Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September 2015 digest

Maybe posting this a bit early in the day, but if something interesting happens between now and midnight, let's just all agree to look the other way while I sneak an edit in somewhere.

Social club and Lakeside lease saga

Presentation night
A combination senior/junior event, this will be held on Friday October 16th at Grand Star Receptions in Altona North. $70 adults, $30 children. I won't be there, as I have another event that I have already agreed to attend.

Player movements and contract statuses
It looks like the peripatetic career path of midfielder Dane Milovanovic is set to continue. Milovanovic, who missed much of the season with a knee injury sustained against Oakleigh away mid-season, has joined Hong Kong Premier League side Hong Kong Pegasus.
With Pegasus' season finishing in May, one would think that Milovanovic's time with South is at an end, unless he decided to come back to Australia during the 2016 mid-season transfer window. Meanwhile forward Andy Bevin has joined Team Wellington, and I assume this means he will no longer be at South Melbourne. As reported earlier, Nick Epifano has signed on for 2016, and although he has been rumoured to be trialling with Perth Glory, a transfer away from South looks uncertain. The (known/reported) contract statuses of some our other players and coaches are:
Players signed until the end of the 2015 season.
Players with unknown contract statuses
  • David Stirton (rumoured to be heading to Port Melbourne)
  • Fraser MacLaren
  • Kristian Konstantinidis (possibly until end of 2016)
  • Luke Adams
  • Thomas Lakic
  • Cody Martindale (assume until end 2015)
  • Jake Barker-Daish
  • Nick Morton
Considering that players have left before their contracts have finished - such as Tyson Holmes and James Musa - it's hard to know how are contracts work. In addition if people are aware of the contract statuses of any other players (many of whom I assume are only contracted on a season by season basis, such as Nick Morton), please add them into the comments.

There is also the issue of the player points cap being reduced from 225 to 200. Not that it's ever been policed properly, but you know, it's something to consider briefly.

What is the crowd capacity of Lakeside Stadium? (an ongoing project)
Over the years there has been much debate about the what the exact capacity of Lakeside Stadium is, whether that was the old Bob Jane Stadium (both when it was all open terracing and then had wooden seats installed) and once Lakeside was redeveloped with the athletics track.

Some of the debate has been motivated around our reputation of providing dodgy crowd figures, the seating capacity in the event that we somehow got into the A-League (snicker), or persistent dick measuring contests about who has a better stadium with Melbourne Knights supporters.

So as a beginning to figuring out what the seated capacity is of the stadium, a few weeks back
while back I was watching a South video on Youtube, I decided to do a count of the seats on the other side of the ground, and posted about it on smfcboard.
Not taking into account the empty spaces set aside for disabled seating, the 'new' stand's approximate seating capacity is 2420. This is made up of:
  • 10 bays of 14 rows with 14 seats each (1960) 
  • 2 bays at the ends with 7 rows with 14 seats each (196) 
  • 2 truncated bays with 6 full rows of 14 seats (168), and 8 rows of 6 seats (96), for a total of 264. 
Of course, since we very rarely use that stand, it's not at the heart of the capacity discussions surrounding Lakeside Stadium. At some point someone will have to do a detailed count of the stand that we use, though even then it will not quell all the controversy (such as it is) as the club never releases official crowd figures, and you also have people standing along the fence, at the back of the stand, and of course in the corporate boxes. But a little bit more certainty about certain inalienable facts couldn't hurt.

SMWFC win grand final
While I had intended on going to see the VFL grand final - go 'Towners! - I was offered a lift to the Veneto Club for this final match in the Women's Victorian Premier League, before the competition is replaced by the Women's NPL project. Neither of the two grand final contestants - the defending champions South Melbourne, and 2015's leading team Boroondara Eagles - had been accepted into the WNPL for 2016, so this was always going to be the end of an era as well as the end of the season. Now South Women may or may not appeal their exclusion - who knows for sure? - but in a situation where past or even recent on field performance is not the main criteria for the successful acquisition of a licence, it all comes down to the specifics of the licence application. And if that's not good enough, what can you do? Anyway, about 400-600 people were in attendance for this game, that was of a high standard for about 25 minutes then deteriorated significantly, but at least there were lots of goals, eh? South kept playing these delightful through balls to their forwards, but couldn't make the chances count. Eagles opened the scoring with a shot over the keeper, South equalised in the second half. Extra time saw Eagles take the lead with another long range shot, hit the crossbar twice and concede an own goal. The penalty shoot out saw South reach the stage, only to to have their goalkeeper take the decisive penalty shot and shoot it straight at the Eagles goalkeeper. Luckily Boroondara's next shot sailed over the crossbar and into the next suburb. South won the grand final with its next shot, farewelling the local top flight with its third championship.

Going up, going down
Well, we already knew that Dandenong Thunder and Werribee had been relegated. Now we know that North Geelong are also gone, having lost 2-0 to Melbourne Victory's NPL side in a playoff last week. Joining us therefore in NPL next season will be Richmond, Bulleen and, Melbourne Victory's NPL team. My immediate thoughts are that Friday nights at Richmond despite the limited cover ain't so bad; that the good food and atmosphere under the shed at the Veneto Club doesn't make up for abysmal public transport connections and likely Monday night games; and Victory's promotion to NPL may cause a dilemma for some of our younger friends from a certain supporting sub-faction and their potential allegiances.

Some quick thoughts on four hours spent at the MCC Library looking through the Soccer Action collection
After my first time using the research facilities there, I can say that the MCC Library is a very quiet, and very comfortable place to do research, and I highly recommend soccer researchers make use of the soccer collections housed there. As usual though, to avoid having an aimless session there, make sure you already know what it is you want to research, and avoid making digressions unless its related to your immediate research interest. I spent some time there looking at Soccer Action to the point where my head started hurting, but I did notice a few tropes.
  • The ethnic names vs mainstream names debate will end at some point, but like the iconoclasts vs the iconodules in the Byzantine Empire, it will take several generations to resolve itself.
  • The ethnic language segments - in Greek, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian - are interesting, although they can't possibly have been understood by everyone. The Spanish language stuff is interesting, as with its focus on West Melbourne, West Brunswick and Burnley, it provides a peek into Hispanic soccer before Laverton Park and Melbourne City.
  • Because the paper shut down every year between early November and late January, so much stuff has not been covered - transfer rumours, tours from overseas, etc.
  • The level of detail in match reports can vary wildly between editions and between years.
  • Minor soccer events, like a schools final, would sometimes get promotion but then no follow up match report.
  • While mergers were not an infrequent occurrence, I lost track of the amount of articles dealing with mergers involving Albion and Sunshine City.
  • Always a rumour about some team set to tour. Usually never happened.
  • Women's soccer got extremely short shrift. While the odd (usually earlier) years will include match results, in most years you're lucky if you can get the end of season table and a cup final result.
I went in there mostly with a plan to check up a couple of details, and look at the wider paper in a more scatter shot fashion. Next time I go, it will be with a focus on taking better notes and focusing on one year at a time. I'll have to find a way of getting Roy Hay or the MCC library to make a compile list of everything in the Hay-Desira collection.


  1. How about the Soccer Action double page spreads on the Black Douglas Cup Final? Often with pen pic bios of both likely teams.

    The club feature segments deserve to be better presented to a wider audience for posterity.

    1. They certainly do. Really like how they don't just go for the leading/big teams.

    2. Did South in blue seriously play Boroondara in purple?

      "Only when is suits" AFL clash strip policy enforced.

    3. Yes, that's true, and I'm disappointed that I didn't mention it myself. South should really have played in their white away strip, what with Boroondara being minor premiers.

    4. If the refs didn't pick up on it some FFV officials should have.

  2. Are you suggesting that some of the ENOSI 59 blokes might abandon South to support the Melbourne Victory youth?

    1. It's possible. Some of them do have a foot in each camp.

    2. I certainly hope not, they have helped revive the atmosphere at South. Hopefully there won't be any trouble at the South vs Victory game.


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