Sunday, 30 November 2014

Novermber 2014 digest

Some of the things that happened in November.

I'm reliably told that when we do it, it's called recruiting, not poaching.
Bonel 'Bones' Obradovic, central midfielder from Oakleigh, also ex-Northcote. Milos Lujic seems particularly pleased with this signing. David Stirton, a forward of sorts, arrives from Bentleigh Greens - maybe he wasn't Queenslander enough to play there. Luke Adams, a Kiwi defender with an Aussie passport. Also Andy Brennan from South Hobart. Brennan is a forward/winger, and the standout player in Tasmania over the past few years. This will be his second stint in the Victorian topflight, after his 2013 stint with Bentleigh was ruined by an osteitis pubis injury.

Chris Taylor has also been signed to what the club is calling a 'long term' deal, without specifying what long term means. The inference seems to be that Taylor will also be doing something like a technical director's role, which seems funny to me, because I thought that the roles of senior head coach and technical directors at NPL clubs were supposed to be separate by now.

Lastly, assistant coach Graham Hockless has left for Queensland. His replacement will be the recently retired Tsiaras. Some more obsessive and/or observant readers of South related media may have noted that I hinted towards that signing on the South Facebook page. Honestly, it was a lucky guess. Also, the meaning of the word 'honestly' has now changed.

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it/When everyone's special, no one is/That's not enough! We demand MORE asbestos! MORE asbestos! MORE asbestos!
First up, we have the addition to NPL1 of Eastern Jets/Nunawading-without- anyone-from-the-real-Nunawading/Dr Angelo Postekos' Football Young Talent Time Superstar XFactor Dream Factory, and Murray United, who had already been granted licences from the original contingent of applicants with a year's delay so they could get up to speed in their own time. Then, because of the deal the FFV was forced into with the Coalition of the Unwilling last year, Moreland City and Eastern Lions - the winners of their respective State League 1 divisions have accepted the opportunity to move into NPL1. But no Preston. Seriously. They didn't win their respective title - they blew it in the last two rounds. If they're good enough, maybe they can join in 2016.

Also, Victory and Heart's youth teams are into the NPL Victoria, but not in our division - they'll start in NPL1, which is now split into two conferences, East and West. Everyone plays everyone in their own conference twice, and the teams from the other side once. It's like an oldskool NFL season, only with more chance of teams going bust and worse facilities that teams will be begging local governments to upgrade. Anyway, back to Victory and Heart. Some people will no doubt be aware that players from NPL teams, like our own Andy Kecojevic, play for those teams in National Youth League season (if you can call that handful of a games a season). Will those players choose to stick it out with their 'winter' clubs, or will they move across to their holiday house A-League setups on a permanent basis?

And also, are there enough facilities for everyone? Are there enough players? Are there enough coaches? Is there enough money?

Or, in other words...

Or, as a very wise man on said...
Can't see the problem here.
The clubs voted for this system/structure.
The clubs sued the FFV for this.
The clubs voted for all clubs to be given a fair and equal consideration.
The only thing the FFV have done is implement what the clubs wanted.
Are we suggesting that some clubs are more equal than others??
I wonder if the results of the South Melbourne fans survey, even if just given in a gist, will ever be released? Probably more chance of the FFV's NPL facilities audit being made public. Also, when's the AGM?

On honouring soccer's Australian history, even those stupid wogs who spent 27 years in that trench warfare filled cesspit of history called the NSL. Did I mention the NSL sucked? Also, let's put the museum in Sydney.
Museums. They're actually complicated things to fund, locate and set up. For instance, where should history be stored and presented? Can a nation's soccer heritage be stored and presented effectively in just one location? What benefits are there in putting non-Sydney histories in Sydney, away from their origins? If non-Sydney centric materials aren't sent to Sydney, would a national soccer museum based in Sydney end up telling an almost inevitably Sydney centric version of history? What is the role of historians for Australian soccer? Is it to confront the myths and mythologisers or is it to jump onto whichever bandwagon is in charge at the time, in the hope of gaining more patronage, and isn't that something that could be asked of so many people in the game right now? What's the story they and/or we want to tell about Australia's soccer history, and who'll get to tell it?

Here are some of the thoughts I made on a Kevin Moore keynote address about the founding of England's National Football Museum, many of which would need to be considered I think in any attempt to recreate such an enterprise here:
First up was the keynote address by Kevin Moore, from England's National Football Museum. How do you create a museum for the entirety of the game, in a nation that has such fervour for the game? It's not easy. But Kevin Moore says you start off by not targeting it at die hard football fans, because they'll turn up anyway.
Because you see football as part of broader society, you don't try and gloss over all the negatives in the game's history, including the stadium tragedies, the violence, racism, misogyny and homophobia, no matter how distasteful these issues are to some. You provide an outlet for people to create and provide their own memories, within reason.
You do not make yourself the be all and end all of historical preservation. You work with local communities to find ways of preserving local history locally, and only step in to preserve history as a last resort. You try and tell stories, not just provide facts and figures. You recognise the importance of topophilia, but you do not become a slave to it, in part because football topophilia can be expressed in several ways.
In summary, Kevin Moore provided a very interesting look at the development of the National Football Museum, from its beginnings in Preston to its move to Manchester. Moore talked about the difficulties in securing funding, the fact that there is no national sports museum in England, and that the museum in some ways has to compete against Premier League club museums, which seek to tell a very different, hagiographic story, and which are often not standalone enterprises, but part of the 'stadium experience'.
The key parts for me are about hagiographies and local histories.With regards to the latter in particular, the emphasis should be on teaching local institutions - clubs, federations, local councils, whatever's relevant - how to maintain and preserve their own local histories locally. Australian soccer is such a diverse experience that to move it all into Parramatta (hypothetically) would be denying local people from being able to learn and add to their own soccer narratives, while replicating a top down approach to preserving history.

On the other hand...
Is the writer of the original article actually being serious? Considering he has to have a dig at the past for reasons I'm not sure of - except, possibly, because it's the right/cool/expected thing to do if you're not Joe Gorman, who is addicted to the street cred one gets as Anglo-Australian soccer fan hanging out with bitter wogs; at least that's my extrapolation of some stupid comment I read responding to one of his posts in The Guardian, probably the article on Middle Park -  I don't see the point, if that's going to be the dominant attitude. I mean, is it really going be worthwhile having a museum which will be:
  1. Kings School vs Wanderers
  2. Football doesn't exist outside of Sydney and, at a pinch, Newcastle.
  3. 1974 Socceroos.
  4. Huge gap due to ethnic strife.
  5. Frank Lowy is grouse and stuff.
At least I learned what the word 'internecine' means.

Victorian Election Part 1 (Number 1 ticket holder vs wheeled after five years of waiting for the social club vs the bloke who put his hand up and then said for Number 1 ticket holder anyway).
Well, after a tough race between the shadow arts minister and current sitting member Martin Foley, and the Liberal candidate wheeled out when the Liberals finally signed the lease - and Tex Perkins, who once Foley said Labor would fund the repair and restoration of the Palais, said basically you don't need to vote for me anymore - it looks like at this stage that Foley will get retain the seat of Albert Park. Now where's the fuck is our social club?

Victorian Election Part 2 (Someone's crusin' for a bruisin'/Next year in Jerusalem) 

Speaking of the social club.
In case you missed it
Me and Pave Jusup  talking about how much the NCIP sucks. Ian Syson is more ambivalent about it. Roy Hay thinks it's grouse.

Does not compute/pots and kettles/γαϊδούρια και πετινούς
So apparently earlier this month Perth Glory played a Cheltenham based souvlaki joint in the semi-finals of some kind of nationwide soccer tournament. Anyone got any idea what that was about? And to make things really absurd, the bloke who wrote this, is now noting in this article the patronising souvlaki commentary. YOU COULD NOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP.

Bitter is as bitter as does/Fuck this cunt and his never-ending lap of honour/"And how we just made fun of those who had the guts to try and fail"
A lot of people have been getting all misty eyed over the apparent retirement of Les Murray (the soccer pundit, not the poet, and the fact that I'm not as spiteful of the latter as I am of the former these days is disturbing). As for myself, the first thing that's thrown me is that I thought that Laszlo was already more or less retired, because when was he on TV anyway? Was he on The World Game while it was still buried at 11pm on SBS2 on whatever day it was scheduled? Anyway, people have been lining up to offer their praises on a worthwhile career promoting the game, and more power to them and to him, as he did put in the hard yards over the journey. However, one bit of misplaced praise in this grizzled nostalgia fueled marathon has really pissed me off, and that's the recent line Les has been trying to spin about being a friend of the ethnic clubs, and 'why oh why are we so mean to them?'

And of all people to be asking the question in the most recent notable case, it had to be Mark Bosnich. The same Mark Bosnich who can't decide if we should  or shouldn't have ethnic clubs in the A-League. Now the reason of course that I get upset at Murray's commentary is because SBS - the supposed promoter of multiculturalism and of migrant communities - has in my most honest and considered opinion (as seen through red mists of rage and possibly incidentally coinciding with Ezequiel Trumper's thoughts on this matter) long forfeited any right to speak on behalf of Australia's ethnic communities. And this is not just because SBS has long exorcised non-English language programming off its prime time schedule on its primary station, and filled SBS2 with American sitcom repeats. It's because when it came time for SBS's soccer pundits - including Murray - to stand up and defend the migrant and ethnic soccer milieu from its detractors, they were found wanting.

For me, the most glaring example is of course the hatchet job Southern Cross A-League bid profile, a piece so vile that even one of the people behind our then rival bids for A-League expansion (Canberra United) could only shake his head at how bizarre it was. If that sounds like I've got a massive chip on my shoulder, so be it, but I don't think there's any need to apologise for holding that stance. I'm not going to begrudge anyone that wants to get a little misty eyed for Les' final bow, but as for me, this bloke sums up my feelings on the matter.

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about
Those crazy Melbourne Keniggets fans. Some of them seem to like talking about South even more than I do. More of it, I say.

You can always sleep through work tomorrow
- OK, I'm done.
- You're done?
- Yeah, there's no point in dragging this crap out any longer. Do you want to do the thing?
- Sure. You're reading South of the Border, the South Melbourne Hellas blog that hates old people just because it can.


  1. I might be wrong, but I think you linked one Michael Lynch story twice, and forgot a recent article.

    And I can't see where Bosnich's latest views are in your links.

    Savvas Tzionis

    1. Thanks for the heads up, endeavoring to fix up those issues as soon as possible.

    2. Hopefully sorted out now...

    3. I see that our multicultural nation still can't find tv hosts who are able to pronounce non Anglo names.

      And Aloisi's shirt removal being a direct reference to Kalantzis 1986 moment. Has this ever been mentioned before?

      Savvas Tzionis

    4. I was not aware of Aloisi's Kalantzis homage. As for the pronunciation issue, what can you do? I remember years ago while watching The World Game on a Sunday, when Nick Theodorakopoulos was one of the guests. I think it was Mieke Buchan who was reading out some of the overnight results, and when she came to some Greek names tried to dodge the task entirely, for which Nick rightly admonished her. Considering how Les Murray has talked up the lengths SBS would go to make sure non-Anglo names were pronounced correctly on their news broadcast especially, that moment stuck out for me, incidental as it was.

      Still, I think Star Trek Next Gen nails the issue on that front.

  2. Since this post appears to be an all encompassing one, I thought I would mention the 'plight' that the A league may start to face in the future. It was something that I felt was going to start becoming evident this year, and it appears I was right. That is, the ever widening gap between the have's and the have not's.

    Generally speaking the have's are the Melbourne and Sydney teams and the have not's are the regional teams (Central Coast and Newcastle in particular).

    That gap is evident this year.

    Part of the problem is that the one club, one city policy of the start up competition is still evident in the way the game is run.

    The FFA really need to realise that one Newcastle is not the equivalent of half a Sydney.

    The reality is that likes of Melbourne and Sydney should have at least another club in the league before we go expanding to backwaters like Northern Queensland, Gold Coast, Wollongong.

    Savvas Tzionis

    1. I am not the only one contemplating about the future of the Regional clubs.

      Savvas Tzionis

    2. It looks like the 'one city, one team' model is being challenged by the 'fish where the fish are' realities. But how much of this is a reaction to what's happening right now, and how much is based on long term trend? I'm not qualified to answer that, and I don't many people either in the game or who talk about are either.

  3. Whilst the One Club/One City model has in fact been broken by the two newer teams in Melbourne and Sydney, it still remains the bedrock rule. All the FFA have done is move one step along. But that was an easy decision to consider and ultimately make. Either a city has one team the fans all get behind OR the city is equally divided in a binary fashion. Once you add a third team or element, that is, if you have more than two factions, the ability to market a message that resonates in the public's consciousness becomes more difficult; Coke or Pepsi, Labor or Liberal? The theory is universal regardless of the product. It’s like racism at the moment. Everyone thinks its solely between lowly Blacks (Aboriginals/African Americans/Indians) and the Anglo led Northern Europeans. Just look at the recent SBS special which ‘pitted’ 6 White Australians against Aboriginals. Did the makers of the show consider that Southern Europeans or even other non-white minorities might also harbour racist attitudes?

    Savvas Tzionis

  4. With regards to Les Murray's/SBS treachery, I was reminded yesterday also of their Ferenc Puskas obituary, which included not one mention of South Melbourne, as if he never came to Australia, as if SB didn't have a ton of archival materials they could have used from Puskas' time here.

  5. Not sure ambivalent is the right term. I think it is morally wrong and ludicrous.

    1. That's not the way it comes across in the interview.


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