Thursday, 28 March 2013

Easy Come, Easy Go

After being an accredited media person in 2009 (as a research assistant) and in 2011 and 2012 (for my work on this here project), our application for a media pass in 2013 has been rejected.

Apparently, while our work is 'enjoyable' - their word, not mine - it does not merit a media pass.

We will still receive a season pass via our work for the FFV's historical committee, but that won't get South of the Border into the round four match against the Thunder, which will of course be behind closed doors.

So at this stage, it looks like we'll be joining the rest of great unwashed who will be watching this game from the supposed vantage point on the freeway. Such is life.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Draw made for fourth round of Dockerty Cup

And wouldn't you know it, the only all VPL clash is between South and Oakleigh. No need to get too excited yet though, the tie is scheduled for May.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Friendly against Altona Magic tomorrow

3:00 PM afternoon kick off, at Lakeside. Once again, match chat in the comments section after the game.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Where the hell did that come from?

South Melbourne Mariners? Central Coast Lakers?  South East Central Coast Melbourne Magic Spectres?

Before we get stuck into this, here's the offending article from the World Game site, followed by commentary from several related sources.
A majority of the Central Coast Mariners board has agreed to sell the club to a Melbourne-based consortium, consisting of three South Melbourne directors, for $4 million. 
The World Game understands the deal was agreed on Wednesday, with a 10 percent deposit due on Thursday. 
It was reported in The Australian that a member of the Mariners board flew to Melbourne on Wednesday to meet with an interested party, while a Russia-based investor is still keen to pump $15 million into the club and its valuable land assets. 
It is believed key Mariners investors, chairman Peter Turnbull, Lyall Gorman and Mike Charlesworth, who own a combined 64 percent stake in the club, had been stalling with a view to wooing the Russian group. 
The new arrangement would see the Mariners relocate up to four of their home matches - those perceived to draw the lowest gate - to Melbourne. 
The news is set to come as a relief to the embattled playing group, which has been embroiled in a dispute with the club over unpaid wages. The existing Mariners board met with representatives of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) on Thursday afternoon in an attempt to resolve the matter. 
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is yet to ratify the agreement but is believed to be satisfied with the nature of the deal. 
Mariners coach Graham Arnold praised the attitude of his players in a torrid week of speculation that culminated in reports they were prepared to take strike action if their wage demands were not met. 
“It’s been a tough week for the players,” Arnold said. “But they are a great bunch of boys and the leadership group has done a great job of keeping them all together.”
“Today is the first day that I have seen them because I gave them a few days off, but morale is high.” 
“Before training the Peter Turnbull and Mike Charlesworth had a chat to them over loudspeaker on the phone to inform them what’s going on and I think that’s relaxed a lot of the players.” 
“On the football side of it the players have a job to do. I have a job to do as coach and we’ve just got to get on with things. We’ve got a big game against Adelaide this weekend and we’ll make sure we’re ready for it.” 
Arnold said he has confidence in the club’s capacity to rectify its ownership and financial issues. 
“There has to be a resolution and I am pretty sure that it will be sorted out quite quickly,” he said. 
“There’s no hiding the fact Peter Turnbull has publicly asked before for new investment in the ownership. It’s probably come to the stage now where something has to happen.”

Ray Gatt, chief soccer writer from the Sydney Morning Herald
So to start off with, he's claimed Mike Charlesworth will take over the Mariners, but then goes on to say:
Professional Footballers Association
They've also released a statement on the matter.


Sydney: Thursday 21 March 2013
The playing group of the Central Coast Mariners has instructed the PFA to express, in the strongest possible terms, their frustration and disappointment surrounding the negotiations of change of ownership at the club. 
Despite been assured on a number of occasions that payment of their salaries would be imminent, these promises have failed to materialise placing the players under enormous financial pressure and hardship. In some cases the players have been unable to pay for their families groceries.

The players have acted in good faith however there is a limit to their goodwill. The players have agreed not to take any industrial action at this time but the PFA does not rule out this possibility in the coming weeks.

President Simon Colosimo said “Once again this matter shows the precarious nature of being a professional footballer in Australia and ironically comes at a time when the PFA is seeking to negotiate greater contract security with FFA as part of our new CBA”.

Chairman John Poulakakis said “The players have suffered enough. Once again they are being forced to subsidize poor governance and management of the game. The players’ basic entitlements have been trampled on. Whatever is creating this delay must be addressed immediately. It’s time for certainty and the FFA and the club’s Directors to do the right thing by the players and the fans.”
Central Coast's official point of view
And then you have Ray Gatt again 
What we're going to take a guess at
That a South takeover or relocation was to be used or is going to be used, or has been used as a way of forcing a resolution to the longstanding issues with regards the ownership of Central Coast Mariners. Somebody somewhere at FFA headquarters got fed up with 'the Russians are coming' rumours, and this is how this situation has been resolved.

The best part of all of this
That so many people were caught out this, I suppose rather like our entry into the Singapore Cup a few years back, albeit here on a much funnier scale.

My ultimate position, for future reference
The only acceptable solution for any theoretical South Melbourne A-League bid, is
  • a member run and owned club
  • called South Melbourne
  • playing in blue and white
  • with all games in Melbourne
  • with approval granted for entry by the members
Bring anything less than that to the table, and you can forget having my vote. No Pirates, no Lakers, no mergers, half-arsed takeovers

Whatever the end result of this is
That was the most fun I've had over a three hour period for a long time. Aussie soccer delivers the goods again, and long may it continue to do so.

The time has come...

...for South Melbourne Heart!

Now this is a Facebook page that could surely do with a bit more publicity.

Previously, we here at South of the Border have covered the 'South should merge/takeover with Heart' phenomenon only sparingly, and with the utmost reluctance. Most notably, there was the moment of comic relief at the end of the 2012 AGM blog entry, from January 2013. More substantially, there was this article from December last year.

Still, most of the talk on this issue is refers to possible takeover plans rather than a merger, so it's nice to see someone put up the merger point of view, if only for a bit of variety. On their page they've put up videos from both teams, tried to come up with a home strip - the Paraguay national team style thing on the right hand side, with hooped socks no less - and one person, I assume the page's creator, tried to post a comment on the official South Facebook page in order to advocate for this idea. Sadly, it appears that comment was taken down by one of the humourless drones who monitor that page.

And even though we disagree with this idea on principle, we'll be keeping an eye on seeing how much support - legitimate or otherwise - this campaign is able to muster up.

And then, just as I hit submit and schedule this article for a later date, someone comes up with this. Good grief. How long until this nonsense ends?

And then the Facebook page's creator puts up a thread on the Heart forum, which quickly gets locked. Need him to post a comment here, lol.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Friendly against Bergers tonight

Tonight, Lakeside,, 7:30. Even when they get relegated, we just can't get away from them. As usual with the pre-season guff, wrap up will be in the comments section.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

2012 Season Preview Memorial Entry

Clatter, crash, clack!
Racket, bang, thump!
Rattle, clang, crack, thud, whack, bam!

Who could forget our article from last year on Michael Lynch's imaginary tour of the kitchens of the Victorian Premier League? Well not me, and certainly not Ian Syson nor Lynch himself. Here's a recent twitter exchange.

Anyway, even if you had a look at that blog entry last year, take a look at it again - I added a couple of 'year on' observations, one much sadder than the other. You can decide for yourselves which one fits that bill.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Social club work not progressing

Club must be upfront with its supporters

One of the most anticipated events of this season for our fans was to be the opening of the redeveloped social club. Of course, this redevelopment would not have taken place without the approximately $900,000 grant obtained in our deal with the previous Labor state government to give up exclusive access to Lakeside.

Along with the 40 year lease and the annual stipend guaranteeing a minimum income, the redevelopment was at the cornerstone of the future of the club - a chance to right the wrongs of previous administrations and use our facilities to become self-sufficient.

Earlier this year, at the AGM, the board indicated that it had been in dispute with the current Coalition state government over the funds allocated to the redevelopment. It was said that they were not willing to give the money - the inference being that they were most unpleased with our deal.

It is my understanding that the club has been seeking legal counsel on the matter. However, of equal importance to my mind is that they are open and honest on the matter with the club's supporters.

Yes, there will be a backlash from the usual suspects - but the board may find that they might gain some sympathy and support by displaying some openness rather than pretending that no one will notice. Because come May 11th, the date of our first home game, people will notice. And their reaction then may not be so pleasant.

South of the Border hopes that the club will take the initiative in this matter, and not revert to longstanding past practice of keeping everything to itself.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Friendly against Port tomorrow

A chance for South fans to see the favourites for the 2013 VPL title on their own turf, in a game that probably won't provide the embarrasment of our meetings over the previous two seasons - we're hopefully saving that up for the season proper. Game is on at 7:30PM tomorrow at Port Melbourne. Be there and be square.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Nando going overseas?

Former South championship midfielder David Clarkson released this curious tweet on his Twitter page last week

Good luck to @smfc @nandojogado who leaves tomorrow to play in China for Zhenzhen FC.

When I asked if this was futsal or outdoor, Clarkson replied with 'outdoor', which would probably mean Shenzhen Ruby, a second division side, which is puzzling in all sorts of ways.

Another source though seemed to indicate that it was a futsal trip - possibly an AFC futsal club championship. Wait and see if anything comes out of it.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Friendly against Pascoe Vale on Saturday

Our next friendly will be against Pascoe Vale at 3:00 this Saturday, on Altona Magic's side of Paisley Park. We might well get a better idea of where we'll be at this season. But then again, we might not.

Bit of a shame to be missing out on a Dockerty Cup tie somewhere in the burbs, but South always comes first, doesn't it?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Fire Up For Friendly Action! (and other news)

South finally step out of the cotton wool for pre-season 2013. First up, a friendly against Malvern City this Wednesday, at Lakeside, at 7:30.

There are reports that recent re-re-acquisition Carl Recchia has done his knee. Not good news if true.

Fernando has changed his number from 15 to 8. Dimi Hatzimouratis has taken up Fernando's old number.

Young defender Matko Budimir has been offered a senior contract.

Marinos Gasparis is reportedly in terrific shape.

And 1960s multiple championship player George Papadopoulos has passed away.

I went and watched North Sunshine lose 2-1 to Sunshine George Cross in the first round of the Dockerty Cup at Chaplin Reserve. Kinnie and the last minutes of the match were the highlights.

And today I went and saw the Friendship Cup between Melbourne Croatia and Sydney Croatia. Not much of a game to be honest (even with four goals), but I did get to see Glen Trifiro play more forward passes in this match than he did for the whole of last season.

Also, some schmo got here after looking up 'south melbourne a-league 2013'. Do you know something that we perhaps don't know? Something that would turn everything we think we know about Australian soccer on its head?

Or do you perhaps think that we know something that we're not sharing? Something so ludicrously amazing to do with your query that, if I revealed it on these pages, eyeballs would literally explode?

Well, I don't. But if you know something, please share! We don't care if its ludicrous.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Joe Gorman on David Hill's attempted shoving of the NSL into the 'mainstream'

This article is, I think, a well researched and balanced look back at the mid 1990s attempt at de-ethnicising Australian soccer. A bit Sydney centric, but very interesting - and good to see someone analysing the multicultural factors more thoroughly then I'm used to seeing.