heidelberg hitting the crossbar from a corner, and South hitting the back post when a Heidelberg defender almost flicked his header into his own net off another dangerous cross. Weir also his the sude netting from close range and should have cut a ball across for Krncevic in the middle. At the other end, there were times where we struggled to clear the ball from defense and Zeneli could be seen flying all over the place.

It just happened to fall our way this once.

The Other Game
So who are we playing next week? In retrospect, it was always going to be Oakleigh. Sure they were 2-0 up at home against Hume City, and then 3-2 up with 89 minutes having being played, but that just made the cosmically ordained choke all the more priceless, copping two goals in the space of about a minute. The rumours of Hume's demise have been greatly exaggerated - they might have some problems in defense, but going forward they are still incredibly potent - Richie Cardozo and Andy Vlahos are in awesome form, the latter in particular belying his age and his apparent two pack a day cigarette habit to run rings around his opponents.

So Oakleigh it is then, no time or day or place was available at time of print, though you'd imagine it'd be at Jack Edwards Reserve with a pretty decent crowd. Oakleigh have good players, but they, like everyone else in this league except probably Green Gully, are prone to making heinous and costly errors. We've beaten them twice this year already, and have a decent record against them overall - you've just got to wonder though how much longer we can keep this run going, and when finishing outside the double chance spots will cost us.

Will Fernando De Moreas and Marinos Gasparis get a look in this time? Gasparis wasn't in the squad list, Fernando wasn't used either. Is Fernando fit and injury free? Was there concern about either of those players ability to be effective in what ended up being a torrid and rough affair? Will Yanni Galanos get more game time? He's been back two weeks and could be an x-factor type of player. So many questions, so little insight.

The Perils of Taking Public Transport
I only took public transport to the pub yesterday, and got a lift to the ground. And then another lift to Oakleigh and home. Which meant that I got to avoid to the torture that is dealing with Heidelberg Harismidis. Poor Gains though didn't. Here's his text message to me relating his bus trip.
So yeah harismidis likens us to man u compared to berger's city. their limited resources that is.

My brain hurts just trying to think about that.

I'm Only Happy When It Rains Department
Apparently one of our own fans left the game early in disgust - and vowed never to come back - either because we were winning or because of the cynical attempts by the club to control information on Facebook. Makes sense to me. Each to their own and all that.

Final Thought
Took too long to happen, but when it came, how sweet it was. I was hugging randoms including Jesus, my hands were numb, I must've had the stupidest grin on my face for hours afterwards. I'd really love for us to win the title, and that's about the most obvious and dumb thing I could say about this season.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Kiss Of Death, Finals Week 1, 2011

This weekend we have the Elimination and Qualifying finals. On Sunday at 3pm, a resurgent South Melbourne take on Heidelberg United, while at 6:45pm on the same night Oakleigh Cannons take on a poor season finishing Hume City.

Last weekend was a perfect end to the season with everyone locked onto on their iphones getting goals as they were happening around the grounds. Yes, there were upsets. Melbourne Knights beating Hume 4-2 meant that Hume finished the season in third position. Springvale shocked everybody with a 3-1 win over Heidelberg which meant the Bergers ended up fifth. Oakleigh drew 1-1 against Dandenong and that got them second spot. All the action however was at SS Anderson Reserve in Port Melbourne where South Melbourne took on Northcote City.

South Melbourne found themselves 1-0 up after one minute, yet 1-3 down after 32 minutes. Two goals in the final three minutes of the first half meant that the teams went in at half time at 3-3. An excellent advertisement for the VPL with a game full of goals, action, and nearly a late winner. Now onto this weeks tips.

Elimination Final - South Melbourne vs Heidelberg United
3pm, Sunday 14th August at SS Anderson Reserve, Port Melbourne

The loser of this match can start planning their end of season trip.  After last week's heart stopper at Port Melbourne, teams should fear South in the finals series, and know that they are serious about going all the way. To come back to 3-3 after being 1-3 down against a high scoring Northcote is an excellent achievement. Not many teams can claw back a two goal deficit. The pressure was on early, and the boys responded well. One of the upsets of the round was at Springvale. How they beat the Bergers 3-1 is anyones guess. Rumour has it that Osagie Ederaro’s visa has expired and he has already left the country. I’m not sure how accurate this rumour is, so don’t quote me on it. Final score of this humdinger of a match will be, South Melbourne 4 – Heidelberg United 0.

South Melbourne – Total Points in last five games - 10
  • Round 18 Home v St.Albans. W 1-0
  • Round 19 Away v Richmond. L 1-0
  • Round 20 Home v Hume City. W 3-1
  • Round 21 Away v Dandenong Thunder. W 1-0
  • Round 22 Home v Northcote. D 3-3

Heidelberg United – Total Points in last five games – 8
  • Round 18 Home v Northcote. W 1-0
  • Round 19 Away v Melbourne Knights. D 1-1
  • Round 20 Home v Green Gully. D 0-0
  • Round 21 Away v St.Albans W 4-1
  • Round 22 Away v Springvale. L 3-1 
Qualifying Final - Oakleigh Cannons v Hume City
6:45pm, Sunday 14th August at Jack Edwards Reserve, Oakleigh

The game with the double chance. Whoever loses lives to fight another day and play the winner of the Elimination Final above. Hume is the most out of form team coming into the finals series. Four straight losses and a win to state league 1 bound Springvale White Eagles. Things look like they are falling apart at the wrong time of the season for Andy Vlahos. Rumours of players being sacked after their loss to the Knights have begun floating around the various forums. Oakleigh beat Hume two weeks ago, and I reckon have enough to do it again. Only problem is Oakleigh hasn’t won a game at home since round 17 against Heidelberg. But it’s finals time and everything changes. Oakleigh also has a record of choking at this time of the season, so I’m tipping this game to go to penalties. Full time 1-1, after penalties Hume progress.

Oakleigh Cannons – Total Points in last 5 games – 7
  • Round 18 Home v Melbourne Knights. L 0-1
  • Round 19 Away v St.Albans. W 0-2
  • Round 20 Home v Richmond. L 1-2
  • Round 21 Away v Hume City. W 0-2
  • Round 22 Home V Dandenong Thunder. D 1-1

Hume City - Total Points in last 5 games – 3
  • Round 18 Away v Springvale. W 1-2
  • Round 19 Home v Bentleigh Greens. L 1-2
  • Round 20 Away v South Melbourne. L 3-1
  • Round 21 Home v Oakleigh Cannons. L 0-2
  • Round 22 Away v Melbourne Knights. L 4-2

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Interviews with Josh Colosimo and Jake Vandermey

Just to add to the previous entry, Walter Pless has recently put up two interviews he conducted with Jake Vandermey and Josh Colosimo, well worth a read.

Bit of a Hobart Olympia update

By the way, Hobart Olympia have survived relegation, after beating bottom team Beachside recently. Last Saturday night they played Clarence, and lost 3-2 in an epic encounter. Jake Vandermey scored, hit the post and gave away a penalty. Josh Colosimo got stretchered off late in the mate with a suspected rib injury.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Day, Time, Place for this week's elimination final

The match against Heidelberg will be held at Port Melbourne's SS Anderson Reserve, on Sunday 14th August, kickoff at 3pm.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Great Escape - South Melbourne 3 Northcote City 3

Before we get to the dramatic senior match, it's only fitting that we talk a bit about the under 21s.

Despite the substantial turnover in personnel during the season, they managed to work their way to the top of the table. But they needed a win in today's final round to seal back to back titles. Despite being well out of title contention, Northcote weren't keen on giving us the points, and they fought and kicked their way throughout the contest.

We took the lead in the first half, after a great dummy run in an offside position opened up the space for the young man to dribble through and pass to his teammate to score. Northcote leveled early in the second half, but our boys weren't going to rely on the other results going their way.

Nick Niagoran belted home a spectacular goal, right into the top right corner, to make it 2-1 - and that was the score at the end of the game. It was something straight out of a Boys Own Annual. Congratulations to coach Gus Caminos and all the boys who pulled on a blue and white shirt this year, for a title well earned.

Congratulations to the under 21s on achieving back to back titles. Photo: Peter Psarros.

The main event
When watching the first of last year's AFL grand finals, my arms went numb during the last three minutes of the game. Today, at Port Melbourne, I started losing the feeling in my hands about halfway through the second half. It was that tense.

Not much room under the social club roof. Photo: Peter Psarros.
The game had been hyped up considerably. The so called sister club relationship. The fact that it had been moved from John Cain to SS Anderson Reserve. The minimum five goals scored in each of the past three meetings. The possibility of Gianni De Nittis coming on late and providing a dose of karma.

Somehow, this game lived up to every expectation. The rain held off, the crowd wasn't too bad, and they didn't have to wait long for a goal, with Jesse Krncevic beating the offside trap and managing to slot it home on a tight angle to make it 1-0 after just three minutes.

But Northcote are nothing if not proficient in front of goals, and within a minute they had leveled, breezing through our right hand side for an easy finish. Soon after, they were 2-1 up, when Steven Topalovic gave the ball away cheaply on the last line of defence, exposing Zaim Zeneli. Topalovic had a poor game it must be said, and if Rhodri Payne is fit for next week there'd be serious doubts over him getting a starting spot.

When Trent Rixon scored his second to make it 3-1 after 33 minutes, after being unmarked but brilliantly controlling a long pass, it looked like it was just about out of reach for us. Defensively we were all over the shop, and we were being punished mercilessly for it. And when Stephen Weir met Daniel Dragicevic's cross, only to stub the shot straight at Northcote's goalkeeper, Charles Treacey, from a mere six yards out, the hope that we might come back just sank a little further.

Celebrations as Krncevic's second goal floats in just under the crossbar.
Photo: Peter Psarros.
But then Jesse Krncevic scored one of the goals of the season, and somehow we were still in with a chance. A ball was played wide out to the right into space, and Treacey came way off his line to try, possibly in a moment of madness, cut off Krncevic's angle. But the striker had a different idea, lobbing the ball over Treacey's head, and just underneath the crossbar. It was a more spectacular effort than last week's attempt to chip Stuart Webster, but it came off and at 3-2 we were back in the game.

Practice makes perfect - Weir celebrates after scoring from a free kick.
Photo: Peter Psarros.
And then we got a free kick just outside the box, in the same territory that Stephen Weir has been attempting to score from since he crossed over from Hume City halfway through the season. Most of his efforts from similar situations thus far had hit the wall - including against his former side Hume just a couple of weeks agao, which saw Krncevic pounce on the crumb. This time, the shot was perfectly placed into the bottom corner, and somehow the team went into halftime at 3-3.

Surely there would be more goals in the second half? Somehow, all the scoring dried up, though not without some desperate defending and alert goalkeeping on both sides of the ground. Either side could have taken the win, but even with an injured Zeneli, and Gianni De Nittis coming towards the end of the game as Northcote desperately searched for the winning goal - only all three points being good enough to see them in the finals at our expense - neither side were able to break the deadlock.

Jesse Krncevic had the best chance of the closing minutes, but even he couldn't add to his two goals. Yianni Galanos, coming off the bench late in the game to make his official South debut after almost an entire season laid off with a pre-season injury, provided the inch perfect cross. Perhaps there was too much time for Jesse to think about it, as his angled header went wide, and the opportunity to finish third and grab a double chance was lost

But it would be harsh to put all the blame on our fourth placed finish on that moment. There were too many other times during the season where we shot ourselves in the foot, and now we will have to do it the hard way, needing to win through four consecutive rounds. It's not impossible, but the room for error is just about non-existent.

And first cab off the rank is Heidelberg, who threw away their chance at getting at least a double chance courtesy of a shock loss to Springvale White Eagles. For some reason Heidelberg Harismidis was at our game rather then his own team's - probably too hard to get to for him. Spying he claimed.

No point in looking beyond the coming week however. Real one week at a time stuff, until we take the title or we bow out. It's a hell of a hoodoo to have to overcome, but we'll see how we go.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Kiss of Death, Round 22, 2011

Scotch Watch
No need to keep track of this anymore. Bentleigh's loss last week coupled with South's win sees the whiskey end up with the Kiss of Death - was there ever any doubt? There's a four point gap with one round to go. Congratulations to the Kiss of Death, but no commiserations to South board member Lucky Chrisomalidis, who apart from betting against his own team, learned nothing from last year's big mouth statements about Bentleigh coming in and storming the league.

This is it readers. The final ‘regular season’ Kiss of Death for season 2011.

St.Albans vs Richmond
11th v 8th. With St. Albans relegated they will have nothing to lose. Richmond misses out on a finals berth this season by four points. Last year's finalists just didn’t cut the mustard this season. I’ll be short and sweet. St.Albans 2 - Richmond 2.

Melbourne Knights vs Hume City
10th v 1st. After a late surge with good victories, the Knights didn’t have enough legs to make the finals this year. Hume on the other hand, has had a late lull in proceedings. I don’t know what’s happening down at Broady, but it can’t be good. Melbourne Knights 2 – Hume City 0.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Dandenong Thunder
2nd v 9th. Dandenong's finals hopes were dashed last week after their home loss to South Melbourne. Oakleigh have secured their finals appearance this season under the guidance of young coach Arthur Pappas. I'm tipping this one for a draw.
Oakleigh Cannons 1 – Dandenong Thunder 1.

Bentleigh Greens vs Green Gully Cavaliers
7th v 4th. Thank you Bentleigh for assisting in my scotch bottle victory. Four points short of a finals appearance and six points short of South Melbourne. Let’s hope it gets paid up on Sunday. Ole! Green Gully as expected makes an appearance in the finals series, and surely they are the favourites. Bentleigh Greens 2 – Green Gully 1.

Springvale White Eagles vs Heidelberg
12th v 3rd. Dead rubber for Springvale, but a game of opportunities for Heidelberg. A big win, and losses around the grounds could propel them into first place, and for a team that lost three points this year, that would be an exceptional performance.  Springvale White Eagles 0 – Heidelberg 4

South Melbourne vs Northcote City
5th v 6th. The match of the round. One of these two teams will miss out on a finals place. South Melbourne needs a measly point to secure fifth spot, while Northcote needs a win. If South loses, they only have themselves to blame. Throughout the season they have dropped points like a hot potato. VTC and Green Gully being the standouts. If they had won any of those two games, they would now be safe. However, Northcote has a good record against South Melbourne over the years. Northcote and namely Trent Rixon seem to score at will against South, and I fear Gianni De Nittis might be the one to seal Souths fate. Eddie has been leading the team alone the past two weeks, and his return has been six points, four goals scored, one conceded. With a full squad to choose from and with the team seeming to be coming good at the right time of the season, one can only hope their luck against Northcote changes. An ‘away’ fixture for both teams this weekend as the game is being played at a somewhat neutral venue S.S. Anderson Reserve in Port Melbourne, the home of the Sharks. South Melbourne 3 – Northcote City 0.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The possibilities are not limitless

I don't usually consult with the Kiss of Death, so I don't know what it is going to write tomorrow about this week's final round of matches, which might be a surprise to those of you who may still think that I am the Kiss of Death.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying, you might well be reading the same thing written in two different ways. Which is tough, because most of you are probably happy to read the same thing written everyday about the footy.

Anyway, at the core of the matter, it's pretty simple. Four of the five finalists have been settled, if not their finishing positions. The one spot left is to be fought out by ourselves and Northcote.

We're two points ahead of them, so a draw to us will be enough for us to make it. Where could we finish if we draw? Well, as high as third, oddly enough, as long as both Heidelberg (Springvale White Eagles, away) and Green Gully (Bentleigh Greens, away) both lose. Unlikely to say the least, so we'd be looking at an elimination final against one of those two sides, most likely away to Green Gully.

And what happens if we win? Well, we could finish as high as first - as long both Heidelberg and Gully don't win, and Oakleigh (Dandenong Thunder, home) and Hume City (Melbourne Knights, away) both lose. Again, heinously unlikely. But all of which illustrates the fact that it's such a tight finish to the end of the season - someone on soccer-forum did the sums, and if results go a certain way - South, Gully, Bergers win, Hume and Oakleigh draw - all five finalists could finish on 43 points! Which would leave us in fifth because our goal difference is so appalling.

More likely, we'll end up third or fourth at best. More likely we'll find a way to make all these calculations redundant. Nick Maxwell's mum reckons I should get on Gianni De Nittis to score on Sunday. I'm no gambler, but it is tempting.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Under 21s gunning for back to back titles this week

I know when it comes to under 21 leagues and below that we're all supposed to be politically correct and be focusing on the development of the players and not the results, but stuff it.

South's under 21s have worked bloody hard this year, working against player defections and injuries, and occasionally losing a player to the senior squad - both ours and Hobart Olympia's - that it's the result that everyone will be looking at this week.

They currently top the standings on 49 points, one point ahead of Hume City, who play third placed Melbourne Knights in the final week. Only Hume can take the title off South.

Hume have a far superior goal difference to South, so our boys will have to at least match Hume's result in the final round to take the title for the second year in a row. South of the Border wishes them all the best in their pursuit of what would be a well deserved title.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Confirmation of this week's game being played at Port Melbourne

Just like the article title says, this week's game against Northcote has been moved to Port Melbourne's ground at SS Anderson Reserve. Kickoff day and time, naturally remains the same, Sunday at 3pm. Game probably moved because Port's ground is in a much better condition than John Cain Memorial Park, and the fact that Northcote has been the only team that's beaten us at John Cain in the season and half we've played out of there.