Monday, 29 July 2013

Bang For Your Buck - South Melbourne 6 Dandenong Thunder 2

Our now former coach Peter 'Gus' Tsolakis had said throughout the 2013 portion of his coaching tenure, that one day we were going to absolutely batter a team with the amount of chances we were creating. It didn't happen, and there was that much batter being stored that we could have opened up a fish and chip shop.

While initially I wanted to believe in the promise of hammering some team, as the weeks went by and it still hadn't happened, even Tsolakis had stopped believing it. Witness for example what turned out to be his final post match interview - unshaven and tired, he pulled out the battered line again and it was obvious to all that he was working on autopilot.
And then yesterday it actually did happen. That first ten minutes was chaos. Three goals, all to us. One almost a carbon copy of what had happened the week before, with Epifano oppoing up at the back post. The second was Rixon's first goal of the season, a tap in from a spilled shot, but who's counting? The third a Bran header from a corner. And yet, why did I have the feeling that the game was still up for grabs?

Perhaps because, apart from our seemingly inherent weaknesses, Dandenong are, despite the pillaging of their playing stocks (admittedly mostly by us), still made up of some decent players. A perfectly hit corner helped make it 3-1, and from there on the fact that we were one bad decision or a keeper injury away from the game being a contest again was on the books.

And what do you know, almost both of those things happened soon after. The penalty given away by debutant keeper Chris Maynard was beyond a joke. But joke or not, it was slotted in well and it was 3-2 all of a sudden, with Dandenong well and truly with the momentum. Steven Topalovic was a beast in the middle, and when Maynard got hurt in a desperate attempt to prevent Thunder from getting the equaliser, it looked like we were moments away from having Fernando de Moraes, our nominal back up keeper for the day, being brought on to take up the role between the sticks.

Still, Maynard played out the game, and we managed to make it to half time without conceding another. The second half was much of the same, both sides playing on the edge of the offside rule, but neither able to get the next goal. Then Zaim Zeneli, the former South keeper, he of the heroic double save against the Bergers in the elimination final back in 2011 which saw us a break a run of five years of not beating that mob, made a howler of epic proportions.

Going to throw the ball out wide, the ball slipped out of his glove, into the path of Rixon, who chipped the ball back over Zeneli's head to make it 4-2. As much as I cheered the goal, and as much as I gazed on in astonishment at the error, I did feel bad for Zeneli in a way I probably will never feel for Gavalas, and I'm not sure why. Something to talk about with my therapist, perhaps.

Despite that goal Thunder persisted, but seldom tested out Maynard. Topalovic was nowhere near as effective in the second half as he was in the first - maybe we started playing the ball away from his sphere of influence on the field? Our raggedy defensive line diced with death and the offside flag several times, but Bran more or less had Nate Foster under wraps in the second half.
And when Epifano scored his second for the match after intercepting a slack square ball across the back, and sped away with (cliche alert) blistering pace, the game was well and truly done. Brad Norton added to his already impressive tally of goals this season by finishing off a pinballesque situation in the box, and all of a sudden it's 6-2, we're a little less morose, the Thunder fans' anger at their traitorous players is but a demoralised shadow of what it was at the start of the fixture, and maybe we can make finals?

Were we more direct? More clinical? Takimng advantage of a side that's been through a different kind of hell in 2013? Is Rixon now officially 'in form'? Are Epifano and Bran the greatest things since sliced bread? And how quickly will we turn on all of them if they can't get all three points against Richmond this week? I think that's a question that we can answer. The rest, that's for you people to mull over.


Steve From Broady's Under 21s Report
South Melbourne's under 21s were at Lakeside Stadium for a fifth week in a row, as they took on Dandenong Thunder on Sunday. South, looking to go three in a row, had made a few changes most notably in goals with Lajos injured, a new young keeper come in between the sticks. South kicked off and it was clear early on in this game was going to be a tight affair, with both teams' chances coming few and far between. In the 43rd minute Baggio Yousif broke the deadlock as he fired home from inside the area to give South a 1-0 lead just before the half time break. The boys came out firing in the second half and the game started swinging South's way. In the 65th minute Baggio scored again to double South's lead and to bag his 8th goal in 3 weeks. 3 minets later south was through the dandy defence again and zinni fired home to wrap up the 3 points for south the game finished 3-0 to south and the boys in blue march on now to Richmond away on Friday night looking for a 4th win in a row.

Steve From Broady's Canteen Report
South Melbourne's canteen was on show for a fifth week in a row. I was back at South's food van this week and I had a souv - it was quality this week. It helps when the souv doesn't break and lamb goes everywhere like my souv did on Tuesday at the cup. Today's souv was quality made in front of you, not sitting on the bench for two hours. Everything was quality about this souv, so I give this weeks souv a 7.5. Away to Richmond next week, will their canteen be able to handle the pressure? Only the food gods know, until next week, get around it.
  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1 - 4.5/10
  • Week 2 - 7/10
  • Week 3 - 8.5/10
  • Week 4 - 5/10
  • Week 5 - 5.5/10
  • Week 6 - 9/10
  • Week 7 - 6/10
  • Week 8 - 7.5/10

Renco Van Eeken Fruit Watch Baggio Yousif Junk Food Watch
Was seen eating chips after the 21s match. Fascinating stuff. What else can we do when no one was looking out for Renco this week?

Seagulls
Where the hell did they come from yesterday? Felt like it was halfway through the last quarter at an MCG footy match. Eerie.

Next Week
Richmond away. Downhill skiing time or regularly scheduled self-implosion?

Final Thought
Always unsatisfying to be doing a rushed post due to having other commitments. Hopefully something from us on the rapid developments regarding the NPLV, but absolutely no promises made on that front. Damn ethics and integrity class.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Match Preview South vs Dandy Round Whatsit? 15 is it? 2013

This could be fun. We have a billion ex-Thunder players on our list now (and their coach), though one of those players - Iqi Jawadi - won't be playing, seeing as how he's suspended. They made a mess of us earlier in the year when we were 'good', so who knows what they'll do to us this time in their super pissed state, and with Gavalas absent. But we get Kearney back after missing the Preston cup game suspended. Is Shaun Kelly back? Dunno. Follow him on twitter @SkinnyHead88 if you'd like to keep track of his health kick. Speaking of which, wow much and what kind of fruit will Renco Van Eeken be eating? Now that's a story which has started to fascinate for reasons I can't quite explain.

Imagine - at one point we were so looking forward to getting back home after a ton of away games. After half a dozen consecutive home games of mostly sucking, I can't wait to get away from the place now, if only to suck at a different location.

NPLV 'Update'
I've been well fed up with topic for a while now. The latest rumour - apart from the impending destruction of the FFV when the building clubs say 'no more' - is that 35 clubs have pulled out, leaving in their wake mostly 10 'artificial' and mostly regional consortia.
And then someone on soccer-forum mentioned the Bonnie Doon Hillbillies as a possible bid, and the forumite known as SLEEPA took it to the next level.

"Hey dad, the bloke on the phone reckons he's got NPLV licences goin' real cheap!"

"Oh, yeah! How much does he want for 'em?"

"About 55 grand"

"Well, tell 'im he's dreamin'!"

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Worst 4-2 Win In History - South Melbourne 4 Preston Lions 2

Where do you start with a game like that?

Perhaps you can start by saying, "Geez, I've got a bad feeling about this game", but that's pretty much every game these days. Hell, maybe even the whole last six years.

You can ponder the merits of the lineup. None of the Dandy Thunder players available due to being cup tied. No Alan Kearney, suspended. No Dimi Tsiaras, I assume for the same reason. Shaun Kelly still out injured. Norton out of position at centreback. A crippled Rixon getting another start, sans walking frame. At least Gavalas was cleared to play in this game, and Fernando got a rare senior start.

There should be no excuses about having played a game just two days beforehand. Preston had done the same. Our squad is larger. You'd have thought that playing an opponent two levels below you, who have some admittedly OK players, but who are still only sixth in their half of their division, we should have still sauntered this in, relatively speaking. Instead, we made seriously hard work of it, and perhaps only the soccer gods destroying the visiting side with a series of bad luck saw us eventually get over the line.

Full credit to Preston. They gave it pretty much everything they had. They didn't completely park the bus. They took most of their chances, and perhaps only the aforementioned bad luck stood in their way. There were diehard South fans shaking hands with Preston supporters after the game; not out of arrogance, but out of contrition for winning an admittedly entertaining game that we perhaps didn't deserve to do so.

A dog chasing its tail wouldn't go around in as many circles as we did last night. As one wit noted, that dog would probably have got bored of doing so long before we would. Falling behind early to a fantastic and seemingly inevitable goal - there were several Preston players lined up waiting to shoot from better position if need be - shouldn't have been disastrous, as we still should have had the time and the firepower to make it up in the end. Instead we wasted a couple of good chances by shooting wide, refused to shoot at other times and even reverted to short corners.

When Rixon was onside we didn't play the ball through to him. When he was offside, we did. At the other end, our defensive line was all over the shop, allowing Preston to play through balls beating our offside trap, as well as looking rickety and nervous on the ball. While we had most of the ball, at times our passing was beyond dreadful. Preston goalkeeper Nicholas Kostadinovski did well when he was called upon, intercepting loose balls when faced with one on one situations.

The red card dished out to Preston in the first half was ludicrous. It was a second yellow, for what appeared to be playing the ball too quickly from a free kick after having been warned not to do so by the referee. Still, we went into the sheds at half-time wondering when we were going to wake up and finally put away the visitors.

It took longer than expected, and required some more help from the soccer gods. First there was more pain, as Sanni Dauda nabbed his second of the game with a header at the near post from a corner, taking advantage of some atrocious defending.

Then the pendulum swung back our way. About an hour in, Kostadinovski, apparently suffering from an extreme bout of cramp, was unable to continue. He was replaced by a 16 year old. Within a minute, a Fernando de Moraes cross to the back post was headed in by Rhys Meredith, and we were back in the game.

Still we had to butcher several chances after that - most notably Nicky Soolsma hitting the post from a sliding attempt, and Tyson Holmes blasting the ball into Clarendon Street from a simple chance - before we got the equaliser. And even there we needed a touch of luck to level the scores against an exhausted Lions outfit, after Preston conceded an own goal. A Fernando free kick from out wide on the left eluded everyone to give South the lead, and soon after he scored his second to put the game completely out of Preston's reach.

Probably any other player celebrating in the fashion that Fernando did after scoring his goals against a fourth tier side would have been entirely anathema to me, but he gets let off the hook for the sake of long service and obvious love for this club.
It was our first win under Chris Taylor, and our first win since we beat Northcote in the cup back June 10th. We haven't won a league match since May, when we convincingly beat Oakleigh.

It's nice though to still be in the hunt for at least some silverware this season. Our next opponent - in the semi finals if you can believe it - will be Green Gully, at a neutral venue, with other semi-final being between the Thunder and George Cross. We'll have to play about a billion times better than we did last night to have a realistic chance of making the final, but at least we have shot at it.

They Only Come Out At Night/Working Overtime
Waiting For Godot, VPL style. Photo: Michael Dimoudis.
Channel 9 were there. Channel 10 were there too, or so I heard. Apart from a flare thrown over the fence from the far side of the lake end after the match - which landed on the empty terraces and looked suitably pathetic - nothing happened, which was good. If only nothing had happened eight years ago as well, he says quietly to himself. Still, the media vultures went home empty handed, and they'll now have to manufacture some other story to fill in airtime. Good thing they're well versed in that kind of thing.


There was also this comment by the famous (infamous?) Benjamin on the 442 forum:

Ch 9 had a camera van outside Lakeside last night, ABC tried to get in (without tickets) to "promote state league football" and were told by security to "come back on Sunday". Everyone wants to stir trouble.
There wasn't any, by the way.

"Promote state league football". Now I've heard everything.

Renco Van Eeken Fruit Watch
Apparently nothing happened on that front last night.<

EDIT:
See comments section for an update.

Member Information Evening
It's at Beachcomber, August 6th. The sacrifices I make for this club. Anyway, they'll be discussing A-League (snort), National Premier League (make it happen!), social club (what's that?), the junior pavilion and football (what about soccer?).

Spencer Street Station Shenanigans 
Met Sebit Muon and another youth player on the way home last night. Told Sebit that Steve From Broady is a huge fan of his, and discussed the game briefly, as they had been at a training session. Cool story bro and all that.

Next Game
Back to league duties, with a home match against the Thunder.

Final Thought
I suffered from a dizzy spell after the second goal. Following this club is not good for my health.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Hasa Diga Eebowai - South Melbourne 1 Bentleigh Greens 4

Our social club is an empty shell!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
And we're still living in VPHell!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

All our new players are cup tied!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
And all our goalies have gone and died!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

When all the refs just hate your guts,
And there's nobody else to blame (Way oh!).
Raise your middle finger to the sky,
And curse his rotten name

If you don't like what we say ,
Try watching a couple of games.
Watch all your finals dreams just die,
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

------------------------------

Now, maybe when the replay comes out it will make us all look like idiots. Maybe? Probably, perhaps. But on the face of it, that was some of the more dire officiating you'll see for some time, with Brenton Hayward putting himself right in contention for public enemy number one at Lakeside, at least in the referee category.

After we took a very early lead courtesy of Epifano popping up at the back post, the game looked set up to mirror perhaps the classic contest between the two sides earlier this season. As Bentleigh sought to get back into the game, one of their shots flew high over the crossbar, and Peter Gavalas collided with the Bentleigh player who had taken that shot.

Was it a two-footed challenge? Can you concede a penalty when the ball is no longer in play? Do any of these things matter? I'm not a ref, so I can't really say for sure. What I can say is that there was a palpable level of surprise at both the decision to award a penalty and to send Gavalas off. On the face of it, it seemed like one of those incidents that happen on a weekly basis. Only the footage will perhaps provide any clearer answers.

To add insult to injury, last week the Southern Stars keeper kicked one of our players, and nothing happened. Not during the game, not after.

So Epifano was sacrificed, and on came young goalkeeper Lajos Hun for his senior debut. The penalty in question was tucked away into the bottom corner, but then came another twist. Encroachment! The re-taken penalty was gently placed toward the middle of the goal, and Hun manged to catch the ball easily for the save. How about that.

Even with 10 men, we looked the better team in the first half, even with a crippled Rixon getting another start. The boys showed a fair bit of heart, and we went into the halftime break 1-0 up.  Quite how long anyone expected that lead to last is anyone's guess. I don't think there was anyone foolhardy enough to suggest that we'd keep a clean sheet for the rest of the game. In the end, it took until the 64th minute for the visitors to finally equalise with a wonderful long range shot which left the keeper rooted to the spot.

And then came the collapse. Iqi Jawadi was sent off, I think for a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Our fans didn't seem happy with that, with the general reaction being that it was hardly a foul in the first place, and that in any case he had kicked the ball away about .2 of second after the whistle went. Even worse, Hun injured one of his arms and played the last half hour or so injured.

To be fair, Bentleigh probably did miss out on a legit penalty for handball in the second half, and got a few yellows as well, but they dodged the bullet on several occasions when I was left scratching my head as to how they got away with some of their tackles, as well as their kicking the ball away - assuming this is what Jawadi got his second yellow for.

The match ended with our supporters waiting near the players race for the referee to come down. The South players went through first, cheered off the ground. Then then Bentleigh players followed. The officials hung around in the middle of the pitch for awhile. Here was a point docking and fine waiting to happen. But the South supporters shouted their abuse, and then moved on. Almost exactly a year on from this game.

Hayward's Law is like Hayward's love: hard and fast. Photo: Cindy Nitsos
Now I know bagging the board, the coach, the players and the bloke who cleans the jerseys has been a longstanding tradition at South, even when we're winning. But it was still disappointing to see the usual grumble-bum collective hanging outside the gates going on about this stuff when the events in the match didn't justify it  - this time.

I mean, it was 9 against 12, or 14 or if you're in a really foul mood. What can anyone realistically do in those situations? There's the whole rest of the season and the off-season - oh goodness, won't that be fun! - to push whatever barrows we have. Couldn't we let it go for just one day, and turn our collective hatred away from ourselves and towards everyone else?

Steve From Broady's Under 21s Report
South Melbourne's under 21s took on Bentleigh Greens at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday. South, coming off a good 4-2 win against southern Stars, were looking to make it two wins in a row. South's under 21s had had a reshuffle in their squad with players leaving the club, such as Anthony Giannopoulos and some youngsters coming back down from the senior squad.

South kicked off and were applying all the early pressure, creating some good chances. In the 13th minute Solano played Baggio through the Greens defence - the opportunity looked to be gone, but Baggio took a massive crack from the byline and somehow he managed to squeeze the ball between the post and the keeper and into the back of the net to give South a 1-0 lead.

South kept the majority of possession for the rest of the first half and in the 37th minute Solano received the ball from Baggio. turned and fired the ball into the top corner to give South a 2-0 lead just before half time. Four minutes after South scored Bentleigh ran the ball down the other end of the park and caught the South defence napping when a Greens striker was played through and finished cooly to get a goal back just before half time. 2-1 to south was the score as the teams went into the sheds at half time.

Bentleigh came out in the second half in convincing fashion, creating some early chances, but that only lasted 10 minutes as South took back control and Baggio found himself through on goal once again from a defensive mix up from the Greens captain. Baggio finished with ease to pick up his second of the game and to give South a 3-1 lead.

In the 72nd minute Bentleigh beat South's offside trap and the Greens number 10 placed the ball beautifully into the bottom left corner to bring the score back to 3-2 and to give the greens a sniff. But Baggio ended that hope three minutes later when he completed his second hat-trick in two weeks giving South a 4-2 lead. The Greens scored a consolation goal in the final minute of the game, but South had done enough to come out 4-3 victors and to get their second win in a row.

South play Dandenong next week and it will be interesting to see if they can go three wins in a row. This squad has a new lease of life about them and played their best game of the season so far, and if they keep up the good work now look ready to run up the ladder and seriously challenge for the championship against Northcote. Until next week have a good week and enjoy the FFV cup quarter finals.

Steve From Broady's Canteen Report
South Melbourne's canteen was on show for a fourth week in a row. Getting sick of souvs and kranskies, I wandered over to our other canteen and had a pie - it was nothing and more nothing less than a solid meet pie. I give South's canteen this week a solid 6 out of 10.

  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1 - 4.5/10
  • Week 2 - 7/10
  • Week 3 - 8.5/10
  • Week 4 - 5/10
  • Week 5 - 5.5/10
  • Week 6 - 9/10
  • Week 7 - 6/10

Renco Van Eeken Fruit Watch
One of the more bizarre things ever to come up in an smfcboard discussion, was the attention being paid this week to what injured striker Renco Van Eeken has been eating at games over the past two months. There has been disagreement about whether it has been apples or bananas, with the likely answer being he's probably had both over the course of his injury layoff.

More bizarrely, there are even people who are angry at him for some reason for eating fruit. In these difficult times, any and all targets are fair game, I suppose. Still, are they expecting him to put away a dozen dim sims instead? For the record, according to the person I assigned to keep an eye on this matter, he had one banana yesterday. Perhaps we should get Steve From Broady to include it in his stats from now on.

For The Greek Speakers Out There
Do consider giving the 3XY sport show another go. They've apparently moved the old guys on and brought some fresh blood into the picture. Can't say that I agree with their opinions, and I don't expect South's treatment to get much better on that show, but they seem to be a lot more professional than the old crew. They even called themselves journalists, and the prospect of more regular talkback could be fun as well. You may even get to hear some familiar voices on said talkback.

Reform FFV
Hmm.

Next Game
Dockerty Cup quarter final against Preston, tomorrow evening. If you do not have a ticket, don't bother coming. I wonder how many of our new players are cup tied? And not forgetting that Alan Kearney needs to serve his suspension from the previous cup match against Northcote. And will we even have a keeper? Hopefully you all have your memberships and tickets. If not... well, why not?

Final Thought
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Preston - Dockerty Cup Quarter Final Ticketing information

The match has been scheduled for Tuesday 23rd July, at Lakeside, with kickoff at 7:30PM.

This is a members only match for South and Preston members.

Members of both clubs will still need to obtain tickets to the game, as no tickets will be sold at the gate.

South members will be able to obtain their free ticket only on Sunday 21st July, at the match against Bentleigh.

Both tickets and membership cards will need to be presented on match day.

For further information, visit the official South site.




Thursday, 18 July 2013

Back With A Vengeance - Kiss of Death, Round 14, 2013

Players come and go but the club remains. This is something people do not understand, or refuse to comprehend. The transfer window is now closed and the player merry-go-round is over. Clubs wheeled and dealed to their heart's content over the last two weeks or so. But who cares really, they’re all mercenaries anyway.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Green Gully Cavaliers @ Jack Edwards @ 8.30pm on Friday
Oakleigh to win this one. They are on the up. Gully is too, but have yet to convince me. Oakleigh 2 – Green Gully Cavaliers 0.

Pascoe Vale vs Port Melbourne Sharks @ Pascoe Vale @ 8.30pm on Friday
I tip a draw for this one. Pascoe is somewhat on the up, and Port is starting to get the shakes. Pascoe Vale 1 – Port Melbourne 1.

Richmond vs Dandy Thunder @ Richmond @ 8.30pm on Friday
Richmond would feel hard done by the FFV’s decision to award Gully the three points for the washed out match which was stopped with 20 or so minutes to go. The FFV continues to disgrace itself with these decisions. Richmond 1 – Dandy Thunder 3.

Hume City vs Southern Stars @ Hume @ 3pm on Sunday
The Turkish derby with a Romanian influence. Hume City 4 – Southern Stars 2.

Melbourne Knights vs Northcote@ Knights Stadium @ 3pm on Sunday
The Knights will finally burst Northcote's bubble. Northcote is hitting the wall slowly but surely. Melbourne Knights 2 – Northcote City 1. Knights to be trailing 0-1 at HT.

South Melbourne vs Bentleigh Greens @ Lakeside @ 3pm on Sunday
Oh how I’d love to beat those morons from Bentleigh. Saw 'em against Dandy last week, nothing spesh. Saw South against Stars last weekend, nothing spesh, lol. Still scratching my head over Rixon's start then subsequent substitution after 30 minutes. Don’t know what's happening there. South Melbourne 3 – Bentleigh Greens 0

Media Hammering
Melbourne's Greek media has been having a go at South Melbourne over the last few weeks. 3XY copped a backhander over it live on air which is always fun to hear. 3XY was taken to task by ‘Leonidas’ of Altona Meadows.

 I know Leonidas. He is a family friend and South diehard which I can remember from way back. He asked the question of the night. “Why does 3XY and Ta Nea never mention South Melbourne Hellas as ‘Ellas’ in its media?". 3XY put up a poor argument in saying that the FFV mentions South Melbourne as South Melbourne, so why shouldn’t 3XY? Leonidas responded with “yes, but you mention Heidelberg as Alexandros, Port Melbourne as Nea Ellas, Northcote as Iraklis, and all the other Greek teams by their well known monikers”. 3XY responded with a deafening silence.

That is where he had them. They agreed to disagree, and then went on to read out the weekend's scores and they mentioned South Melbourne as Ellas. 3XY Radio 0 – Leonidas of Altona Meadows 1.

The week before 3XY claimed that they had been put in a position where they ‘decided to leave Lakeside’. What a load of crap. They stood up on the balcony, and because no one from the board wanted to talk to them on the record, and because the crowd was staring daggers at them, they felt themselves uncomfortable. Well, when you go on air and talk shit, that’s expected to happen. When you play with South Melbourne, you play with fire, and you will get burnt.

Then they were begging for someone from South to call them up. To their surprise, and mine, a South board member finally did. Hats off to Tony Margaritis, who made that call. He put them in their place. Started off by basically telling them, for four years you have waged a campaign against us, and now when there is a ‘scandal’ as you say, you want us to call up. He then went on to tell them that yes, Peter Tsolakis did in fact know the players would be sacked, and yes he did give the OK for it to be done. They back-peddled to a point, and you could hear their throats trembling that once again they had got their facts wrong, and had promoted a story based on rumours. Shambles to say the least. Then Mr. Rombotis called up and pulled the classic line on them. “Has Mr. Stamoulis given you guys permission to discuss South Melbourne on air?”. After doing some of my own research on this, I have been told by numerous people in the know that they had in fact banned South Melbourne from all their media outlets both radio and print. The journalists were instructed to not mention South Melbourne at all. Shambles on all levels.

The one person who is really rubbing up people the wrong way is veteran journalist Elias Donoudis from the Neos Kosmos. Since I cannot find an email address so I can contact you directly, I am putting up a reply to the inaccurate remarks you make on a weekly basis in your column.

Dear Mr Donoudis,

I have been a reader of Neos Kosmos for about 30 years. Namely the sports section, which is where I always begin to read the publication, as for me, sports is the real news of the world. I scratch my head however when I read the following which I have translated, “The current South Melbourne is in no way connected to the South Melbourne Hellas of old”. I still do not understand how someone who has been a sports journalist since Jesus was a child, can misconstrue and mislead your readers into believing this utter trash.

How do you justify your position in that statement? Are you saying that the Heidelberg Alexander of now, is not linked to the Heidelberg Alexander of old? Are you saying the Melbourne Knights of now are not linked to the Melbourne Croatia of old? I cannot fathom how this can be the case. What is the basis of your statement? Do you have an issue with the current South board? Do you have an issue with South Melbourne as a club?

You rarely mention South Melbourne in any articles unless they lose. You should be ashamed of this position you take, because as a youngster I remember you being wined and dined in the social club at Middle Park, and as a grown adult I remember you being wined and dined in the VIP sections of the then Bob Jane Stadium during the NSL days. If we are not good enough for you now because the ‘tzampa’ (freebies) has stopped, then please stop writing shit in your columns.

Concentrate on the other VPL clubs who wine and dine you so they can make your columns. Keep publishing photos of presidents and committee men who wine and dine you across the Greek communities of Melbourne. South Melbourne does not need Mr Donoudis. South Melbourne does not need the Neos Kosmos.

If you would like to reply please email kodvic@gmail.com

I am also happy to meet up with you, minus the wining and dining to discuss this gripe you seem to have so I can try and understand what you are on about.

Regards,

KOD


The only journalist out there worth mentioning is George Karantonis of Southern FM. His program is aired on Tuesday nights from 10pm – 12pm. George goes out of his way to be fair for every team out there. As much as he is pro-South, he is also to give South a battering if need be. However, the difference between him and the other other journos, is that he does his research and gathers the facts before he goes to air. He has never been wrong as far as I know, and usually when he speaks people listen, because they know he has done his research. His talkback is also quality. However, the one thing I’m getting sick of is his affinity with Greek musician John Tikis. My wife informs me that George loves this guy as he is from Mytilene and so is John Tikis. Go figure.

Board Rant
When are we having the EGM for the NPL? We, the members have a right to know what is going on. Why are you lot so silent on that? There is no excuse to not notify the members via EGM that we have made an application. The members decide the application, not a few faceless men. We are a members based club, not a privately owned entity. I cannot wait to sit there chanting ‘sack the board’, when it all goes pear shaped. You were voted in, you can also be voted out!

Social Club. What social club? How about letting us know what is going on? The silence is deafening and the natives are getting restless.

Transfer News
South released Marinos Gasparis to Northcote, and Anthony Giannopoulos to Sunshine Georgies. Why do I mention Anthony when about 90% of you don’t know who he is? Simple really. He has been at South Melbourne from the age of six. He is now 19. He was in the senior squad this year but only made one appearance during the cup tie with Northcote. He is no doubt a rising star. Why South would release him is incomprehensible, considering they are flying the flag for the NPL, and a player like him would be great for the points based system to be introduced. However, in their wisdom they released him on Monday night, and left him in the lurch to find a club by 5pm Wednesday.

Eventually Sunshine Georgies agreed to a trial, liked what they saw, and to no one's surprise Anthony subsequently signed with them. I have always been a fan of the Sunshine Georgies. They have always been a great club when it comes to juniors, and have developed some great players. A friend of mine's cousin is somewhat of a legend at that club, hence the soft spot I have for them. It is disappointing however that South failed dismally.

Any assistance in finding him a club although minimal is disappointing, considering they released him so he could get ‘senior game time’. Usually, another team is already half lined up. They had nothing. This disappoints and somewhat angers me. That is poor to say the least. We have a history of right royally fucking our youth and this just continues that legacy.

I and a lot of other South fans would like to wish Anthony the best of luck at the Sunshine Georgies and hope to see him in the South colours where he rightfully belongs in the near future. Good luck Gia.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Problem With South Melbourne Hellas - guest post

Another anonymous poster, with another heartfelt missive. Remember when no one used to contribute?

So here I was driving in my car after the game with bottom side Dingley, trying to work out what has gone wrong with the club I have supported since I was knee high. I thought to myself where do i start? Who do I talk to? Where do I go? Am I the only one who cares for the club of the century that I still cant sleep at night when we loose games? If there is any one else why don't we see it at match day? Where have all the Hellas supporters gone to remind the representatives of where they are playing and what a privilege it is to wear the South Melbourne Hellas shirt?

It got me thinking a little more... I just couldnt put my finger on it until ...  The problem is... All the other clubs , players and supporters know what its like to be South Melbourne - they haven't forgotten who we are as we saw the bottom side play us off the park. So I thought a little more about it and said to my self YOU KNOW WHO HAS FORGOTTEN WHO SOUTH MELBOURNE IS? US! The board, the supporters and the players.

We have all taken it for granted South Melbourne is South Melbourne, we are untouchable, no one can be better than us (soccer fans used to come just for a souvlaki and watch the best team play every second Sunday FFS), we don't need to be ruthless on the field or swift in signing the next Trimboli or making the headlines for being the best, it's all going to just happen. Supporters don't scream anymore they just accept mediocrity, they accept apologies from players sticking their finger up.

In years gone past players wouldn't even have the balls to do such things. let alone live to tell us his bullshit apology (and Gavalas, maybe the supporters need to know and I quote "your membership pays my wages, I'm only playing for the money, I can find 100 other clubs to play at". Are these the people you want at your club? What happens to playing people who knew what it was like to play at South Melbourne, the club that made them the players they were? The club they were proud of and we were proud of them - not the people we have now who think it's OK to rock up to training and laugh that they drew to the bottom side because they take it for granted playing at South Melbourne and they have made it a choir.

People knew who South Melbourne was, people were scared of South Melbourne, everyone wanted to be South Melbourne. But as I write this, I who have watched since I could walk, I who as a kid dreamed to be a player one day like so many others ask myself why do I even bother, where is this club heading? No one cares anymore, why do I still get grey hairs. So I wonder as each day goes past amongst the board in house fighting amongst each board members own interests, is there hope, will the real South Melbourne once again shine? What happened to those days at Middle Park or the glory days of Bob Jane Stadium?

Who is going to stand up and say I'm South Melbourne Hellas and I fight for that club - not the club who is trying to change who it is and sell its soul to the devil!

Monday, 15 July 2013

I'm Working On A Disclaimer Project At The Moment - South Melbourne 2 Southern Stars 2

Firstly, a confession. I had lined this slot up several weeks ago for a patented South of the Border self-satisfying stylistic splurge, in particular, writing this game up in the manner of a match report found on the online game Hattrick. However, due to the following reasons
  • my atrocious handwriting
  • my atrocious note-taking
  • not really wanting to relive the game in the kind of blow by blow detail that writing in that manner would entail
it's not going to happen today. I'm still hoping to pull it off by the end of the season, because goodness knows I need something to distract me from this mess we're in, hopefully combining it with a Hattrick Press piece. But that doesn't concern the majority of our readership, so we'll move on to this week's match report.


Close your eyes. Clear your mind of all thought. Now think back to an early memory, perhaps round 2, 2013. What happened that night? Were you head and shoulders above your opposition? Could they even get out of their own half? What were your expectations for the rest of your season? Where do you think you went wrong?

I can see fingers being pointed everywhere, by everyone. This is a situation that will not be easily resolved. We are far removed from the cost-cutting era when the club was doomed, and thus there are fewer excuses for what has happened over the past one and a half seasons.

Brother Frog started the match much to the surprise and disdain of a lot of people. He did some nice things, but it was obvious he could barely move, and his confidence in front of goals is shot. He was subbed about a half hour into the game. With him or without him, the game plan seemed pretty clear: play on the wings at all costs. Houston got a lot of the ball out on the right, but the end product wasn't there. It didn't help that he kept slipping over as well. Wear the right boots, please!

To be fair, Stars looked about a billion times better than our first meeting with them in 2013, but considering they'd put in a performance close to soccer's absolute zero in that game, anything other than not leaving the warmth of the team bus would have been an improvement. As it was, they attacked and generally had a red hot go. Equally, it didn't help that our season has been like a four year old staying up for New Year's - a lot of promises at the beginning of the evening about seeing it through, only to get drowsy by 8:56PM before falling asleep on the couch.

We can't even use the excuse of 'if only we scored first', because we actually did. The opening goal was quite stupid. What looked like a fairly routine catch from a cross was instead punched out by the visitor's keeper, with the ball falling to the edge of the area at the feet of TWO of our players - believe it, because it's true - and just when you thought that we'd find a way to butcher that chance of a lifetime, Toffee For A Few Minutes took the initiative and scored the goal. OK then, I thought, not sure we deserved it, but we've got it, surely we should be OK now, at least until halftime.

And that is why I'm an idiot who knows nothing about football, and who rightly gets castigated for that pretense of knowledge by those who have the guts to call it as it is, even if I have a massive sook about it to my fellow internet warriors. Because instead of going into the halftime break with a narrow if not necessarily deserved lead, we went into the break 2-1 down.

Quite how it happened is anyone's guess. How does an opposition player beat two defenders by running in a straight line? The shot - if it was a shot, and as if that really matters anyway - was a cracker, right into where the spiders live. The second goal was the result of utter confusion as the Stars - who have not won a game all season - made the most of what passes for defending at South at the moment by scoring their second about a minute after scoring their first.

The Stars didn't back off in the second half, and only some good saves from the Princess kept us in the game, until Pops came on after about an hour and changed the course of the match. Aside from perhaps the Princess and The Kid at centre-back, Pops was our best player by some way. It's sad that a player that I watched come through the VPL ranks back in 1996 is our best player in 2013. Pops scored a tap in, and the last twenty minutes or so had the makings of this game, but alas, no such reward this time.

We all walked out disappointed, but the next game is not too far away. More signings have arrived. The Coach reportedly wants to turn our dressing room back into a dressing room instead of being a social club, and more power to him. Whatever works. It takes time.

Steve From Broady's Under 21's Match Report
South Melbourne's under 21s took on bottom of the league Southern Stars on Sunday afternoon. South looking to bounce back from the last three week's horror performances started off the first half in convincing fashion creating lots of opportunities. In the 33rd minute South finally took one of those chances when Anthony Giannopoulos in his new position of left back ran down the left channel, cut in and fired home to score South's first goal in a month. Seven minutes later Baggio Youssif was played an excellent through ball by the centre mid and he converted convincingly to give South a 2-0 lead.

The scoring was not done yet for the first half - in the last minute of the first half Lajos took a goal kick which flew down the other end of the ground and bounced in front of the keeper, and a lack of communication between the centre back and goal keeper saw the ball go over the keeper, and as the keeper turned he slipped as did the centre back, Baggio made the most of both players slipping and cracked the ball into the back of an empty net, 3-0 to South Melbourne was the score as the teams went in for half time.

Southern Stars come out strong at the start of the second half and were rewarded in the 66th minute when their front man headed home from a corner to get a goal back and make the score 3-1. Southern Stars heaped on the pressure for the next 20 minutes trying to salvage a draw from the game but their hopes were crushed when Baggio completed his hat-trick in the 83rd minute, having the ball played through to him by Solano and finishing nicely in the bottom corner to make it 4-1 South. Southern stars scored a consolation goal in the final minutes to make the final score 4-2 to South Melbourne.

South will have their work cut out for them next week playing the high flying Bentleigh Greens, until then cya next week.

Steve From Broady's Canteen Review
South Melbourne's food van was in the spotlight again this week trying to get some consistency with their souvs and they did with their best souv of the season. Beautiful meat and just the right amount of Tajikistan sauce, the meat was excellently portioned as was the salad and with the souv being in a pita a massive score was undeniable. I give this week's souv a 9, just falling short of perfection, until next week get around it.
  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1 - 4.5/10
  • Week 2 - 7/10
  • Week 3 - 8.5/10
  • Week 4 - 5/10
  • Week 5 - 5.5/10
  • Week 6 - 9/10

BIG NEWS IN TWO WEEKS!
The old 'big bombshell tomorrow' craziness has been supplanted by this thing doing the rounds at the moment. I even heard a variation of it at a christening a month ago. What is it exactly? Big A-League news? Are we South Melbourne Heart yet? Death of the FFV?

It's Going To Cost Me How Much?
Have a look at this MFootball article on how much some clubs think the NPLV will cost them. I like the fact that the relevant clubs are doing their homework on this, even if it has elicited more holier than thou grandstanding from North Sunshine.

Neos Kosmos
Neos Kosmos has stopped calling us Ελλας, instead referring to us as Σαουθ Μελμπουρν or some such, while still using the traditional names for teams like Northcote and Port Melbourne. Good for them. Good to see they still have a sense of humour. They'll need it when The Rapture comes.

Next Week
Bentleigh at home. Not expecting much from this game. Come on South, surprise me.

Quote Of The Day
There are ten players out there for South called 'cunt' and one called 'Andy'.

Final Thought
Let the record show that the witness made the 'drinky-drinky' motion.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Stupidest Thing I Saw In Canberra

No Kiss of Death this week. :(

So in lieu of that and because I can't be bothered to write up a preview for this week's match against Southern Stars - because surely we'll win that match - I decided to provide a taster of an upcoming write up on my recent trip to Canberra to attend a sports history conference and do some research on the leftist writer David Martin. The photo is from a map at the AIS.


Monday, 8 July 2013

Let The Navel Gazing Begin - South Melbourne 1 Green Gully 3

You miss a week and end up missing so much. It's not just missing the actual game – being in a situation where I had limited forum and Facebook contact for a week does something to you. Being away in Canberra for a week - my first interstate trip since 1999 that had nothing to do with South -  was both alienating and refreshing.

For a bit of background, I check this site's stats every day, in part to see how recent articles are doing, and in part to see if some old article gets unusual attention. I visit the various forums I'm on several times a day, to laugh, to learn, to be horrified and occasionally contribute my limited wisdom.

So even though I don't spend much more than one day a fortnight at Lakeside, I've become obsessed with what people say and think about South, from inside and outside the club; positive and negative; those who are obscenely ignorant and those who are perhaps too informed about any given situation, and who use that knowledge to lord it over everyone else.

So I rocked up to Lakeside with a sense of dread competing with a sense of low expectations. Some sort of talk had reached me that persons on the committee were unhappy with the fact that the timeline comment had appeared on this site. Somehow I managed to avoid any confrontation with committee persons on that matter (unusually perhaps by sitting in the same spot I usually do; or maybe the displeasure rumour was overstated), but it is a fact that the committee weren't the only people who were unhappy with that post seeing the light of day. Considering the forum response to that comment, several people seemed to have received much the same information.

Then again, there was talk that people were displeased that in his match report from last week, Gains mentioned that Tsolakis was unshaven, when it was completely obvious to everyone. Go figure.

I'll return to abstract navel gazing in a moment, because we did actually play a match yesterday, and it would be remiss not to mention it at least in passing. I didn't have any major expectations. Rightly or wrongly, a pall has been cast over season 2013. Still, in the first half we gave it a good shake. We went behind due to some poor marking, but at least went into the halftime break level, and perhaps even playing the better football. Vlahos' goal from a free kick was sensational, but it was also atypical. We had four or so one on one chances, but did nothing with them.

The second half wasn't as crash hot. Our defending was pretty dire - all three goals stemmed from some sort of poor marking - but people having a go at Peter Gavalas are probably guilty of erecting a strawman to take down. Indeed Gavalas had what I thought was an excellent game. The atmosphere at the ground became deflated at 3-1, and never picked up. Injuries to Gasparis and Tsiaras didn't help matters either.

We're back to that sense of familiar mid-season gloom of our VPL years. No amount of money, coaching changes or transfers has been able to change that trajectory, though just for the sake of it I'm going to maintain a candle of hope that something may happen this season. Otherwise, we should focus on blooding a few younger players, re-building some dressing room camaraderie and try to make the most of our cup run.

On the plus side, this collapse in form and morale has allowed us to participate once more in one of our favourite bloodletting games. Players that were quick are now too slight. Those that bullied the midfield now have no skill. Veterans are no longer experienced, but just plain old. Youngsters no longer full of promise. Inconsistency and upheaval and even the TV show blamed for our decline, when Green Gully has sacked coaches and had TV shows and still won championships. Games that we were perhaps unlucky in are now being pored over for signs of the decay setting in before most of us - including myself, though obviously not those with friends in high places - were surprised by the apparently sudden departures.

Leonard Nimoy: A solar eclipse: the cosmic ballet goes on.
Man sitting next to Nimoy: Does anybody want to switch seats?

Steve from Broady's Under 21 Report
South Melbourne's under 21s started the second half of the season with a home match against Green Gully at Lakeside Stadium. South's squad was depleted with five players going up to the seniors and a few players out injured, forcing South to promote a fair few under 18 players. South with another new face in goals kicked off. South dominated the first 20 minutes could not get any of their shots to count, blasting most of them wide.

In the 23rd minute Green Gully had a free kick on the edge of the area - the Gully captain stepped up and fired the ball low across the area with the ball finding its way past everyone's feet and into the back of the net, South giving another soft goal away and making a habit of going behind early this season.

As the first half went on South continued to dominate but could not get anything on the scoreboard. The teams went into the sheds at half time with the score 1-0 to Gully. South dominated the whole second half and still could not score. 1-0 it finished to Gully. South's 21s are having a poor season to date and in my opinion you rate the coach on two things in youth football. Firstly results, and secondly player development. And unfortunately South's under 21s coach has failed in both areas. Results are shit and players are getting worse each week. I have talked to reserve players and they have confirmed what I have thought for weeks that the expensive Brazilian coach is teaching them nothing.

The time has come to call for the coach's head. Anyone could have got the ressies 1-0 losses to Gully and Port; why do we need some overpaid Brazilian coach to do so?
Steve from Broady has spoken! SACK THE OVER PAID BRAZILIAN COACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve from Broady out for another week.

Steve from Broady's Canteen Review
South Melbourne's food van was in the spotlight this week trying to improve on their sub par effort from last week. And they did marginally better with a nice solid souv, nice pita that was not hard as a rock this week, lots of meat gets them a 5.5 souths food van going with the "just tap it in approach" will they eventually get a 10, only the food gods know, until next week get around it.

  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
    The club was quick to hand out updated membership cards yesterday.
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1, 4.5/10
  • Week 2, 7/10
  • Week 3, 8.5/10
  • Week 4, 5/10
  • Week 5. 5.5/10

South's NPLV Statement
Last week, amid the continuing fallout from the various sackings (sack the board, sack the fans, sack the bloggers, yada, yada, yada), the club released this statement on our NPLV discussions. To be honest, it's not a seismic shift in attitude, even if some Melbourne Knights fans got their collective holier than thou rocks off upon reading it. It certainly doesn't say that we've pulled out of the NPLV process.

The real shock here is, which no one in their rush to react in whatever pro or anti board stance that they had sitting in the cupboard noticed, is that this press release conforms exactly to what South's committee had said they would do:
  • That they would work with the FFV.
  • That they would try and make a workable and viable competition.
  • That they would try and win concessions for our club.
  • That they would not compromise the club's integrity (snigger) if we didn't get those concessions.
Θα χαλάσει ο καιρός and all that.

3XY Last Night
Apparently there was some more action on that front last night. Didn't listen to it. What happened?

Anonymous
Yesterday a concerned reader asked me who the commenter listed as 'anonymous' was – with particular reference to some of the posts seen in the recent players gone post. I told him what I tell you now – if and when people use non-Google accounts to post comments, then even if they use a handle of their choice, they are still more or less entirely anonymous, without any way of me finding out their identity.

It's sometimes difficult to balance out the concerns of newsworthiness, posterity and the public record against issues of taste and opinion, among other issues, but I hope that I stay on the right side of the line as much as possible. There are very few comments that I have ever blocked, though at one time I did allow comments only from registered users. That was because things were getting particularly nasty, and I really should have cracked down on that issue a lot faster.

Still, as much as I'm responsible for giving final approval to all comments published on this blog, some of the responsibility for that content does fall upon you, the reader who decides to contribute. There are people who use this site to put forward opinions on behalf of one agenda or another, and that's fine, even if I wish people were more open about their identities.

Thus far into the blog's history, comment section discussions, where they have existed, have been for the most part civil, even when they've been passionately disagreeing with alternative positions. I'd like to see that civility maintained and where possible, for commentators to add in some sort of marker, not perhaps to identify yourself outright, and but to at least create some sort of persona so that we can trace a continuity throughout the blog's lifespan.

The Scoreboard
Just for a moment there was video on there, of the game itself being played. That's an interesting development.

Next Week
Southern Stars at home. This could be fun.

Final Thought
People are still asking me what the state of our A-League ambitions is. Either hope springs eternal at Lakeside, or we're tiring of waiting for deliverance from this separation from God among the other ethnic heathens.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Out: Gus. In : CT. Kiss of Death, Round 12, 2013

It's times like these when I'm glad we have the Kiss of Death on board.


Gus has gone.


It was inevitable. After the events which unfolded last week, there was no question that the Port Melbourne game would be his last. Regardless of what people said, and what Gus said, you could sense at Lakeside that this was it. Another coach gone from South. Am I upset about this? No. I wanted Gus gone at the end of last year. He was out of his depth, regardless of what he achieved at Northcote. He had an open cheque book at South and failed. Every player he wanted was provided.

There simply was no excuse for his poor coaching.

With the rumours that surfaced on this blog last week about the alleged ‘drinking culture’ of some of the players, this is where Gus should’ve been a coach. A coach is not just the man in charge of his squad at the ground, but also off it. If this alleged drinking culture was affecting some of the players, then that is where Gus should’ve put his foot down. Five players were ‘sacked’. Two of those are off on holidays, one of those hasn’t been seen near the match day squad all season, and two of those were the ones allegedly turning up to training with hangovers. Therefore only two were ‘sacked’, the other three were released. Which bring me to the next question. You knew they were going on holidays yet still signed them up? That is not what a coach does. That there shows no control of the team. Other players see that and play on it.

The clique was finally broken. That threw a real spanner in the works. After Sunday's loss, Gus was asking to be sacked by his session on 3XY Radio Hellas. After listening to him on air, I realised he wanted to be sacked by hiding behind a radio station. His comments were disgraceful. To come out and attempt to bury your employer was totally unprofessional on all levels. You have basically gone against the grain. You played into what 3XY wanted to hear, that you had no idea about the player sackings. Answer me this. How can a coach not know anything about the club preparing to release players? You really think a club of South's stature would knife a coach? An ex-player coach of South? I will not believe this for a second. If anyone out there in internet land believes that South knifed Gus, then they have rocks in their head. If he had no idea, it’s because he was too comfortable. If the players had no idea, it was because they were too comfortable. Everyone knows when these things are coming. Unless you live under a rock. Players talk, committees talk, fans talk, everyone should be aware at the talk that goes on, and realise there is always some truth to it.

Gus then went on to be interviewed by MFtootball. Yes, he was already gone from South so he could say what he wanted, however I suggest that MFootball actually check their facts, and not publish an article unless both sides have been interviewed. Someone once said, ‘there is his story, and their story, somewhere in the middle is the truth’. The media has had a field day over this. I am not surpised as it’s South Melbourne, and everyone is out for a story when it comes to South.

You see, when you have been living in an Albert Park mansion for nearly two years, and now you have been evicted back to some suburban club, you hurt. No more TV appearances, no more photos of you on a website, no more comfortable surroundings like decent size changerooms, ice, and drinks in a fridge for free, no more little office you call your own, it’s only natural you will hurt. So get over it and move on.

Chris Taylor has been appointed new coach at South Melbourne. Let’s see how many media outlets will pick up that story.

Now onto this week.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Northcote City
Northcote to win this one as Oakleigh is for the tip.  Oakleigh 1 – Northcote 2.

Pascoe Vale vs Melbourne Knights
Melbourne Knights to bag the three points easily. Pascoe Vale 0 – Melbourne Knights 2.

Richmond vs Bentleigh Greens
Bentleigh Greens in a whitewash. Richmond 0 – Bentleigh Greens 5.

Dandenong Thunder vs Southern Stars
With rumours that Munro is back at Dandy, since Taylor went to South, Dandy to shit it in. Dandenong Thunder 7 – Southern Stars 0.

Hume City vs Port Melbourne Sharks
Hume will bounce back from their shellacking last weekend and beat a poor Port Melbourne. Hume City 3 – Port Melbourne 0.

South Melbourne vs Green Gully
Chris Taylor's debut will end in glory. South to beat Green Gully twice in a season for the first time ever (did beat them twice in 2006, albeit one was a finals match - ed). Good luck CT. South Melbourne 4 – Green Gully 0.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

South Crisis 2013 - Tsolakis resigns

South Crisis 2012 was a barrel of laughs compared with this stuff. Oh, what deeper hell is this?

If I have been lax in keeping up to date with these occurrences - and I think it's safe to say that I have - I do have the semi-valid reasons of having had to deal with personal issues over the weekend, followed up by being on away on business with limited internet.

Here in Canberra, waiting for the temperature to get above the minuses and for the fog to lift, it's like these things almost don't even matter. Getting what were for me out of the blue messages asking about what happened on 3XY for example.

Having said all of that, I'm glad that this is more or less the final nail in the coffin of Operation Let's Be Northcote. And thank goodness for that. Time to move on to the next fad.

There are some - a very few I'm guessing - who will see all of this as way overdue, and a chance for re-booting our season. Me, I'm only seeing it as a part of a continuum of lovable idiocy. Regardless of who's in charge, this kind of stuff will continue.

So, who's next?

Monday, 1 July 2013

Special Guest Reporter Edition - South Melbourne 0 Port Melbourne 1

Due to personal reasons I was unable to attend this week's match. In my absence I thank my buddy Gains for offering to do this week's match report - though his post-match rumination that he could have easily cut and pasted elements of this match report are concerning. Also thanks to Steve from Broady as well for providing his usual content.

In short:
  • Should've went home after the second minute at the earliest, half time latest.
  • You can read previous match reports from last season and change the opposition team name to “Port Melbourne” and it is basically the same thing. This is confirmed by other fans and Dimi Tsiaras.
  • Reliving a dreadful defeat and performance to write a match report is suffering.
Last week:
  • A 0-3 defeat away to Northcote City was the start of a turbulent week with Luke Byles, Tom Matthews, Joe Keenan, Seb Mattei, and Rhodri Payne (I find it hard to remember Payne which shows how involved he is during this season and most of the previous) leaving the club.
Pre-match stuff:
  • The first thing I noticed was Peter Tsolakis with unshaven facial hair and felt something is wrong.
  • Gia missed his first penalty since I first saw him play in the U21 game, straight shot towards the keeper who did not move from his line at all.
Starting XI:
Because of the removal of several players during the week which includes club captain Luke Byles and vice captain Tom Matthews, there were changes in the starting XI. Dimi Hatzimouratis returned to right back and Dimi Tsiaras moved to centre back. Fernando started his first match this season and was given the captain's armband. Nick Soolsma debuts taking a somewhat central position in the midfield.
Perry Mur was the match referee.

The match:
The main question for this match was whether we could bounce back from last week's hammering and player sackings during the week. After two minutes the answer appeared to be no, as Alan Kearney's mistake freed up a Port Melbourne player who dragged Peter Gavalas out of position and put in a cross for two unmarked players in the box. One of them, Honos, gratefully headed the ball in past the despairing Gavalas. 0-1 Port.

The next fifteen minutes were somewhat flat as Port put almost everyone behind the ball and despite a few chances down the right wing from Marinos Gasparis' and Hatzi's crosses, our players could not capitalise on them. Not that they avoided attacking from the left but most of them were running into cul-de-sac situations trying to force their way through players or trying an extra dribble too many. 

Port defended well and rarely moved forward, even having their players booked for taking too long for a throw in before the half hour mark, but when they did they looked more threatening than us on the attack, and with less passes needed to break down our defence especially down the flanks as Norton and Hatzi were more attacking and those flanks were exposed every time our attack broke down.

Nearing half time, there was a sense of deja vu as our passes kept creeping backwards, the midfield looking empty, and the passbacks were pumped long by Shaun Kelly for players to chase and hopefully get a header in.

Second half started with an uncomfortable silence that has been there since the start of the game. Port broke once early but hit their shot straight to Gavalas. We are mixing the tried and failed crosses into (made worse by fewer players making runs into the box) with the shoot from range approach from Fernando and Soolsma, basically the two players who looked like they wanted something from the game more than others.

Our closest chance came in the 58th minute when Fernando's free kick hit the woodwork with the goalkeeper beaten to lift the crowd up and subsequently drop them down with the first short corner of the game. There was another free kick chance from Fernando around ten minutes afterwards but the keeper saved the shot. Two Port Melbourne substitutions were made during this period and they broke forward once in a 2 vs 2 situation where a last ditch tackle saved us from going behind even further.

Gus made two substitutions after this rare Port attack, putting on Andrew Cartanos for Gasparis and when Shaun Kelly went down two minutes later with a hamstring injury, James Karvelis for the defender. By this moment though, we have reverted back to last season with purposeless passes, for the sake of passing to someone else, and having the massive gap between defenders and midfielders/forwards made even more obvious by the rugby lines from the midweek game. Fans were also getting restless and started to ask for more urgency, which transfers to rushed passes easily cut and defended by Port players, who sensed that South had few to offer and started getting more adventurous forward getting a couple of runs and corners.

Gus made his final sub six minutes before time, Andy Vlahos on for Tyson Holmes but the change did not matter much as we kept on doing the same thing and when we went close to scoring, the players did not attempt to shoot when an opening appeared, instead trying to pass the ball to goal which made it easier for Port's defence and keeper to clear. Perry Mur looked at his watch thrice during stoppage time, and finally ended the match to start our six home game run on a pathetic defeat.

Fernando was one of the few positives from the game, looked hungry, delivering good passes, and being everywhere including defending during the few Port attacks. Soolsma was not bad on his debut, but faded as the game continues. Results from other matches today means we are now outside the top five with Northcote running away after winning decisively against Hume City 0-5 at Broadmeadows Valley Park and Oakleigh Cannons losing to Melbourne Knights as well as Port overtaking us directly.

Post match:
  • Fans related to other clubs said that their club (Altona East, Box Hill) would have won against the rabble that is today's South Melbourne.
  • A player (Dimi Tsiaras) mentioned that the players did not train on Wednesday, obviously after the news broke out.
  • Shaun Kelly did his hamstring and will be out for 3-4 weeks.
  • The tunnel was pulled very early, before stoppage time but in the end the fans did not bother to abuse the players.
Steve from Broady's under 21s Report
South Melbourne's under 21s played Port Melbourne on Sunday at Lakeside Stadium. South coming off a disappointing result last week were looking for a win to fire them up the table. South dominated early in the game and Port found themselves in some trouble in the 10th minute when one of their defenders went down injured forcing Port into an early sub.

South continued to dominate the first half but in the 38th minute they gave the ball away on halfway and Port ran the ball down the other end and crossed it in for Port's big striker whose shot cannoned into the underside of the bar and was ruled to have fully crossed the goal line, 1-0 Port at half time. South had nothing to show for a half of domination.

South come out in the second half as they did in the first dominating the game and in the 77th minute South had a chance to draw level when Baggio Yousif danced his way through the Port defence but got brought down in the area earning South a penalty. Anthony Giannopoolos stepped up to the spot to take the kick with his 100% conversion rate from the spot this season. Giannopoolos went down the middle and the keeper picked it and saved; Giannopoulos ran in for the rebound and shot but the keeper made another save to give Port a 1-0 win.

At the halfway point of the season I think that South is playing below par and need to lift the second half of the season if they want to win the championship. Green Gully at home next week,  see ya then.

Steve from Broady's Canteen Report
South Melbourne's food van was in the spotlight this week trying to improve on their previous score of 8.5. Unfortunately they did not deliver, serving me up a pretty average souv, dry meat, stale bread (for the second week in a row ffs). I rate the South food van this week a -  average effort South food vendors.

  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1, 4.5/10
  • Week 2, 7/10
  • Week 3, 8.5/10
  • Week 4, 5/10

Next Week
Next game, Green Gully who won against Dandenong Thunder away. Their rise in form always coincides with our mid season slump, and with so many players leaving/injured they will kick us out of the park if we put in youngsters.