Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Volunteer artefact Wednesday - SMSC Supporters group leaflet

A short and sharp piece for this segment this week.

Nestled in one of the South Melbourne match programmes I'd uploaded recently was this leaflet produced by the South Melbourne Supporters Group, calling for volunteers to help out with all the things that they were already doing for the club, as well as all the things they'd like to be able to do, if only they had more people...

As we've seen before, the South Melbourne Supporters Group and its members weren't afraid of printing materials which would run counter to the hegemonic narrative provided by the board, whether in the official club match day programmes they helped put together, its own one-off publication The Maverick - which we now have a full version of - as well as commentary in Studs Up

But as much as the group had political aims, and were contributors to the discourse on how the club should be run, this leaflet shows that they weren't limited to mere talk - they were also an important part of the running of the club, even if they weren't always shown the appreciation they were due. One hopes that our presently large legion of volunteers are treated better these days.


  1. The very existence of that SMSG is a stark rebuttle of the "mono-ethnic" narrative we're still facing today.

    1. I wasn't part of the SMSC Supporters Group - however I did attend their inaugural meeting. I was heartened by the two gentleman who spoke (Sorry I can't recall their names) - I watched passively but was intrigued with the 'new broom' that was allegedly supposed to 'sweep' through the Club. I, along with 8 other if I may use the term 'Anglo- Aussies' regularly attended SM games firstly at the old Middle Park Stadium and then upon the move to Lakeside. We always respected the history of the Club with also noting that 1/3rd of the Club was formed back in the 1930's - now that is a story to tell! So whilst enjoying many beers watching the sunset over Middle Park (gee was there ever any better venue to watch the sunset over Melbourne's glistening towers in the distance) we often discussed why the Club never really tried to market itself outside its traditional foundations. One of our group (Gday Guppie!) had an Uncle who was on the Hakoah board. At one stage they merged with SMSC - and there was a minority of Hakoah supporters who genuinely wanted to embrace the partnership - (I am talking of severely cashed up folk here) but they were brushed aside. So this leads me to (sorry for the long winded waffle) that apart from having decent supporter groups - the actual Board must also buy into the vision. The Board must show and represent the diverse diaspora that the city of Melbourne represents. Anglo's, Greeks, Asians, Jews, , Poles, Hungarians and all the other Bohemians which live in the immediate proximity (yes 5 kilometre radius) of the historic cradle of soccer in Victoria. The SM Supporters Group was a diverse group of lovers of the Club - however the Board remainder insular and only propagated the perception that it only catered for one ethnic group - which broke a lot of our hearts. Guess which Club we follow now? Darker Blue and White. The transition was not that hard - many faces from the terraces of Middle Park I see now week in week out at....... A-League matches. We still talk about - what if - what if SMFC truly embraced a multi-cultural vision?

  2. Might be time to set up a supporters group again.

    1. The current generation of these super dedicated fans already hold important volunteer positions at the club.

      Is a different landscape for 300-500 fans we pull now, compared to the 4k-8k back in the NSL championship years.


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