Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Social club artefact Wednesday - 1964 championship poster
Coming in to the final round of the 1964 state league season, South Melbourne Hellas was just one point ahead of George Cross and JUST, with a significantly inferior goal difference, and also one point ahead of Juventus who were a longshot to overtake all three of the sides ahead of them.
Apart from the Juventus-Polonia game, which was played on the Sunday, the rest of the matches were played on the Saturday. JUST smacked Hakoah 5-0 at Middle Park, while George Cross beat Lions 3-1 away at Montogomery Park.
South was matched up against Melbourne Hungaria at Olympic Park, and took the lead, and though Hungaria equalised, Hellas went into halftime ahead 2-1. Extending that lead to 3-1, the title looked secure, until Hungaria pulled one back and probably sent the Hellas fans into a bit of a panic. Thankfully the scores remained as they were, and South secured its second Victorian league title.
With a short, 22 game season being the norm, and the use of the two points for a win system, title races were always likely to be closer than the norm, but even so, the top six teams ended up being separated by just four points, the equivalent at that time of two games. After the season was completed, JUST would apparently lodge a protest, claiming that its round 20 match against the relegation bound Alexander - a game it lost 2-0 - was moved without enough notice, and that therefore the game should be replayed. This would have meant that the Greek import players that Alexander used for that game would not be available, what with their having returned to Greece.
What's interesting about this poster, is that it leaves out several players of the 1964 squad while including players that would play for the club in 1965. There is also one player that I can't identify, which if you read the caption I've included for the photo is the third last player. Any help with answering that question
Thanks to the person who runs the official South Twitter account, who posted that the unknown player was Ernie Ackerley, coincidentally one of the players who was not part of the 1964 team, but who had joined South in time for this late year friendly match against Pan-Hellenic.