Monday, 8 August 2016

Are you not entertained? Well, now that you mention it... - South Melbourne 2 Melbourne Knights 1

One South fan decided to come up with their own
hospital treatment plan. Who said watching
South Melbourne was bad for your health?
OK, look. It wasn't great, I think we can all agree with that. The effort was there for the most part, even from some of those who we love to single out when they don't put in. You know who I'm talking about. Yeah, that guy, but not only that guy, but especially that guy.

Anyway, apart from some stupid tackles - and congratulations to Knights' Damien Miskulin for getting himself sent off against us for the second time this season - this didn't have much of a 'derby' feel. Everyone at South seems too jaded to care, while Knights were out of the running for finals, and have a much more important game (to them at least) coming up on Wednesday.

There was even cross-cultural happenings between a couple of MCF who wandered over to Clarendon Corner for a very friendly chat - and there is absolutely no euphemism, allegory, metaphor or other reality distorting literary double meaning on there.

We had the better of the contest as you'd expect. Our first goal seemed, to me at least, more or less inevitable, even if Milos Lujic had missed a sitter just before it. Things were going along much as you'd expect - though the bizarre indifference of the entire South team to an injured Manolo was there for everyone to notice - and then the Knights went down to ten men.

Of course that's the cue for someone to press the self-destruct button, and we copped a goal within minutes. From a free kick on the edge of the box no less - and not even a particularly well taken one - which if we had such an opportunity ourselves we would butcher, but it's no use crying over it especially when the only continuing contributor to South of the Border at this time also supports a team with Travis Cloke in it. The world is full of disappointments.

Then we ran around like headless chooks for a bit, like we were trying trying to find our bearings like we'd just going on the tea cup ride a dozen times. Eventually we either kind of remembered that Knights weren't really trying, or the team reacted to the building hostility of the crowd, or someone pressed ctrl-alt-del, and shut down Windows Explorer in the Task Manager and got everything going again. The second goal however still seemed unlikely, until someone - Marcus Schroen, in this case - did something unlikely, that being putting in a decent cross, with Matthew Millar on hand to nod it home.

We still tried to throw the game away in what little time was left, but wouldn't you know it, we didn't. A win's a win and those of us without black holes for hearts will enjoy it, even if one has to go back all the way to round 13 for the last time we picked up a win against a fellow top six side. At the end of the game as we were walking out, one of the uniformed police officers at the game - I assumed initially that they were they there as an overhang from the old boy Socceroos vs Copperoos curtain raiser - was on the phone, or radio or Krusty brand walky-talky, saying 'no flares, and no incidents'. Everyone happy then, or close enough to what can reasonably expect.

An artist's conception of two Chris Taylor hating South fans attempting to
 have a possible 2016 South Melbourne grand final victory end up in a forfeit.
We're gonna lose!
Now some people - not me, mind you - seem to be very close to crossing that line where they want us to lose, because they may deem that such a happening will hasten the end of Chris Taylor's tenure as South manager, and perhaps take down a whole bunch of people with him. Hey, it's their call, and what with South of the Border being too scared to oppress people for having contrary opinions the way we should be oppressing them, we're not going to be too judgmental. It's been a long week. Hell, it's been a long season. Which would make it all the more hilarious if somehow pull off a Portugal and storm stumble accidentally pull off a grand final win despite performances of abject mediocrity. And there will be few gladder about such a win than yours truly, not out of any sense of jaded hipster misanthropy, but because it'll mean another notch on the South title belt. That it would be done via second or third or fourth place would just make it that much sweeter. Any saltiness - is that how the kids say it these days, saltiness? - would be a bonus.

Having said that, everyone knows we're going to tank in the finals, so there's no point getting our hopes up. There, covered all the bases.

Next game
Pascoe Vale away on Friday night.

Marketing idea no. 8733b
So in the early part of the season, we get what, one or two marketable warm weather home games where people turn up like it's Orthodox Easter in Melbourne - that is, their one obligatory appearance at church, or in South's case, to pick up their memberships. But after that comes the grand prix, and we get locked out of Lakeside for several weeks, and whatever whatever momentum we may have had. So how do create a sense of momentum again? I'm thinking we lobby for two home games at the start of April after the grand prix, and market our matches as being part of the Comedy Festival. It'll be avant garde (read, improvisational), interactive (get to feel like you're at a soccer match) and totally meta what with the match being the play within the play so to speak. And let's not undersell the comedy value of a South match day experience.

The answer to one of my questions
I asked, and got no answer, but then I asked again - or maybe overheard a conversation - and found out all I needed to know. Remember how I was banging on about the mystery of the split paths leading out of the players race? Well, it was apparently done because the area of the pitch where the players came onto the field had gotten very muddy or something, and they didn't want the players treading all over that. Makes sense, even if it's a bit anti-climactic.

Around the grounds
If you get one up his butt, it's a million points
Headed to the Δόξα Yarraville vs East Altona ΠΑΟΚ match on Saturday afternoon. Tried to work out what was wrong with South in 2016 with some of the locals. Reminisced, too, about the first time I used a media pass - or was it just a standard FFV pass? - to get into Paisley Park. Copped some indirect grief from one of the blokes manning the gate about people coming in with freebies. Freebies! Do they not know how hard it is to make such dire contests read like a Homeric epic? There were no moments of 'Mighty Sonny Kul, midfielder relentless' or 'Whoever Yarraville's number 7 was, ingenious creator of destruction'. Hmm, maybe I should give up applying Homer to soccer and leave that Fay Zwicky? This was a terrible game of soccer, lacking skill, entertainment, aggression or any of the other qualities that make soccer worthwhile for spectators. It made one feel utterly apologetic for suggesting to one's friends that attendance at this match, part of the relegation scramble, would be a worthwhile experience. The two teams couldn't even manage to hit the Rolls Royce parked adjacent to the field - didn't they get the memo from FFV that the team that knocked off the hood ornament would get a immunity from relegation?

Time for FFV to get serious on insidious scam
I don't care if they're rigged - in fact I just about expect it - but if clubs are going to sell raffle tickets for bottles of scotch and such, then the very least they can do is announce the winning ticket over a public address system, or get someone with a white-board to walk around the terraces announcing the winning number. Time to start docking points for non-compliance with this royal decree I reckon. Before any South people come hunting after me, I'm talking about pleb suburban Greek clubs here, not Hellas, OK? OK.

Scanning news, of a sort
Nothing new to share, but they tell me Victoria University's new ultra deluxe scanning machine is almost here... looking forward to scanning some stuff that deserves better treatment than what my old Canon 3-in-1 can provide.

Hooped socks
Got gifted a pair of BLK blue and white hooped socks by a reader of South of the Border and fellow South fan at the game, and let me say, that they are a quality product. Cheers!

Final thought
In 50 years time this match will be known as the place where the South Melbourne Hellas and Melbourne Croatia merger talks started taking place. Good grief, you think you've seen everything.


  1. I think the best marketing ploy would be declare that there is a wild charizard on the lakeside pitch at the next home game

    1. It's only a matter of time until a match - probably in the lower leagues, where there are no proper fences - gets abandoned due to a Pokemon GO induced pitch invasion.

      Still, maybe it's a way for parents to get their kids to come to South Melbourne. Come for the Pokemon, stay for the self-loathing!

  2. Any South fan who wants to see South lose just to satisfy their ego and have an excuse to berate our manager can go and get fucked. Not a true South fan, a disgrace. Whatever personal problems they have with CT, they can suck it up. They can voice their displeasure but not to the point of abuse. Regardless of what anyone thinks and personally im 50/50 with CT, hes managed us to 2×premier plates (1st places) a championship, a docherty cup win, an FFA cup appearance and a Community Sheild win and league finishes of 3rd, 1st, 2nd and currently 2nd. If you look at that in isolation it's actually a very good record considering our era pre CT where we had to make do with Hellenic Cup wins and losses to Port Melbourne in the Docherty Cup. Yes i know we've had some devestating losses too and again those 2 games in isolation we dominated, just couldn't finish.
    Now obviously there is a faction of our supporters that prioritise the FFA cup more than the league and hence their dissatisfaction with CT.
    I know hes instilled a win all mentality with the group (unfortunately the football hasn't worked out) so is it time we prioritise the FFA cup and finish in the finals or continue with the going for glory (high risk) approach of winning everything?
    We have become so fickle as fans, yes be dissapointed but some of the shit that spewed out sometimes is mind boggling.
    The fact is unless we start playing like Bentleigh and prioritise attacking like the Hellas of old we will be left dissapointed and hence a compromise on our season ambitions.

    One other thing if the board is meddling with transfers and not letting the manager do their job they can get stuffed too. The Mbaka signing was a fucking joke. Whoever was responsible for signing Mbaka and getting rid of Hicks can get fucked. I have no doubt this season would've panned out better with Hicks in the squad. Stop wasting our clubs money and bullshit transfers and blood somemore youth.
    And get the social club built FFS. Stop feeding us bullshit, be transparent and do what you've been promising for years.

  3. What did the MCF boys want?
    Hope you wished them well for their cup game.
    The only thing that makes playing in this league tolerable is playing the Knights and Heidelberg. And we need strong knights and Heidelberg teams.
    If by some minor miracle we meet Heidelberg in the GF that'll be massive. Much better than oakleighs or bentleighs 10 combined fans

    1. They were interested in the camera situation from last week.

  4. I eagerly await your official rebuke of South's twitter account promoting Lakeside as a Pokemon GO destination in next week's post

    1. I think you'd be surprised Anonymous. While I have no interest in Pokemon GO, I'm not getting so worked up about it as others have.

      Another South fan had a chat with me about this before the game against Avondale, asserting that he was - in a manner of speaking - waiting (hoping?) for the planet to be destroyed because we had reached a new level of madness due to the Pokemon GO phenomenon.

      But I was reminded of Charles Mackay's book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" (which I didn't get to finish some years ago now), and its reminder that fads and madnesses like Pokemon GO have come and gone - and that football, too, was once considered a fad, craze or madness that pointed to society's moral decay

      I'm not one to use famous quotes, but Mackay's point is I think well made,

      "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

      Pokemon GO's popularity will fade - probably already is fading - and as such the main issue I have with South's tweet about Pokemon GO is that the club or the media team were so late in getting on board. Even Altona East had managed to tweet about this like two or three weeks ago.

    2. Smfc media team always in the shadows.....

  5. Unfortunately the club has become just 'another brick in the wall'. Crowds will just get smaller and smaller until it's just like every other suburban team running around. Not very far away by the look of it

    1. Its all a matter of perspective.

      What do we want as a club?

      Do we sell out to the Chinese and become a feeder club for their A-League ambitions like Croatia (he he he loved that article in HS yesterday btw)

      Do we focus all of our energies on the FFA cup to get a decent run at it next year and therefore some relevance in the eyes of the public - maybe draw more crowds?

      Do we bite the bullet, accept we will never again be in the national top flight and focus instead on promoting Hellas as a club and identity -

      Do we want to eventually be a true community club, maybe put out links to the local South Melbourne/Inner city community - Hipsters will love all that "we are an organic, not franchise, locally sourced crap"

      Jumping on the Poke-fad a month after it has already started fading is just embarrassing. We apparently have a marketing team (??!!??!) and while the luscious Demi telling us about whats going on at Lakeside for 5 mins a week is a good distraction surely there are more optimal ways to connect with todays social media consumers (Dont ask me I would have a clue)

    2. The social media team were late to the party with that Harlem Shake fad a few years back too.

  6. The board are serving their own interests. There is more available footage and stats online for Andy Bevin than Manolo or Mbaka and if they are so good why play here in NPL FFS???, the club is the GISS bus for there own sons to go play in Spain and we accept the unfit superstars that comes the other way, another board members son has just left for Spain from Bendigo City lol !! We are a joke.

  7. My sources close to the club are that both Manolo and Mbaka are not GISS related transfers and as for the Bendigo boy, just in case you haven't noticed he has been consistently flying and made NPL team of the month.

    The trial was organised by his Spanish coach from Bendigo who apparently rates him highly not GISS.

    Get your facts RIGHT

    1. Fuck off, which board memebr are you? the Spanish coach at Bendigo from GISS yeah?!! Why does he want a trial in Spain anyway all there stars are desperate for NPL glory right?! should stay here lol. Board serving themselves and using club to do it !! Get us a social club FFS !!

    2. Sorry ur right!! consistently flyin defender for bottom of the league Bendigo in NPL West 2 who have shipped 80 goals this year lol !! Board Fraud !!

  8. Hahaha I think even I am beginning to tell the difference between the various "Anonymous" posters here....

    Maybe one of them should post as "Miniluv" or being a real Ellinara, maybe "Tagmatasfalitis" would be apt???

    Paul, you should see it as a compliment that Big Brother is watching . hahahahahha

  9. I'm a board member and I can officially say that Gamiomaste at the round table meetings. Cheers

  10. Dear Anonymous(sss),

    Rather than complaining, how about do something about it.
    I think there are elections this year.
    Put a ticket together and go for it sunshine.

    Case: The SM Football department run by Maikousis & Mesourouni are COMPROMISED individuals that are serving themselves and using the club to do it. As individuals they lack judgment which is personified by their delusional ambitions for their sons.

    Case: With one of the largest football budgets SM have failed to make any impact where it counts, FFA Cup and NPL Finals.

    Case: The SM Football department needs professional, ETHICAL, knowledgeable football people to build on the club’s foundation of success. Why does this hard working club that succeeds in all other areas seem to attract fuckwits in these football department roles.

    Case: Giving a coach at the NPL level a 5 year contract is just unbelievably DUMB & INCOMPETENT.

    Case: Creating a relationship with one of the most DODGY agents (GISS) is a recipe for disaster. This has not helped the club in any way but instead given these Board members access to develop their sons in Spain !! (from all accounts the boys are not even good enough for local youth teams).

    Case: This GISS relationship is fleecing delusional SM parents of thousands of dollars and making the club look foolish and culpable.

    So all you keyboard warriors, either stop bitching or do something about it.


  11. I don't know all (or any) of the ins and outs of our Football Department, but I do know that if we are engaging academies and agencies it should be for OUR benefit.

    There should be $$ to the club for every player we ship using these channels.

    It is admirable to be altruistic and provide pathways for promising footballers, but in reality we need a piece of the pie.

  12. Dear Anonymous No. 4 (or is it No.5)

    Yes ideally they need to work for your club’s benefit.
    But, what have you ‘passionate’ members done to clean up that filth or even verify what was written on this blog recently :

    “That Mesourouni is or has been an employee of GISS (in Spain) and therefore obviously conflicted”, probably explains a great deal about the football culture of your club and those incredible Spanish signings !

    “That Maikousis ‘sponsored’ the Spanish Bendigo GISS coach when he selected his squad and when that coach was turfed out by the new incoming Bendigo President (just before the start of the season) that same Spanish coach got a job training SM U16’s or & U11’s !
    Now Spain needs ‘talented’ Aussie boys to strengthen its football leagues, for fuck sake !!



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