Monday, 30 November 2015

November 2015 digest

Social club and Lakeside lease saga
Unresolved. And what's worse, none of the important people I tweeted yesterday asking what's going on have seen fit to respond.
Look, I know it's a slightly informal way of going about things, but I thought I'd save myself the postage and make use of the wonderful internet we have in Australia. Have I been blacklisted like the Kiss of Death? I hope not - I thought we were all friends. Maybe big news is just around the corner? Or are they looking for a way to tell us we're only going to get 21 years and not 40?

Season 2016 start date
NPL Victoria's 2016 season will begin on the weekend February 19th/20th/21st/22nd.

Trip to Sydney in 2016?
There has been talk from both South Melbourne and Sydney Olympic folk that South will be making a trip to Sydney in either late January or early February to play Sydney Olympic in some pre-season fixtures. 

I've also come across a rumour that Olympic may also head down to Melbourne for some pre-season fixtures, but that has not been corroborated yet.

South Melbourne in the National Youth League?
An article by Mike Cockerill on the revamped and cut down NYL seemed to slip under the radar somewhat, at least as far as it concerns South Melbourne. To a degree, that's understandable - having being split into two five team conferences, it's merely another step in the process where youth football is done as cheaply as possible by most of the franchises, by dumping them in the state NPL systems. The best playing the best? Hardly. 

But more to the point, Cockerill makes this observation about where such a two conference, cost cutting summer NYL system may end up:
According to the grapevine, NPL clubs like South Melbourne, Blacktown City, Perth SC, Gold Coast City (replacing Palm Beach Sharks) and Wollongong Wolves, as well as state federation-funded entities Tasmania United and Canberra United, are also exploring their NYL options.
So, does Cockerill's rumour have any validity? I don't know, but if it does, it will be a situation which will no doubt serve to spread division and hatred throughout our membership. Which, to be fair, is as things should be at our club, but you have to wonder if too much self-loathing can be fattening and therefore dangerous to your health. Anyway, if there was a chance for our boys to take part in the NYL as South Melbourne, for me it'd be a good thing - you'd hope that at the very least it would help attract and keep talented youth players at our club instead of having piss off to other teams. That, and it'd be just going back to what we had in the NSL anyways, except this time we'd be the state league club with delusions of grandeur.

The (re-)construction of Ange Postecoglou
I don't know why Australian Story has introductions to their episodes. Unless you're adding genuinely adding something to the experience, in the manner of the legendary Des Mangan, I don't really see the point. As for Santo Cilauro's comment on the game in Australia being called 'soccer' by the unconverted, there's about 50 million things wrong with the question is where would you start?

I did have to laugh at the mention of 'lead, follow, or get out of the way', but you would too if you had seen Idiocracy; the use of Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' by comparison for the intro music is just confusing, unless they only wanted for its tribal rhythm. And then there's Les Murray, talking about the reason for the existence of ethnic soccer clubs in Australia - first and foremost, they are used as a refuge by people in a strange land. A refuge is one thing, but surely there were also people at these clubs who maybe liked soccer? Because soccer is not the only avenue for safely expressing Greekness, or Italianess or whatever the case may be?

But at least Les has the right to make that judgement by virtue of once upon a time spending much of his spare and working time in around ethnic soccer clubs. In contrast, I'm less sold on the notion that Francis Leach knows squat about Greek football, let alone the squalid third division cesspool that Panachaiki were in at the time and the circumstances in which Ange found himself there, and then found himself leaving.

The main thing that I took out of this show was how Ange's character was portrayed as some sort of lone wolf; a pioneer who, if not quite coming out of nowhere, had few antecedents or direct influences. Anything that may have influenced him was almost limited to the environment he was in, and even that took a secondary role compared to his own drive to succeed. It's hard to know if the show took the direction it did because of Ange himself, or perhaps more likely, the production team generally had not very much knowledge of Australian soccer and thus skewed the final edit in that direction.

At the beginning, there is Ange's father and his love for his son and the sport; but there are no mentions of Ferenc Puskas, or Len McKendry, or Frank Arok, or even George Vasilopoulos, the bloke who gave him the South job because he was the least expensive of the suitable candidates available for the job. Ange claims, quite fairly, that his own interest in the game is to see attacking football - but how did he come to that conclusion? Was it not influenced in some part by the expectations that South Melbourne Hellas fans had of South Melbourne Hellas teams? Was not a huge part of the joy of the 1984 and 1991 teams their free-wheeling, free scoring manner? In Joe Gorman's article on South Melbourne and Middle Park, Ange doesn't shy away from acknowledging the impact of playing under Puskas (as well as being his interpreter).

The second, post-Australian youth teams era of Ange Postecoglou is remarkable in terms of succeeding to a large degree on his own terms, but also for having now no (obvious) mentors, and no patronage. But that question of soccer lineage remains frustratingly out of reach. Here's one of the chief links between old soccer and new football, and yet there's nothing made of that. Instead the image is of a sort of compulsive loner, sitting at a computer for hours looking for obscure Australian talent; a man who once read everything to do with soccer because of his love of the game, but who now is interested if not more so by books or management - something which you would not learn from this doco, but rather the first edition of Leopold Method.

Player movements and contract statuses
Confirmation this month that forward David Stirton is on his way to Port Melbourne. Meanwhile, back up goalie Fraser MacLaren has joined Dandenong Thunder. He has been replaced by Thunder keeper Zaim Zeneli, back for his second stint at the club. Hume City midfielder and former South junior (and two game senior player) Marcus Schroen has also joined South. Never did quite find out how that happened when Hume were supposed to have signed him for next year.
We've also signed former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Jason Hicks, and utility Matthew Foschini, most recently of Oakleigh Cannons. South fans with razor sharp memories will recall that Foschini was listed as part of the 2009 squad, but disappeared soon thereafter. No word on any potential forward recruits. By the time of the next monthly update, the squad will have begun its pre-season regime.
Players signed until the end of the 2015 season.
Players with unknown contract statuses
  • Jake Barker-Daish
  • Andy Bevin (Team Wellington)
  • Thomas Lakic (Oakleigh Cannons)
  • Fraser MacLaren (Dandenong Thunder)
  • Dane Milovanovic (Hong Kong Pegasus)
  • Nick Morton (returned to South Hobart)
  • David Stirton (Port Melbourne)
  • Zaim Zeneli
  • Marcus Shroen
  • Jason Hicks
  • Matthew Foschini
Meanwhile, in 'Internet is Serious Business'...


  1. Australian Story is handcuffed by fitting into the 25 minute window. It would be useful if they did a 25 minute broadcast version, and produced an extended version available on iView.

    1. That would be good, would overcome the limitations of the format.

  2. The club's press release re Zeneli hints that Roganovic is committed for 2016 also. Let the battle for #1 begin!!

    1. Who do we think we are? UEFA Champions League material?!

  3. Even the benign ABC ended up insulting 'Old Soccer'.

    As for Santo Cilauro, his efforts to prove his 'Australian' identity when Australia played Italy in 2006 WC was cringe worthy.

  4. Roganovic, Adams, KK, Martindale are contracted for 2016
    Morton was released to returned to South Hobart.

  5. Good to see ive been blocked from @smfc.
    Got sick of reading all their dribble anyway #halamdrid. The media team and club in general have their heads so far up their #asses it's not funny. I just hope they're ready for the #agm, and hope they answer every #question, including the controversial ones. #whatchagonnado ?

    1. KOD cuts sick! Ole!!

      I do look forward to a completely non-ironic #TBT post from @SMFC59 about the glory days of 2010 when we had a Social Club.


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