Friday, 31 October 2014

October 2014 digest of everything (OK, some things)

This post is a bit of a grab all of a range of different concerns floating around, as well some news, in the middle of trying to avoid having a nervous breakdown, which is not an official term according to wikipedia. Also, don't listen to Bohren and Der Club of Gore if you're in that mood. Great record that one though.

Kids these days
With junior trials for next year now under way, just how many people are unhappy with the South junior system? Is it many or just a few? Are the things they're unhappy with South specific, NPL specific, or a combination of both? One thing is for certain, there are unhappy people out there - how the South board manage this issue will be interesting, especially after the failed Brazilian experiment of last year, and the fact that the junior system has, to this outsider at least, been the subject of continuous manipulation and upheaval. In addition to all that, the continuing failure to see any talent make its way through from the juniors to the seniors on a permanent basis - and not in a roundabout five years down the track kind of manner - would be a concern to everyone.

(woman or effeminate man or physical cripple or small child or palsied pensioner opens jar after the BIG MAN fails to open it, but he still tries to claim that he 'loosened it up') (or here comes the hero of the day and of course it's South Melbourne) (we're in the tent [is that a sex thing?] and so here comes South Melbourne in the A-League in 2017) 
What's our official position, if any, on FFA's National Club Identity Policy? Is it something that's even on our radar, or are we happy to just go with the flow? Flow it is then. Enough was said by both sides of the argument following a now infamous guest post, to not need to go over it again. I was speaking to a highly thought of Australian soccer writer, which narrows it down to about five people, four if you don't count me, and this person agreed with me that why don't South and Knights work together to achieve their goals? If Melbourne Knights want to the be the street fighting with western suburbs street cred coming out of their ears Problem Child, the loose cannon of the Ethnic Soccer Club Party of Australia if you will; and if South want to be the wheelers and dealers in the suits, the Albert Park Accountants and Masters of Realpolitik, with The Prince in one hand (a prince must want to have a reputation for compassion rather than for cruelty) and the Art of War in the other (On intractable terrain, Do not encamp: On crossroad terrain, join forces with allies: On Dire terrain, do not linger: On enclosed terrain, make strategic plans: On death terrain, do battle), who clean up the mess by looking down right reasonable by comparison, why can't they work together? 'All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help' said Epicurus, but then I would cite him, wouldn't I?

Speaking of which - Victory and Heart in the NPL in 2015?
So, Heart and Victory have enlisted the help of big brother FFA, effectively sending an ultimatum to FFV and the NPL clubs, let our youth teams in or else your FFA Cup spots could be under threat. I'm sure South Melbourne will come to the rescue, right after Melbourne Knights soften it up for everyone. It's called teamwork.

As important as whether Heart and Victory make it into the NPL or not, something will eventually have to give in terms of the massive number of teams now in the two Victorian NPL divisions. While the largeness of the league is in part a consequence of the compromise solution worked out between the dissenting clubs, FFV and FFA during the NPL establishment crisis, we already have the situation of 14 teams in each league, plus newcomers Nunawading, Murray United, and possibly Eastern Lions from. One news report suggests that Bendigo are re-considering their participation next year, and I've also heard talk that Murray United may also struggle to make it to the starting line - though their recent hiring of staff seems to suggest that their participation next year is more likely then not at this stage. But what happens at the end of the three year licence period? Will everyone be allowed to stay? And if not, can you imagine the furore from those that miss out?

There are two things a viking never does...
That  Phil Moss, eh? Puts out a stupid line, and then apologises. Not for what was said - that Sydney Olympic didn't sign him back in the NSL days because he wasn't born in Greece - only for the offence it caused. Sydney Olympic huffed and puffed a little bit, but in the end had to sit there and take Moss' apology like the little bitches that they are - and if that sounds like meanness for cruelty's sake, it's because I know that we'd almost certainly do the same. As for the two things a viking never does? It's a Hagar the Horrible joke.

Making a house a home.
Are our lights up to scratch? Some people keep talking about hosting an FFA Cup match as being of more importance than actually winning the state title, but could we even host a match under lights and on TV? There's been talk every now and again during our new Lakeside era that the lights aren't up to FoxSports broadcast standards. Sure there's plenty of room on the light towers to install more lights, and they may only need one more row each to get there, but are there any plans on actually making this happen? It'd be fairly embarrassing to win hosting rights for an FFA Cup match, and then not be able to host it at Lakeside. For that matter, what's the latest with the social club? Has construction started yet? Will we ever get signage on the ground to let people know we're there? Will I ever get rid of this albatross of a counter? And when's the AGM?

Are we any closer to to reconciling - if that's even the right word - with the women's team? While female players don't make up half the numbers of the male participant rate in the sport, it's still a massive blackspot in our attempt to be the broadbased and compelling club we love to portray ourselves as being, let alone one that could be considered as progressive. Still, this was interesting.
'Our' women? When did that happen? Interestingly, after Alan Davidson resigned or got the sack of the eve of the finals, his ultimately successful replacement was one Matthew Maslak, who had been sacked as coach of under 20s earlier this year.

Law and Order SVU episode blurb that could cover 90% of its episodes
The detectives investigate a series of sexual assaults, but come to realise that the prime suspect may not be the person they originally thought was responsible.

Comings and goings
Meanwhile on the South playing front, defender Shaun Kelly - who was also our leading scorer in 2012 - has parted ways with the club. Kelly, who missed the whole of the 2014 season with a lisfranc injury, has signed with Port Melbourne. At least he seems to have left on good terms, which is nice to know, as he always seemed to handle himself professionally, and it must have been difficult for him to sit out the entire championship season after hanging about during some very tumultuous times. Fellow Englishman Jamie Reed left this slightly cryptic message on Twitter
So is he coming back? I don't know. Tyson Holmes has left to go to Bentleigh Greens, apparently for a better chance of more game time, while Shaun Timmins has gone to Hume and Dimi Tsiaras has retired.

Staying put are Milos Lujic, Iqi Jawadi, Michael Eagar, James Musa, Brad Norton, Tim Mala, Nick Epifano, Stephen Hatzikostas, Leigh Minopoulos and Andy Kecojevic.

But did they actually get the terminology right? Aka, a souvlaki is not the same as a gyro, but OK we get what you're trying to say while being a patronising cunt
Some of those who watched the FFA Cup quarter final between Bentleigh and Γιουβέντους Αδελαΐδας - though not me, since I've been boycotting the tournament for various obscure and probably not very defensible reasons, but who are you to question my motives? Have I ever questioned yours? - noticed that the commentary kept hammering the souvlaki angle. Dedicated readers will however remember that Michael Lynch and I covered this earlier and better.

Frank Lowy mentioned that promotion and relegation in and to and from the A-League is imminent and everyone wet their pants or hunkered down in their bomb shelter
Me, I threw a tryhard nonconformist bomb of my own, but I mostly only got a few retweets.
Life after South Melbourne, if there is a such a thing; I still have my doubts
Congratulations to former South defender Jake Vandermey, who took out Hobart Olympia's best and fairest award. Vandermey also finished third in the state wide best and fairest count, behind South Hobart's Brayden Mann and Andy Brennan.

I'm playing all this week, tell all your friends
Now this I was not expecting.

Football Today, some sort of accumulating internet news service for Australian soccer - I'm sure there's a more appropriately tech-savvy phrase for it, but that's the one I'm going with - recently made South of the Border its featured blog.
I'm pretty chuffed with that, for reasons which I can't necessarily figure out. I mean, how did it even happen? I know how my blog got on the 'best blogs' list in the first place: I sent FootballToday an email asking them to put it on their registry, and they did it (I think it may have even been Bonita Mersiades who was responsible, so there's me momentarily running internet shoulders with an Australian soccer heavy hitter).

I don't subscribe to their Twitter feed, nor do I visit their site, because I'm not interested in the vast quantity of the articles that come through their feed. Sure it's not playing the game of internet 'I'll scratch your back and you'll scratch mine' that's a feature of the blogopshere and Twitterspheres, but I don't have a problem with that, my preference being for this blog to meander through time and space as it pleases, and not to the whims of aggregators. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have been noticed.

Maybe everything will change by tonight...
... and then this post will look stupid. 


  1. You think promotion and relegation is stupid but you believe in a B-League?


    1. There's both a serious response to this, and a joke response.

      The serious response is, that if someone could prove to me that promotion/relegation or a second division or a B-League was a viable prospect, than I'd be all for it. That has not happened to my satisfaction, and the catch cry that 'everyone else in the world does it' I find simplistic beyond words.

      The joke response is that I like the picture of the bee in the logo, made by someone from the old World Game Forum, which were a nice summation to me personally (if almost certainly not the image's creator) of a period of time in smfcboard history where the following kinds of ideas

      - rebel league
      - eastern seaboard league
      - b-league
      - playing in Singapore
      - playing in New Zealand

      were thrown about without almost any real thought about the logistics, the economics, the legality and the consequences. And like I've said, I like the bee.


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.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.