In this week's artefact segment we head back to the year 2007. Truly, it was a great time to be alive. South weren't yet in the A-League (any minute now some must have thought), but we had a state championship to defend, and a social club in which to socialise while eating bain marie dim sims.
There was also no South of the Border to upset people and take up my precious time; instead I was spending too much time posting on forums. And while we're still stuck in this interminable death spiral of irrelevance, at least back then the pre-seasons were more interesting if for no other reason than due to the existence of the Hellenic Cup.
Ah, the Hellenic Cup. Instead of spending your weekends travelling to public transport black holes to see a bunch of people try out for South that you'd probably never see again, with no food on hand and nothing even remotely at stake in a game played over three thirty minute periods, you could do the following.
You could go to a ground that had food, multiple teams in multiple categories playing in 70 minute matches on rock hard grounds in a compressed fixture, and for which pleasure you were asked to pay an exorbitant entry fee. It was expensive, it was often shoddily organised, but compared to this aimless schedule based almost exclusively out of venues that Chris Taylor seems to have the keys for, it was brilliant. South playing too far away from home in a midweek fixture? No worries, you could get out to the other side of the draw and get some spying going on. Oh, and there was prize money! Good prize money at that, too, rivalling what you'd get for winning the VPL championship proper.
In the 2007 Hellenic Cup final itself, played out of Northcote, we beat Oakleigh in a penalty shoot-out, celebrated with a low key pitch invasion, and collected 10,000 dollarydoos for our efforts. I don't know whether or not a giant novelty cheque is as legitimate as a normal one, but this item was in the boardroom when I took the photo now many years ago - so many years, in fact, that the various Christian denominations will probably agree on a date for Easter before we actually build a social club.