Thursday, 26 June 2014

Yes! Cris-atunity! - South Melbourne 0 Melbourne Knights 2

The following post is dedicated to Football Anarchy forumite and Melbourne Croatia fan 'Fates Warning', because he cares.

Short and sweet
That sucked.

The never kicked ball in my life analysis
The first half was pretty even. We probably looked shakier in defence by comparison, but we still had our chances - good chances - and had we taken the lead, things may very well have happened differently. The goal when it came was a bit of sucker punch, and set the up the game to head a certain way.

The problem may very well be that we don't know how to chase a game under Chris Taylor - fall behind, and we're more or less doomed not to get a winning result. It was pointed out to me yesterday that the only time we've managed to come from behind under his reign in games where we've conceded the first goal was against Preston in last year's Dockerty Cup quarter final - which of course was against a state league 2 side, playing with 10 men for an hour.

Having said that, since most of the time we've been scoring first - and we won fourteen in a row to start this season, let's not forget - how much of a valid statistic is this? Is it time to shake up the lineup, which aside from minor tinkering has largely remained the same throughout the course of the season? Maynard for Saldaris? Hatzikostas for one of Iqi or Tyson? Reed or Minopoulos up front?

The second half was a mess, there's no getting around that. The structures seemed all over the shop, our passing and crossing were fucked, and we seldom troubled Chris May in the Knights goal. We rang the changes with the subs, but that didn't seem to make much of a difference either.

Let's not forget that there was another team out there, a team that has recovered somewhat from its injury crisis, brought in reinforcements and whose game plan happened to win out on the night. That, and they seemed to wear the proper boots for the conditions, preventing them from slipping over in crucial situations.

Sometimes the little things make all the difference.

Oh we're from Albert Park
A fighting fury we're from Albert Park
Good to see our supporters turning on the players, the coach, the board and each other, throwing scarves in the bin, and generally having a good old fashioned Hellas sook. At least most of that points to the fact that they still care.

To the players
Sure you disappointed the fans, me included, but I don't believe you went out there to lose. For whatever reason, it just didn't work out. Back on the horse again for this week's game and the rest of the season, we've still got a title we - board, fans, coach, volunteers, supporters - can definitely win. Learn from the mistakes, adjust, player better.

If only...
We had more spots and several second chances like New South Wales, but as the other bloke said on Twitter, we don't, so we have to stomach that.

The recommended daily dose of reality
It was a one off game. These things happen. We did it to Dandenong Thunder. Don't make me quote Seneca again.

The people I feel most sorry for
The folks behind the scenes who were looking to use this as a launching pad for getting us back some sort of national profile after ten years in the wilderness. I know the effort you guys put in behind the scenes to make the club tick over, the hope that you had in possibly playing in this tournament, the fact that this blog's cynicism does not make things any easier, even if it's only read by a very small amount of people (and how egotistical for me to even mention it). Chin up and back to work, because there's still work to be done.

But I don't buy the line that it's ten years worth of effort down the drain. So much has happened over the past ten years, and so many different things have been tried, and we're still here somehow. Or are we still afraid that if we don't get our 'relevance' back soon, we never will? Do we have a time limit on when this has to happen by?

Next game
Port Melbourne at home. A relegation threatened, annoyingly inconsistent opponent who will treat this like a grand final. Yet, also an opportunity not only to maintain our lead at the top, but also to extend it, should the Bergers get a result against Oakleigh on the same night. I expect to see the usual faces in the stand for this one.

Sayonara Slaven
Slaven Vranesevic has left for Springvale White Eagles, in order to get more game time. Good luck to him, and maybe our paths will cross again.

Exit stage left
Managed to find another, quicker way of exiting Lakeside. Maybe I can make it home earlier after another HORROR LOSS WHICH WILL RIP APART THE VERY SOUL OF THE CLUB.

No Kiss of Death this week
Too distraught. I get that.

Mandatory Simpsons reference
Final thought


  1. Good balanced blog as always and well done for keeping us entertained and informed. I too am most disappointed with the loss to our arch rival Melbourne Knights and the missed opportunity to play on the big stage with A-League Clubs which could have been a great opportunity to reinvigorate a latent support base.

    What I don't understand is that how our Club, who arguably has the largest payroll in the NPL nationally, an elite junior development program which is meant to develop highly skilled talent to supply the senior team (yet we have hardly any evidence of this program working) loses to Andrew Marth's youthful Melbourne Knights who have a quarter of our payroll and no where near the facilities and resources of South Melbourne.

    The FFA dream is over for another year and all we can do now is continue to support the team for the remainder of the season and hope we continue along and win the league as expected. However, some serious questions have to be asked as last night was our opportunity in a decade to demonstrate to the broader football community that we are still a force to be reckoned with, or is this just a dream we are all falsely living?!

    I have heard some big words spoken by those close to the Club but as a former great coach of our Club once said, 'Talk is Cheap'.

    1. The thing that perhaps hurts most - and I think it';s only something that's at best only been hinted at - is that unlike every other attempt to get back into the national spotlight over the past ten years, it had nothing to do with back door deals, anti-ethnic sentiment, or whatever other nonsense that's occurred, it was all to do with what we did on the field. And we failed. It was in our hands.

    2. Ahem.
      Conspiracy theorists are still noting the schedule being changed which, while fairly giving Knights equal rest, allowed them to re-stock their squad in the Transfer window.

      No excuse at all for that lacklustre second half performance.

    3. Dear Anonymous,
      Paying players more than what they're worth does not make them better players.
      The Knights have a better set of facilities than what South do. They have a Social club and two training pitches in the once place. Plus another three junior grounds nearby. What do we have? A stadium which we train on, a junior pavilion shared with the women and Caufield.
      If we have the all the facilities and resources at our desposal, why aren't we dominating this league every year like Adelaide City has done up until now?
      Despite the fact that you have egotistical anti-South complexed clubs out there competing in the same division, you must ask the question on where is South's Greek community connection gone? I see other clubs hosting priests, media (I know we all hate NK) and dancing groups - South to me has gone down the same path as the FFV - the corporate way and we have lost / and are loosing our identity I think.
      Makes me sad

    4. I agree with your points entirely.

      We have lost our way. The fans have deserted the Club, our officials have turned on the Greek Media (who in turn do not support us), our Board are too eager to please fans with on-field performances whilst neglecting the basic foundations of the Club.

      It hurts me to see the likes of Oakleigh and Northcote being acknowledged as the pre-eminent Greek Soccer Clubs.....even South Springvale has made the FFA Cup.

      The current Board have spent the last decade blaming, finger pointing and criticising past administrations, too much time looking at the rear view mirror, talking up phantom A-League bids and not enough time with their eyes on the road to steer the Club into a new and exciting era. Result of this is a completely fragmented and divided club. This is fact!

      There is no point talking 'A-League' when the Club is weak at its knees. I love our Club, however, we have failed to make any in-roads in the last decade and the current board should take aim fair and square at themselves.

      We used to have the exclusive lease on Lakeside Oval and now we are a tenant who needs to book into a diary to use it and have a landlord who opens the doors to allow us access and chases us out of the stadium within 20 minutes so they can lock up. No social club, a weak junior development program (which can be best described as transient) and has produced no players for our senior team, we are financially reliant on the funds we negotiated by giving back the lease to the government all resulting in the building of a house of cards ready to collapse. We need to see beyond on-field performances and keep the Board accountable.

      There also appears to be a lot of mistrust in the way our Board manages the club's affairs and rumours are rife that our Member's based Club is virtually run by one man as if it is his own private enterprise.

      It's time these issues were confronted at a proper meeting of the Club.

    5. Without passing any judgment on the specifics of this comment and the previous one, I've heard this kind of thing too many times over the past decade. People like to use the 'it's a members run and owned club' line - and that is absolutely true - but no one has challenged the current board at three consecutive elections, no one has called an EGM, no one has put up - in public - an alternative board, or course of action.

      We still have another four home games in a row. Surely that is the perfect chance to get the clipboard out and get the signatures to call an EGM to get whatever issues people have out into the open. Posting anonymously on this blog or on smfcboard can only get you so far, and can only get you so much respect and credibility.

      And even if I don't agree with all or even any of the points of whoever comes up with it, I'll happily sign the petition to get an EGM going.

  2. Didn't we come from behind against port melbourne earlier in the year.

    1. We did, but the pedants will point out that we scored first in that game.

    2. NPLVic_Football28 June 2014 at 23:41

      You could argue Port Melbourne scored first as it was an own goal they gave us :)

  3. As a new member to the club this year, it is easy to perceive SMFC as a franchise club and not a members club.

    The exceptional work of the administrative volunteers and the professional image they present for SMFC goes a long way to creating that perception. It is this image that sets SMFC apart from the rest of the NPL clubs and that's a good thing, assuming that is the objective.

    Having visited a good number of NPL and NPL1 clubs during this season, there is certainly a different atmosphere at SMFC. At some of these other clubs you meet the President and Committee members as they walk around the ground on match day and introduce themselves, talk about the club, etc. At SMFC I don't get the vibe this would ever happen at Lakeside. There is a President's room up the back of the grandstand with a security guard to protect its inhabitants from the members belows.

    I think the only time I have ever seen any high ranking people in SMFC, and its a guess, is when a number of very well dressed individuals were out on the track having a crack at the Lakeside staff because the sponsors signage weren't fully set up and it was the day the head of Plasta Masta was attending.

    The underlying impression I have is SMFC is trying to be an A-League club in an NPL world. Again that's good if that's what the objective is.

    This does however have the potential to introduce challenges of living in an NPL world. Anonymous #2 above raises an interesting point about junior development and creating a stream of players for the Seniors team. The NPL has a player points system with an introductory cap of 250 points. This is expected to reduce to 200 next year and 150 the year after. The system is designed to reward teams who develop their own youth through the club.

    Take a look at the Seniors Squad on the website and of the twenty players, one one (yes one !!) is listed as having come through the SMFC Youth. Our latest signings in the transfer window are all from other clubs/states/countries. Is SMFC just like Man City and just buys in a players we want/need? What impact is this going to have on the Seniors squad over the next two years. If the youth development stream isn't delivering the players, what cap challenges are there going to be.

    I wont get into the topic of the Social Club because I know Paul loves that one. All I'll say is it's shame there is no where to go after the game to socialise with other members, shake the hands of the players after a game and buy them a drink.

  4. To all concerned opinion givers,

    Yep, put a ticket together & put your hands up to run the club.

    Way too much talk talk, but little action.

    I personally do not have the time to spend running a club. The problem is high calibre people are normally too busy anyway, so it's left to washed up types that are going no where that are prepared to put the time in.

    So let's see the "experts" that put their hand up. Then I'll decide whether to back keyboard warriors or not.

    Sth Member

  5. Was a hugely disappointing loss to the Knights, another big chance wasted!. We have failed to do the business on the field for years now, too many player transfers, coaching changes and not enough trophies/results.

    Agree with alot of the posters above, ambition and professionally run corporate entities are great but our current reality is the VPL/NPL, if we cant dominate the latter it somewhat takes away from the former. I dont know if we've ever found the balance since the NSL days!

  6. Club Report Card

    TV & General Media A+
    Only Club in Aus with own TV program

    Social Media. A+
    Best performer than practically half the Aleague teams let alone state clubs

    Corporate Sponsordhip A
    Only Aleague clubs better than Sth

    Organisational Structure A
    Again, only Aleague clubs better

    Youth Program. B
    2 Smfc juniors trialling/signed currently in UK, Stoke, QPR
    Program obvioulsy will take time
    Has professional full time coaches 2 year running

    Social Club. D
    Still in negotiations with govt I'm advised, could become an A or B in an instant

    Senior Team performance. B
    Should have been on FFA cup but still leading NPL, if they win it, good springboard to qualify directly to FFA cup next year.

    What the f...k are we all getting antsy about.

    If you keyboard warriors think u can do better, put your lazy hands up.

    Caio, good luck to Sth today :))

    Sth Member

    1. Nice report card.
      Such a narrow lense.

  7. Giannis Markopoulos29 June 2014 at 22:08

    I just spent 5 mins reading Shit. I will never get those 5 mins back. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one and they usually stink. These ones stink. Instead of being 'anonymous' put Ur balls on the line and show Ur faces, instead of your faeces.

  8. Folk pointing to Oakleigh and the like. I'm proud that South Melbourne is a Football Club, first and foremost.
    Those pretenders are Greek Social Clubs, who happen to have a football side as a sidebar (which I admit makes it more embarassing when those teams beat us).

    We're South Melbourne football supporters.

    1. Geez, a supporter of an ethnic club that hates the ethnic social club aspect of such clubs. You can't make this shit up. I think that right there is the problem with your club. Like NPL_Skippy said above, South come across more like a franchise these days, its definitely not the South Melbourne from days gone by. I get that you guys have these lofty ambitions and want to keep modernising the club, but what's the point when you've essentially lost the unique identity of your club.

  9. Too much gnashing of teeth!

    Lets face facts. The team's performance this year has us on track for our BEST year since we returned to State Soccer!

    As for the Dockerty Cup, a la FFA Cup, I am at least glad that the club that beat us out for the last spot was a fellow ex NSL Club with 50 years of history. They will, to some extent, be acting as our proxy (proxy for what is another question!) as they (hopefully) progress through the tournament.

    Savvas Tzionis


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

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