Saturday, 10 September 2011

South of the Border Awards 2011

Player of the year: Carl Recchia. This was a close run thing in my mind. Considering how many players were absent for extended periods throughout the season, as well as the fact that we used over 30 players during the season, ultimately I had to look for the most versatile, most determined and most valuable player, and Carl was that person this season. With apologies to Zaim Zeneli, who did a good job in goals as an unknown quantity; Jesse Krncevic, who scored lots of goals but could have scored more had he been on the field; and Kyle Joryeff, who I marked harshly last season, but was this season's biggest improver.

Under 21 player of the year: The Cliff Hussey Memorial Trophy goes to Jake Vandemey and Josh Colosimo. Yeah, I know, ties suck. But also, wow, this was hard to pick again. Despite churning through a few young players, not many of them got an extended go, and those that did - Kamahl Ibrahim and Kliment Taseski - didn't impress me all that much - please no more more loaning of young playesr when we have our talent to draw on. Even the under 21s team went through a mountain's worth of players. Injuries and defections

The reason I pick these two lads, is because even though they spent most of the season not even playing for South, and instead participating in a league several notches lower in terms of standard, their willingness to see their tenure at Hobart Olympia as an opportunity rather than as a barrier to their ambitions to play senior football in the VPL. They certainly seemed to provide a positive influence on a previously struggling Olympia outfit both on the field and off it with their professional attitude.

Goal of the year: Kyle Joryeff, against Bentleigh round 2. The obvious choice would be Jesse Krncevic's effort against Northcote, round 22. There were some good free kicks and such along the journey, but Joryeff's control, turn and shot for what turned out to be the winning goal in the game was an early season highlight of mine.

Best performance: Oakleigh away, during the home and away season. We thoroughly deserved the win, and only conceded a goal from a stupid free kick.

Best away game of the year: Purely from a fan's point of view, and disregarding the result and the frankly woeful performance, the semi-final loss against Oakleigh. A good crowd, and South fans created a terrific atmosphere. It was great to have Lefteri back this year as well. Hopefully we see him at plenty of away games next season also.

Call of the year: "Northcote have received so much money from us over the past two years that they should have 'South Melbourne' on the front of their shirts". Probably a bit harsh, but at least it was memorable and more than just a little insightful.

Chant of the year: Maybe I missed some really good ones not being near Clarendon Corner, but I reckon it'd have been hard to top this one. When Ljubo Milicevic had a decision go against him in the home game against Springvale White Eagles, the chant went up 'the referee's an Anglo'. Classic. Runners up were Clarendon Corner chanting my name early in the season, and MCF's effort against Cobram Victory in the Mirabella Cup. "Give me a 'C', give me an 'O', give me a 'B', give me an 'R', give me an 'A', give me an 'M', what does spell? INCEST!" Crude, tasteless, wonderfully oldskool

Best after match dinner location: Look, it has to be during the season proper. Otherwise the Hellenic Club in Hobart would have won this hands down (and even the call of the year for tha matter). But the Hot Space Szechuan Bar in Russell Street makes a fiery but awesome gung po chicken that even manged to stop Steve from Broady from shoveling it down in his usual reckless manner. How about that? Consecutive years of spicy chicken dishes win this title.

Friends we lost along the way: Aussie Disposals blue/white no.2. What a piece of crap umbrella that was. Carked it upon opening against some team or other. Supermercado; don't think we saw him any any game this year. Wherever you are Mercs, please come home, we miss you.

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