Saturday, 2 August 2014

It was cold last night - Pascoe Vale 0 South Melbourne 3

Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
It was cold last night - cold like being told by a former contributor that he hasn't read the blog since round 3. The Hosken Reserve pitch was wet, too, but there was plenty of grass on it at least, and no under 20s curtain raiser meant that we could spend more time eating the wonderful wood-fired pizzas (and the olives off Pavlaki's pizza because he apparently can't stand olives) and in my case a chinotto, too, which made the experience go up a notch from last year's already classy dining experience.

It was cold last night - cold like being the self proclaimed star of the show, but being benched by the coach for being a dickhead. Nick Epifano was reputedly dropped for disciplinary reasons, while Jamie Reed and Shaun Timmins, possibly due to injury concerns, also dropped out of the first eleven. Tim Mala was back in after serving his one match suspension, while Leigh Minopoulos also came into the starting eleven following a vacation related absence. Matthew Theodore rounded out the starting lineup. For their part, Pascoe Vale had five former South players in their starting lineup - Stefaan Sardelic, Carl Recchia, Marco Santilli, Joseph Youssef and James Stefanou. It was another one of those bizarre reunions that happen in the VPL/NPL, because that's how many players we've churned through over the past decade.

It was cold last night - and almost incessantly rainy, too, so much so that I spent the first half using my umbrella not only for my own protection, but also as impromptu shelter for South's official photographer Cindy Nitsos. It was the least I could do considering how many of her photos I've used this season. In the second half, the umbrellas behind the goal South was attacking formed an impromptu terrace roof, albeit probably blocking the view of the people standing in the only covered area available at the ground. At least we weren't playing in Ballarat.

Leigh Minopoulos slips the ball past Pascoe Vale 'keeper
Stefaan Sardelic to open the scoring. Photo: Cindy Nitsos. 
It was cold last night - so cold that at one point in the match Brad Norton asked me to fetch a ball that had gone over the perimeter fence, because he couldn't feel his hands. Hey, at least I got two separate people praising my sterling effort of jogging five metres to my right. The players from both sides struggled in the conditions, but schoolboy errors didn't help either. Theodore's lack of movement towards a ball passed to him while we were in attack with plenty of numbers committed forward saw Pascoe Vale fly up the other end, and we were lucky not to fall behind. Leigh Minopoulos opened the scoring after receiving a through ball from Iqi Jawadi, picking his spot relatively early to give us the upper hand.

It was cold last night - so cold, that when Clarendon Corner's spit roast 'Ellas, ole!' chant failed to gain any traction, my response from the corner flag to the call from the other side of the goals was greeted with 'that doesn't count'. The weather was so bad, that when someone mentioned that only the brave had turned up, only the true supporters, I sabotaged the moment by saying only the stupid had turned up.

Former South keeper Stefaan Sardelic kicks out at
 Tyson Holmes. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
It was cold last night - cold like a soccer scoreboard which doesn't reflect the ebb and flow of a game, only the trouncing that eventuated. Pascoe Vale were more than competitive in this game up until early in the second half, when Sardelic had collected the ball but also decided to apparently lash out at Tyson Holmes. I was right there next to the goals, but I'm going to go with being unsighted and only half paying attention, because when a keeper collects the ball isn't it the natural inclination of the spectator to switch off for a few seconds? Lujic took the penalty, slamming it down the middle. The substitute keeper got a hand to it, but there was no way that he was going to keep it out. Probably only Peter Zois playing an absolute blinder as he did in this game could have stopped it (and here's the video version, with legendary commentating and awful background music).

Sardelic gets sent off for kicking Holmes. Photo: Cindy Nitsos
It was cold last night - but not so cold that at 3-0 up, Lujic's death stare at not receiving a pinpoint cross from Minopoulos didn't drop the temperature even further. At 2-0 up Lujic had provided a neat cross for Minopoulos to score his second, but Leigh could not quite return the favour. Me, I blame Milos for not running to the right spot, as Leigh had done for his goal. At 3-0 up and now cruising, Jawadi managed to get himself a second yellow card and a sending off in a fracas of sorts near the benches. Whatever the cause of said argle bargle, it means Iqi will miss the next match. But by my calculations, they were also his fourth and fifth yellow cards for the season - so does that mean he'll miss an extra game on top of that? Someone said today that there is a provision for this which could see the two yellows converted to a red card, leaving Iqi on three yellows as before, and missing the one week. But it all depends on the ref's report and it's best for the club to investigate this thoroughly lest we do something stupid like play a suspended player.

It was cold last night - so cold that that car alarm which went off in the local neighborhood rang out for ten minutes towards the end of the game, and yet no one, not the car's owner, not a cranky neighbour, nor even a local street punk bothered to come out of their homes to silence it, either by either legitimate or dubious means. Missing the train back from Merlynston station by a minute, and hiding inside the bare passenger cubicle they call a shelter for 30 minutes didn't help alleviate the chill, my hands losing all colour, the glory of the win and being one step closer to a championship warming me up, at best, on a theoretical level.

Next game
Bentleigh away on Wednesday. At the time of writing, we were ten points ahead of Oakleigh with six games to play, though Oakleigh had not yet played their round 21 match away against Northcote.

New project - Victorian and Australian soccer library
I have no idea what the hell I'm doing with this, and how popular it may or may not be. But for the moment my frustration at the hoarding tendencies of some Australian soccer collectors, combined with the difficulty in sourcing much material readily for the non-academic Australian soccer fan, as well as finally being taught how to use my scanner without needing to go through Photoshop or associated programs (white space editing be damned), has prompted me to get started on this 'thing' which I've called a library for want of a better term.

At the moment it is of course a pretty sparse cupboard, but with your help I hope to be able to expand the collection. So far, I have some Victorian Soccer Federation yearbooks, a couple of annual reports and some miscellaneous items, but I'm hoping to add some club histories as well. My pseudo-anarchist leanings mean that my intention is for people to download and share the materials as widely as possible.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, or so they say
For an explanation of what's going on here, refer to my 'final thought' from a couple of weeks ago. I really don't know what to make of this, especially since it's not in blog format yet. A classic case of the unheimlich if ever I saw one.

Around the grounds
Two mysteries solved
I had been coerced into agreeing to go to Hoppers Crossing vs Bell Park, but the coercer eventually coerced himself into doing some work (or something), so I was gloriously (or terrifyingly if you're into Sartre) free to choose my own entertainment. And thus I ended up at Altona East once again, who were taking on Westgate.

When last we caught up with Altona East, their coach had resigned after leading the team into the relegation zone. Despite not playing a game last week, a points deduction to Altona Magic for some indiscretion or other saw East' next door neighbour take their place in second last. Still, that was small relief when Westgate raced to a 2-0 lead early in this game, with the home team struggling to get anything going at all. But then thanks to a Westgate a keeper error - he dropped the ball - and a deflection from a speculative effort, East went into halftime level at 2-2. A backheeled goal made it 3-2 to East, and that's how it's ended up.

Now, as to the mysteries. While flicking through the 1985 Victorian Soccer Federation yearbook, I saw that East Altona were described as wearing yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow socks. How could this be? How could the club known as PAOK not be wearing black and white? Well, as it turns out, when the club started in 1979 - ostensibly as a junior club, playing out of Altona North Primary School - the folks who kicked things off didn't really have a very strong idea of what they wanted the club to be. PAOK was eventually adopted as a formal name, but it was a fairly informal name for a long time. The colours were chosen based on the fact that, 'Well, what colours should we choose?' 'Well we're in Australia, let's choose the Australian colours' and that's how it came to be.

Apparently the green and gold colour scheme lasted up until about 1985. Certainly by the late 1980s, East Altona is a black and white team. But what happened to Altona East in 1988? Apparently they bought out a mob called St Kilda, and played the second half of the 1988 season under that name. St Kilda (a post Hellas-Hakoah merger offshoot of St Kilda-Hakoah people?) disappears in 1989 before re-emerging briefly afterwards. So, a couple of questions answered and good win to PAOK to boot.

Also learned some info about the relationship between Yarraville Doxa (Glory), the demise of Melbourne Hungaria, and Hawksburn, which is probably best left to another occasion.

 - with thanks to Fred Dimitriou for the historical information.

Final thought
Even though I didn't get to meet him, a big thank you to Pascoe Vale president Lou Tona for his hospitality, it's very much appreciated.


  1. There will be no blog. All entries will be on a forum via twitter.

    1. There will be no blog, he said. Just like I said that I'd never go on Twitter.

  2. Afternoon Story Teller,

    The above is the most bias dribble I have read in a long time - It might be idea to form your own opinion once in a while instead of listening to your so called mates.

    Maybe next week you could watch the game with your eyes open?


  3. What's so biased about it dickwad ?
    Whoever knows Paul, knows he isn't a story teller and says it how it is. If anything THAT's what annoys me about Paul.

    So go back in your hole and have a Fap.

  4. You say Paul says it how it is - I say Paul should stop shoving Souvlaki into his gut and have a go at playing competitive sports as from the information around the club he never has and would have no idea on any level what it takes.

  5. HAHAHA Crunts trying to bait.

    Can't see Paul falling for this. He always seems too considered in comment to be sucked into slanging matches with you clowns.
    Don't let that stop you, tho'. This madness gives a bit more colour to this blog.

  6. Wont stop you from replying on his behalf but will it - or are you Paul (Anonymous)?

  7. South bias in a South-centric blog is reasonable from a rational point of view. Do tell us James, which part of the entry is biased? A report about a 3-0 game that reads like a 3-0 game doesn't look biased.

    I actually find Paul missed a detail in the argy bargy leading to Iqi's red card since he didn't mention Pascoe Vale should've gotten a man down from Stefanou stamping on Iqi. That's not from lack of playing competitive sports though. Former South player bias maybe?

    I do think opinion from people outside the game (that is, not involved physically) is more objective since you yourself can see ex-player pundits tend to be more biased and protects players and mates even when they are not supposed to be defended.

    PS: Suggesting Paul to have souvlaki at Pascoe Vale proves you don't have the culinary credentials to go with your opinion. You would've more credibility suggesting the pizza.

  8. Look at how mad this James bloke is getting. Talk about embarrassing yourself ffs


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