Sunday, 1 November 2015

October 2015 digest

I don't think Colin Mochrie knows what I mean, but that's
all part of the game's appeal, isn't it? Or perhaps not.
Social club and Lakeside lease saga
Unresolved. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Club best and fairest
Brad Norton managed to snare that. What a relief, if you know what I mean.

(hands Real Madrid a random gift basket in the manner of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, and asks the pertinent question) 
Now, are we friends? Colleagues? Lovers? Are you my grandmother?

Technical director Sean Gale is no longer our technical director
He was... and now he's not. Now without getting into that whole debate about what it is that technical directors actually do, if indeed they actually do anything, it does make you think about why he's no longer with us. Was he not good enough? If so, why hire him in the first place? Is it because being in the NPL, we have to have a technical director to direct technically whatever it is that they're supposed to technically direct? Is this another sign of the ongoing failure of the club to create and maintain a working and consistent junior program, even though the NPL is pretty much just a huge chunk of a system that's set to make everyone conform and provide standardised customer service, whereby in an ideal situation each role at every franchise licensee can be filled by any number of people of equal mediocre calibre? Anyway, our new technical director is someone named Stratos Xynas, but that's not the end of that story...

One club to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them
Well, well, well. Isn't this something? Can I firstly say well done to whoever was responsible for getting this sorted out on both sides of the ledger. In other words, isn't it to great to see the men's and women's sides of the South Melbourne equation come back together under one roof?

Apart from anything else  - including rolling my eyes at the use of the term 'super club' - , I am fascinated by the lengths to which the (our?) club has gone to make a big deal out of this, including a very professional looking document which has been released as part of the announcement, if for no other reason than the alleged poor standard of documentation supplied by SMWFC during their bid for a licence into the WNPL in 2016.

After some bits you can easily gloss over about history and achievements, the document starts talking about the facilities at our disposal including this pearler:

Facilities available in 2016

Which then goes on to list such things as:
  • Administration offices
  • Grand foyer entrance 
  • SMFC Museum 
  • Commercial kitchen 
  • Fully operational club bar 
  • 300 seater bistro/restaurant 
  • World Class Futsal court and café 
  • Sports / Merchandise Store

In other words, THE SOCIAL CLUB! Can you believe it?! In 2016 we will finally get there! Or maybe not, because how many other arbitrary dates have been thrown around already in this agonisingly slow and torturous process? A fucken shitload, that's how many. 

Anyway, the document goes on to talk about coaching and such, including the fact that Chris Taylor is our technical director, by which I hope they mean interim technical director as I don't the NPL rules allow you to have your senior coach as your technical director. 

Skipping past the social media palaver, you start getting to the nitty gritty of how this joining of the two estates. Significantly, it includes female representation on board, and the intention to increase female representation in the years to come. This is important because for many, many years, more than most can remember, there have been three broad, if unspoken, conditions for being part of the South Melbourne Hellas board: 
  • Were you baptised Greek Orthodox? 
  • Do you have money? 
  • Do you have a penis? 
Not all three have historically been required for joining the South board, but having two of those three has gone a long way. Have we ever had a female human on our board? This is an important question to ask because a lack of female representation on boards means that you only tap into half the available talent that's on offer - a situation made worse in our predicament whereby being irrevocably stuck in the state leagues takes away much of the incentive for 'talented' people to give up their time.

For a habitually conservative club (not that there's anything implicitly wrong with that) like South Melbourne this could lead to some interesting changes in culture. 50% female representation by 2020? It's a bold ambition to hold, and one I'm not sure some of our members will be willing or able to stomach. Having women's and men's senior matches as double headers by contrast seems almost quaint.

I must admit, I don't know how other clubs with both strong men's and women's programs - such as Box Hill United or Heidelberg - go about their business on this front. It'd be interesting, if I ever had the chance, to pick the brains of some of those involved in such clubs to see how they make it work.

My closing remark on this situation is this. As someone who has long advocated for the return of the women's wing into the broader South Melbourne Hellas family, I am broadly elated at this long overdue development. I hope that good outcomes result from it, such as
  • a larger membership base
  • more scope for revenue
  • a stronger position from which to lobby governments and other organisations
  • a stronger position from which to get SMWFC into the WNPL from 2017
  • another step to getting the club closer to the top of Australian soccer (however fanciful that notion seems)
It could all so easily go to shit, but I really, really, really hope that it doesn't, because done right, this should make both sides of the ledger much stronger.

Player movements and contract statuses
Not much news since last month's update. Thomas Lakic is off to Oakleigh. Nick Epifano didn't get an A-League gig.
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
  • Cody Martindale (assume until end 2015)
  • Jake Barker-Daish
  • Nick Morton
  • Andy Bevin (Team Wellington)
  • Thomas Lakic (Oakleigh Cannons)
  • Dane Milovanovic (Hong Kong Pegasus)
2016 Australian Grand Prix date
The date for the 2016 Australian Grand Prix has been revised, being brought back to the weekend of the 19th/20th March, two weeks earlier than the originally scheduled dates of 2nd/3rd April. Once again, a less than ideal situation when it comes to fixturing home matches for us in the earlier rounds.

The year was 1968. We were on recon in a steaming Mekong delta. An overheated private removed his flack jacket, revealing a T-shirt with an ironed-on sporting the MAD slogan "Up with Mini-skirts!". Well, we all had a good laugh, even though I didn't quite understand it. 
Here's an interesting little profile of Nick Epifano by Con Stamacostas, from a recent edition of FourFourTwo Magazine, as part of a series on the top ten players outside the A-League (ie, in the NPL). There may also be an Iqi Jawadi one as well. I wouldn't know, I don't buy FourFourTwo, as even if it does have snippets about South, those bits will be smothered by other, things, you know, of marginal interest to someone like me. That's not a slander on any of that magazine's writers and staff, mind you. People gotta eat, people think differently, and goodness knows I'm not expecting anyone else to live by my absurd but nevertheless finely tuned moral code.

Kookaburras (a couple of people, perhaps known to each other, have alerted me to this)
Is this for real? Like, serious?

They better get exclusivity over the condiments, too
I have heard strange rumours that part of the negotiations involved in the Lakeside lease is an attempt by the club to get exclusivity to the production and sale of souvlaki and souvlaki like products. Will we actually have a place to eat them in any time soon, or indeed ever?


  1. I'm all for women being elevated to positions in a percentage that far exceeds their participation in relevant fields, in this case football. I am for this because I have been coerced into thinking it is a good thing by mainstream avenues without knowing exactly why because I have not maintained an ability to think for myself. Unlike those with penises and orthodox belief.

    1. Let me be clear. I am not one of those people who is for mandatory quotas. If however, there is a lack of representation and participation from any demographic because of explicit or implicit structural barriers, which exist in at least some part in order to maintain the power and influence of those creating the structural barriers, then there is a problem.

      It means that the dominant group (whoever they are, in whatever field they exist in) are neither willing nor able to envision themselves being able to test out their ideas and abilities against a broad spectrum of people. It creates a certain level of group think and insularity, which once it gets entrenched in is danger of evolving from conservatism to something more reactionary.

  2. When is your AGM?

    1. Dunno, but hopefully before Olympic's next one.

  3. I believe (might be wrong) but Mary Pirchan was on the board of SMFC once upon a time.

  4. Hearing whispers of Marcus Shroen to South

    1. Corner Flag reporting that Schroen has re-signed with Hume.

    2. Lol, there you go, signed with South.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.


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.