Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The latest Windows 10 update screws up my taskbar - Bulleen Lions 2 South Melbourne 2

Sometimes after games like this you think that was two points lost. Well, this time it was a point salvaged. Turning up to play an hour into the game, and not having a shot on target until probably about seventy minutes in is not the best way to go about the business of securing top spot in your own right.

But we should first acknowledge the elephant in the room - that whatever preparation the club did on synthetic pitches in the week leading up to this game, it was all for nothing. No player wearing a blue shirt had any idea what they were doing out there, with the possible exception of Milos Lujic who was provided such dire service that I am happy for him to have shown the ample frustration he did last night.

Our players who had destroyed their opponents in the first few weeks with good overlapping, hard pressing and decisive movement, could barely control the ball at their feet. Some onlookers mentioned how fast the ball moved along the ground, but there was also the way ball would just stall when it hit the ground from a lobbed or chipped pass. This meant that Bulleen's long balls along the wings, instead of running out of play, ended up sitting perfectly for players like Sami Nour and Shayan Alinejad to run on to.

Tactically, too, we were all over the shop. Lujic by himself surrounded by opponents, while our wingers simultaneously failed to get forward and got caught out on the counter by the speedy Bulleen forwards. And while one may lament getting beaten on one wing, shouldn't someone be marking the opponent on the opposite wing?

The midfield was a shambles, positions becoming meaningless not in a good, Total Football way but instead in a 'we are lost' kind of way. Now maybe the Peoples' Champ had been given free reign by Chris Taylor to drift into the middle, but all it did was add to the confusion of everyone around him. The Peoples' Champ was also in one of his 'bad' moods, sulking and refusing to track back.

Our best player by a long way was Nikola Roganovic, who pulled off several good saves. But even he was prone to making errors, giving away the ball cheaply from a kick up the field which lead to Bulleen's first goal, and then making an avoidable mistake in the second half which should have led to another Bulleen goal - if not for his own efforts to make up for the aforementioned error.

Switching to what seemed like a three man back line during the second half, with Matthew Foschini at right back, seemed to change things up a bit, though Bulleen also paid the price for going into their shell too much trying to protect their lead instead of going for a third goal. Mathew Theodore came on for Iqi Jawadi at half time, and managed to score, but as much as I like Theodore, is it time perhaps to be blooding Andy Kecojevic into that attacking mid role, even if as a sub? I suppose you can give Taylor the benefit of the doubt in that in the moment of need, he would turn to the experienced player rather than the still young Kecojevic, but at some point Andy's going to have get a run in his preferred position in a situation with more responsibility than an early round Dockerty Cup game.

But credit to the team last night that they were able to snatch a result from such a poor showing. With our entry into the cup coming up this week, we will see some different and hitherto underused players - including Chris Irwin, Leigh Minopoulos (who played a full match in the under 20s last night), or even visa player Philzgerald Mbaka who also played in the 20s?

Next game - updated
As noted above somewhat obliquely, for our first FFA Cup tie for 2016 we've been drawn against Keysborough. We will be playing as the first part of a double-header out at John Cain Memorial Reserve, this Saturday. Our game will kick off at 12:15PM, while the Northcote vs St Albans game will kick off at 3:00PM.

Entry for South members is free prior to 1:00PM. I'm glad that we've avoided some awful trip to the south-east, as well as get the bonus of seeing what is likely to be one of the better games of this round of the cup, if one chooses to do so. (I will in all likelihood be choosing to do so).

AGM news
Those of you who were financial members of the club last year will be pleased to know that the club's financial statements for the 2014/2015 financial year are now available upon request from the club.

I gripe, therefore I am
Yes, yes, it was an excellent crowd of about 2000, maybe more, but I maintain that Monday night football is awful, especially when it means I get home at midnight.

Australian Pedestrianism in the 21st Century (aka whinge, whinge, whinge your bus, 'gently' down the stream badly kept roads)
So, after having my one plausible avenue of getting a lift to the Veneto Club fall through - not that I'm blaming anybody, except for whoever was daft enough to schedule a game for 8:30 on a Monday night - it was decided that since we must go to the Veneto Club come hell or high water, that we would risk taking public transport.

Now when I mentioned the atrocious public transport access to the Veneto Club to a sort of university associate during the week leading up to this fixture, he said that I was mistaken about the poverty of public transport options to 191 Bulleen Road, and that I could travel on a bus that would lead me to the Veneto Club's front door.

See those red lines? Those are public transport routes. See that white blob inside the large green space? That's the Veneto Club. Now remember that my 'friend' had said that there was public transport which stopped right outside the ground. Rubbish. The bus (on whichever of the routes on the southern part of the map you may choose) stops a good kilometre away from the Veneto Club as the crow flies.

Oh, and what a bus trip up there. Deciding to catch the 200 mostly out of noble ignorance - it said Bulleen on the front of the bus, and I had an idea it would end up as close as we could possibly hope for to the Veneto Club entrance - we made the meandering journey through some suburbs I suppose you'd call them, but good luck noticing any of that on some of the most appalling roads I've had the pleasure of travelling on which threatened to smash apart what was left of my teeth.

This being the Middle (North-) East however, where the locals despise not only public transport, but seemingly also footpaths and anybody who may choose or simply not be able to use a motor vehicle, the one kilometre trek should have come with a pair of complimentary hiking boots and a trekking pole. Wandering through what locals apparently call 'The Manno', some sort of garishly decorated hotel and reception centre, we trudged over a lawn that had more potholes than Lakeside after an athletics meet.

Then it was time to make a decision - cross to the western side of Bulleen Road where there appeared to be no footpath, or continue up the eastern side past Marcellin College, where there was at least a gravel path, but probably no pedestrian friendly way of crossing over to the Veneto Club, what with there being a massive grass trench in the middle of the road. Deciding on the gravel path, we eventually crossed over relatively safely, all while I spent the time cursing the whole experience and those responsible for it.

The return trip was mostly worse. Standing at the gate waiting for some I'm sure obvious to everyone gap in the traffic in order to stand on a tiny island of concrete not intended for pedestrians only to repeat that again to get across the other two lanes while hoping that the delays wouldn't lead to missing the bus out of this pleb-hating middle class cesspool of bilious class war hate, was a wonderful experience.

Deciding to jaywalk across the Eastern Freeway was a good idea, because my taxes* paid for that road, and why should I have to give in to the tyranny of the automobile and wait forever for the little green man to tell me when to cross - across three different sets of pedestrian lights - when there was ample opportunity to do so. And this is from someone who shows incredible patience for the little green man to show himself when crossing Ballarat Road at Victoria University.

Anyway, this time we took the first bus on offer, which was the 905 back to the city, which was faster and more comfortable than the 200. Having said that, overall it was a rotten experience which not even the availability of chinotto at the ground could save.

*or somebody's taxes

'Clubs like South Melbourne'
Always nice to be at the forefront of David Gallop's mind.
“FFA Cup, the creation of NPL... all of these things are part of closing the gap between the A-League and the semi-professional tier and we’re well aware that the leading NPL clubs – indeed clubs like South Melbourne in Viectoria – are keen to keep promotion and relegation on the agenda,” he said.
Even better, in another article about promotion and relegation, the photo used was one of South Melbourne. OK, it was from our magnificent (wait, that's not the right word...) FFA Cup appearance, but just be glad that once again we have managed to usurp the role of being the public face of a movement that we had generally tried to avoid being the public face of. Like the NPL Victoria protestations, we weren't particularly interested in promotion and relegation while we thought we had other ways of getting out of this pee pee soaked heck-hole. It's almost like we're the Hilary Clinton of Australian soccer to Melbourne Knights' Bernie Sanders, a comparison those fascists will love.

Will it be as successful? Only time will tell.
Let freedom's cry ring, again
Remember the so called 'gimmick' forum that was set up as a rival to smfcboard? Well that site being long moribund - you can't successfully register on there, nor have your password reset - it's interesting to see another alternative to smfcboard start up. I don't know who's started it or why, how long it will last, or even if it will fall prey to the same gimmickry which sunk the older gimmick forum, but at least someone's taking a stab at trying to get something new going.

Match programmes
Uploaded a few things, but mostly issues 11-20 of Studs Up. A problem which is developing is that I may very well have to start another website to host all the non-South stuff I'm being loaned, meaning a true Australian soccer library and not just one that's an adjunct to a blog about a club that 200 people care about.

Around the grounds
Tetanus for breakfast
One mediocre side (Port) hosting a sub mediocre one (Knights). Despite giving them that epithet, the Knights go about confounding the expectations of the teeming multitudes usual small crowd by being completely and irretrievably awful. The fortunate thing for them was that Port had no interest in scoring, refusing to pull the trigger during even one of their many favourable moments in the first half. Even having Melbourne Knights player of the century Milan Batur sent off and the awarding of a penalty didn't help, with Alan Kearney having his penalty saved. Knights got a penalty of their own and took the lead late in the first half, and . Knights were actually good watchable in the second half, and maybe should have taken all three points - but another penalty to Port, this time converted by Stirts, Stirts, Stirts, saw this game finish 1-1. During the International Year of the Fence it was fitting that the highlight of the evening was a certain notable former Melbourne Knights committeeman almost impaling himself on Port Melbourne's fence during an exciting moment.

Still, as funny as it was witnessing the aforementioned injury because it wasn't me, one had to agree that clearly Port's fence situation is not up to scratch.

Principles of graphic design
Dockerty FFA Cup action out at Paisley Park, with Altona East hosting Beaumaris. After not giving two rats about knock-out soccer over the past few seasons, Altona East were hoping for a deep run this time around, Instead they found themselves in a deep hole (geddit?), down 2-0 and while they managed to get it back to 2-2 by half time, Beaumaris won a a see-sawing end to end affair 3-2. A exciting match but one that will be forNow there are two things that we can all agree upon:
  1. I don't know that much about soccer.
  2. Custard that has set firm and is eaten plain, is a pudding.
Leaving aside the second point for a moment, because I don't know that much about soccer the easy option would be to defer to expert opinion, which would mean learning about coaching, tactics, statistics etc. But the more difficult, perhaps even more noble option would be to go entirely in the opposite direction and force my unedumacated opinions on those playing the game. Watching Altona East pass, pass, pass the ball around, watching Port do the same, all for so little reward and even nearness to glory, made me think of who could possibly be employed from outside of football to teach pl;ayers how to recognise value and actuality of the spaces allocated to them to play on. Soccer coaches have clearly failed to teach players how to make proper decisions - have a think about this every time a player attempts a pass across the space-time continuum that is clearly doomed to fail.

The argument that even the modest elevation afforded to spectators at most state league grounds is superior to the atomic hurly burly of being on the field itself is a weak one. Myself and others like me, maybe even people like you, have stood on the fence line at the same level as players, and have seen them make the same errors of perception again and again. I admit that having seconds to make these decisions instead of hours, and having to contend with a moving object at your feet that makes you the focus makes things more difficult, but it's not like those of us watching on the sidelines don't have our distractions - it's not easy to pay attention to the goings on of a game while eating a souv or trying to check the footy scores.

So I think we need to bring in people from outside the game to teach players about the principles of the two and half (or is it four) dimensions the players participate in. Your first instinct would be to hire a physicist, but they would make things too complicated, what with the calculating for wind resistance and all. So I'm thinking what we need is graphic designers. Not artists, because graphic designers clearly aren't that, but someone with a basic degree who can teach players about concepts such perspective, the horizons, isometric views etc. We have tried getting people 'who know about the game' to fix these problems, and it hasn't worked. It's time to get people who know stuff about the illusions of space and sight to have a go.

A valuable and succinct contribution to Ange Postecoglou's and FFA's trip to Oakleigh to announce the Socceroos squad.
Final thought
Now even native bird life are taking part in the Poznan. Good grief.


  1. Paul - perhaps the Veneto Club should look into improving the process of only having one ticket box window to serve 2000 patrons. There were farcical scenes outside the ground, as some fans missed up to 20-25 mins of the first half.

    I find it crazy how the FFV allows Bulleen to have a synthetic playing surface rather than natural grass.

    If Bulleen were interested in investing in their infrastructure, they could have a really nice facility there. I think the grandstand has seen better days.

    PS - who is David Barro that has the honour of having a stadium named after him?

    1. Yes, very poor organisation at the ticketing booth - they knew there was a chance for a large crowd and made no contingency for it.

      Not that I'm happy with it, but synthetic pitches are the way of the future in Australia, certainly if Sydney's any guide. Still, I did wonder why they didn't make the junior pitch adjacent to the main ground synthetic instead, and leave the senior pitch as a grass field. It also somewhat complicated the 'dog a hole' chant...

      Considering all the construction money surrounding the club, I've always wondered why the Veneto Club/Bulleen didn't build a better/more modern grandstand.

      David Barro was the co-founder of an Australian cement company


      Or possibly his grandson, who died of a rare disease at 15


    2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2016/02/13/government-finally-to-look-into-possible-link-between-artificial-turf-and-cancer/#15988a8630cf

    3. KOD, the lack of your weekly predictions gives people cancer, and possibly aids as well.

  2. Please make an assessment of ground fences a weekly feature.

    1. Deal, but only for this year.

    2. yep, and cap off the year with a prestigious fence of the season award

  3. bit rich giving bulleen a kick in the balls considering the far worse away venues around. I don't go much to away games these days, but bulleen away on a cold foggy monday night was up there as one of the my favs, right on top of the action, no running tracks, like some sort of eng div 3 venue. What else u gonna do on a monday night anyway?

    1. I understand there's quite a few South fans who have a fondness for Bulleen (especially those who live in reasonable proximity t the venue), and I do like how the stand sits above the pitch - AAMI Park for example should have been done like this - but by and large it's not a venue I have much fondness for.

    2. Once you're IN, the Veneto is a decent experience, but everything outside the fence is ordinary.

    3. Yeah Anonymous, having a social club there must be a bizarre 'wtf' experience for a South fan. Bit like when cavemen first saw fire.

    4. Their Social Club is on the outside of the stadium fence, and is a gambling den. Basically built for people not interested in watching the football.

      Some folk dig that, but it isn't my scene.

    5. @MelbCro, don't you know? The delay is because we are in fact building a Social Club that looks really small from the outside, but is really big on the inside. We are going to call it the Tardis (a Greek sounding name).

    6. My mind went to the interior of Sharky the Shark Dog's kennel, but Eek! is such a typically 1990s reference for me to make.

  4. It's his blog, and he can whinge if he wants to?

  5. He blogs when he wants, he blogs when he waaaaaants
    Paul Mavroudis
    He blogs when he wants


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