Saturday, 30 May 2015

Cryptic - South Melbourne 7 North Geelong 1

On being mistaken for first a Xavier, then a Carey Old Boy
On the day of this match (but not at the match), after being introduced with some keenness to someone by someone else, I was told in no uncertain terms by one of those someones that teams like South Melbourne being pushed out of the top flight was the best thing that ever happened in Australian soccer, because teams like ours had held the game back. Meanwhile the person who said this... no, actually forget them. They're busy destroying Australian soccer in their own way.

Being South Melbourne Hellas' Veronica Guerin, without trying to trivialise the life and work of the real Veronica Guerin
Presidents, board members, former board members, friends of players, former players, people who don't like reading long pieces - at one point or another, all of these groups have voiced disapproval of this blog. Apart from providing me with sleepless nights while I nurse my fragile ego, these moments of disapproval have also broken the self-satisfied nihilist delusion which I hold so dear to my heart that no one actually reads this stuff. Despite the crowd at this fixture being a mere 350 according to my regular informant, the evidence from the hits received here nevertheless suggests that I should dispense with my delusions of failure.

JERRY: She wants to talk.
GEORGE: She doesn't want to talk, she needs to talk. 
JERRY: Nobody needs to talk.
GEORGE: Who would want to.
And thus I had been forewarned that some people, who I shall not name, have been unhappy with things that I have written in recent times, and one by one they came to me to discuss the matter. Happily, it was mostly done in good spirits except by one person who... never mind. While thinking of the whole situation, I was reminded of an interview former Mr Bungle and Faith No More guitarist Trey Spruance did, where he remarked of an absurd (in the existential sense) experience he had, 'it didn't make me bitter. I guess I was lucky because I’d read enough Kierkegaard to enjoy the irony', which is kind of how I felt (except for having read almost no Kierkegaard, except for that one time), including Spruance's finding the whole situation utterly hilarious.

So the thing is I guess that I want... well, I suppose I want lots of things, while acknowledging that I don't need those things, and that having those things will not make me any happier. But what I want is for an Australian soccer version of AA Philips' 'relaxed erectness of carriage', even if that ethos is apparently 'manifestly bourgeois and masculinist'. Some people can't enjoy even the simple pleasures that life provides.

Facile pondering of how a group became a toponym, or how a toponym became a group, and how an individual moves in between those spaces
I am sometimes Clarendon Corner, but mostly Clarendon Corner is the location and whoever happens to be inhabiting it at any given time, I think.

The first half
While it would be wrong to say that North Geelong offered little resistance - despite being down 1-0 early, they still had some good chances to equalise against the sometimes makeshift and porous defending - once they went 2-0 down, everything seemed to just fall apart, as can often be the case. That first goal was farcical, as it seemed to just trickle through into the back of the net. Also Epifano was the scorer. That was also the only goal up until half time, before we had to endure the half time entertainment.

A: The art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other.
Q: What is perspective?
They had some hapless contestants kicking balls from the middle of the field towards a tyre located roughly on one of the penalty spots, Not providing the marshals with any sort of measuring equipment was a stroke of genius, as was having the ball kids moving the balls around. All of this reached its apex of hilarity when the illusion of perspective (even worse for the depth perception deficient) made it seem like one contestant's ball was clearly closer to the target than another. At least the crowd got involved.

Second half
Leigh Minopoulos scored a tap in, then Andy Brennan ball hogged his way to a goal, which lead to some amusing chants.

Wishful chants of "Newcastle is broke, Newcastle is brokkkke, Andy Brennan, Newcastle is broke!" hahah. #PS4NPLVIC
— Steven Chang (@Gixibyte) May 29, 2015

I think the bloke next to me, who'd had way too much bourbon before the game, missed that goal because he was too engrossed in Adam Goodes' brilliant heel turn. Andy Kecojevic, Chris Irwin and Minopoulos added more goals, before the visitors scored from a penalty. and then Iqi Jawadi restored the six goal lead. In amid all that, there was a brilliantly botched breakaway attempt, as Epifano refused to come back onside and Minopoulos was too desperate to be nice, and instead of just putting the damn thing in the back of the net decided to offload it to Epifano. For the most part people did what they had to do, but no one shone, because it was a classic case of downhill skiing.

The important things
Did Epifano make an obscene gesture to the crowd late in the game after he put in a poor cross, or was he merely gesturing towards Iqi Jawadi? If it was the former, who should get the credit for getting that response out of him? That there were wilful arguments about that last point says something important about this situation, though I'm not sure what. For whatever it's worth, I had my head turned when the gesture (whether malignant or benign) was made, and didn't see it.

Next week
Friday night Dockerty Cup match against Melbourne Knights.

Vale Nick Spanos
Long time volunteer Nick Spanos passed away this week, and with his passing so, too, goes another link to the club's earliest days, but also evidently a lovely human being. I think the most eloquent thing said about Mr Spanos was by George Koukoulas on smfcboard:
There are on field club legends and off field club legends.  
He was possibly one of the greatest off field legends that has ever served our club.  
Nick Spanos was there when SM United, Yarra Park and Hellenic amalgamated in 1959. 
He was such a lovely and gracious man that he had a calming influence on everyone that he came into contact with.  
He used to coach the club goalkeepers back in the day and never stopped volunteering and helping the club in any capacity he could.  
Post NSL, I remember he would turn up every Thursday and do whatever he could do to maintain the stadium and keep the club going.  
On match days, one of his tasks was to raise the club flags on the flag poles and he even did that with a sense of purpose and pride.  
He was such a wealth information and great story teller.  
The club has lost a historic figure that will always be a part of our club.  
People like him helped build and sustain our club with integrity, loyalty and hard work.  
May he rest in peace.
Transfer window summary part 1: South Melbourne
We ended the transfer window with the signing of Kingston City goalkeeper Fraser Maclaren, the son of 1991 championship goalkeeper Bruce Maclaren. Should Fraser Maclaren take the field for South, he'd become just the third (as far as I'm aware) father-son playing combination in the club's history, following Manoli and Peter Tsolakis, and Savvas and Kosta Salapasidis.

We also apparently took a stab at signing former captain Ramazan Tavsancioglu, and depending on who you believe out there, either told us politely that he felt obliged to help Dandenong Thunder avoid relegation, or told us to get fucked. Anyway, to sum up:

IN: Nick Morton (Melbourne City, NPL 1 West), Chris Irwin (Avondale FC), Andy Bevin (Napier City Rovers, New Zealand) and Fraser Maclaren (Kingston City, NPL 1 East), Lachlan Jackson (Brisbane Roar, A-League), Thomas Lakic (Melbourne Victory, NPL).

OUT: Peter Gavalas, Bonel Obradovic (Northcote City, NPL), Chris Cristaldo, Yiannis Avramidis (20s, Moreland City), Ryan Babare (20s, Springvale White Eagles), Peter Constantinou (20s, Brunswick City) and (eventually, probably) Andy Brennan (Newcastle Jets)

Transfer window summary part 2: Not South Melbourne
Transfer window summary part 2: Formerly South Melbourne
Borrowed Sepp Blatter commentary no. 1
Borrowed Sepp Blatter commentary no. 2
Did you know...
That when you use the #smfc hashtag on Twitter, you'll also come across stuff from Scotland's St Mirren? Maybe time to start a Twitter sister club relationship or something.

So, um...
How's that Nick Epifano vs Cliff Hussey investigation coming along?

Around the grounds
Me, I was looking at my phone intermittently for footy scores. Some of the reserves after their match were checking footy scores as well as Supercoach updates. One of the officials came out during half time and asked us what the score in the footy was. The old bloke on the phone talking to a mate? He wasn't checking out footy scores - he was more interested in talking about racing. The game itself saw mid-table Altona East host bottom and winless Corio, who lined up with a keeper that got rejected as a reserves keeper during East's pre-season a couple of years back when they copped 7 or 8 from Melbourne Uni. Two goals in the second half were enough for East to win this one fairly comfortably.

Paul Mavroudis, Emerging Writer
As part of the 2015 Emerging Writers Festival, I will be part of the 'PWE Readings Extravaganza' (a free event) on Monday 1st June, at Thousand Pound Bend, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Basically, it's a program showcasing the work of about 20 current and former professional writing and editing students from across several tertiary institutions in Victoria, with each person getting about 3-4 minutes to read out a piece of work. I don't know what everyone else will be doing - hopefully not twenty dark and sombre mood pieces - but I'll be reading out a piece from my Shoot Farken Heavy Sleeper collection which looked at the most inconsequential game of the 2014 World Cup,

Final thought
How the hell is a dog meant to use a MadMex voucher?



    1. Was nice of the 'Pies to have a great win as well.

  2. No point in lauding club greats if the likes of epifanny step on him with their actions and the club does nothing about it.

  3. Laughing out loud at the suggestion Epifano was actually gesturing to Iqi Jawadi to cover a wing. We all accept he's an insular footballer, and directing traffic (especially defensively) is not really part of his game.

    Of all the stories, I think this new found defensive aptitude might be the biggest Epifano conspiracy theory of the year.

  4. On Friday Night, in lieu of going to the North Geelong clash (justifying my absence by the fact that the club got my money anyway via the membership), I watched Mad Max (or as I called it, Mad Maxine ....there were more women being hero's than men!) with 3 old school friends (including two brothers).

    Prior to the movie, we had dinner and coffee. One brother insisted on showing me a video he took of the A League Grand Final. He (together with his brother) was an ex Hellas supporter (but never a regular), and I showed complete disinterest. He knows where I stand, but he somehow thinks I can be swayed.

    We then got on to the subject of the police presence at Soccer Games, and how there are more police at Soccer matches than at AFL games. The other brother said to me that soccer had an Ethnic problem. What do you say to that?

    1. Sometimes all you can do is just shake your head at the things people say.

  5. Fuck the board1 June 2015 at 23:50

    Tell those clowns to go and get fucked this is your blog not theirs. If they dont like it they dont have to read it. Theyre a pack of liars anyway. Fuck epifano and fuck ct another dog

    1. This week it wasn't the club or board voicing disapproval about blog content.

      Think smaller, and more legs.

    2. Ants?


    3. "Think smaller, and more legs."

      So that's what they used to make the Ribwich!


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