Thursday, 1 December 2016

November 2016 digest

Friendly vs Box Hill United
On the Monday that just went past the club had an informal hit-out against now regular pre-season sparring partner Box Hill United. Three by thirty minute periods. Box Hill United scored the only goal of the affair, from a goal mouth scramble. They had only one other clear cut chance, a free header straight to the keeper. For South, the squad was made up of many of 2016's regulars (except those that have left, and Luke Adams who is playing for Eastern Suburbs in New Zealand), some fringe/youth players, that Zinni kid and some other blokes I couldn't recognise - not that that matters anyway, because my recognition skills are not good. The outing was high intensity, and the South bys controlled most of it albeit the end product was rubbish. So it goes. At one point Milos Lujic poleaxed an opponent and himself in a bizarre challenge, but he got up eventually and resumed playing.

I don't know when the next friendly hit-out will be. If I get more forward and definitive notice than I did for this one, I'll try and post something somewhere.

Social clubs news
Earlier this month they were putting the floor in,
And progress has been steady since then.

During mid-November I was fortunate enough to be invited to the club to take a first hand look at the progress being made (sorry, no photos allowed) and to ask some general questions. Any chance of that visit being conducted relatively incognito was scuppered because several board members - some of whom are working on the project in a hands on manner, lending their expertise to the project - also arrived during my visit.

Upon entering the space (with mandatory hi-viz safety vest), one still had to imagine what it would look like when it's finished and how everything would fit together. Suffice to say that one already feels that it will be a drastic improvement on the increasingly decrepit former social club space.

One of the key differences will be a lower ceiling, creating what one hopes is a more intimate atmosphere. There are plans to try and get more natural light in there as well, though I'm unsure how that will come about. When there weren't big numbers in the old social club, its dankness and degradation became increasingly noticeable - one expects that this time a bit more thought and care will be put into the design. Another difference will be the bar, kitchen and dining areas all being on the same level, as opposed to the raised bar/lowered dining areas arrangement of the old social club.

There will be several television screens of various sizes around the space, as well as museum space dedicated around the room as opposed to being concentrated in one area. The museum space will also have, it is hoped, a multimedia component. For the futsal court, apart from the court itself there are plans for a raised viewing area behind one of the ends (I'm thinking of perhaps something like the upstairs behind the goal area of the Icehouse, or a squash court), as well as of course new changerooms.

The office space will be an open plan set up, and integrated with the former boardroom space into one large room. I am led to believe that the old, massive board table has been dispensed with - which on the one hand is sad, because it was a beautiful table and a part of our history, including alleged mythical sordidness - but now that we don't have the constitutional scope for 21 board members it probably doesn't need to be that big.

Those who have been to recent AGMs will be relatively familiar with how all of this will actually function. Chief of those concerns is whether management of the space will be outsourced or kept in house, with the club preferring to keep it in house at this time. The club of course hopes that all will be ready in time for the first home games of the season, which will be some time in February.

AGM news 
The date for the 2016 AGMs (SMH and SMFC) have been announced. They will be held on Tuesday 20th December in the Presidents Room at Lakeside, SMH at 7:00PM, SMFC at 8:30. Those members who have not received any notification via mail or email by I suppose the end of next week should probably contact the club.

While I am pleased that the AGM is being held in a more timely fashion this time around, holding it in the week before Christmas is a bit lame, as we noted of the last occasion that such a thing was done back in 2011.

With so many things apparently going very well for the club - lease sorted, trophies being won, women in WNPL - one wonders what kind of trajectory the meeting will take. At the very least one hopes that apart from the usual deal of finances and football updates, that members will get an update on the progress of the social club, as well as some explanation on the mechanics of our A-League bid.

Apart from the many other issues which will be discussed, this year also happens to be an election year. I don't suppose any new tickets will emerge to challenge the board which has in one form or another been running the club for most of our post NSL years, but you never know.

Season schedule
The 2017 season will starting in mid February, on the week ending Sunday 12, which is a bit earlier than the 2016 start. The Community Shield, which South Melbourne will be participating in for a third consecutive year, will be held two weeks earlier than that.

Arrivals and departures
As per last time, the following players are known to be contracted for next season.
Players who have left the club.

A number of names have been posted to a certain forum, but unless it comes from the club itself (and even then, after the Jason Hicks situation...), take nothing as gospel.

A-League expansion murmurings
So after the explosion of expansion news across the past two weeks, things have settled down a bit - though we're still getting press for not doing very much other than repeat ourselves. But South Melbourne Hellas is at this point in time for parts of the press a valuable commodity, and since both our objectives are apparently being met by this pseudo-cooperation, one can't really complain. We even got some positive, albeit generic, coverage in Neos Kosmos.

A more concrete bit of news was that FFA would visit Lakeside as part of this process some time this week, although of course the expansion criteria have not been released yet. Still, it's nice that our interest in being an expansion side seems to have at least garnered some reciprocal interest from FFA, as opposed to the Southern Cross bid where we had to cry to the press for attention, and the Heart/Mariners takeover bids in which afterwards one felt South had been used for the sake of drawing out other interests.

It's so hard to tell which other bids out of the myriad that have appeared in the past fortnight are actually anything more than thought bubbles, apart from the Tasmania bid and Third Sydney. Something unusual about all of this has been the lack of anything to do with this on the official website, but I suppose one can put that down to the main website person not being in the country during this part of the news cycle.

South gets a mention in a book
Les Street found this mention of South and assorted other Australian soccer clubs in a book about 1000 clubs from around the world.
It's nice to be acknowledged I suppose.


  1. "Something unusual about all of this has been the lack of anything to do with this on the official website, but I suppose one can put that down to the main website person not being in the country during this part of the news cycle."

    and we wanna get into the a-league...

  2. A thought popped into my head this morning, before you posted this.

    It was to do with what would happen to our Board (and some of our fans) if we do not get into A League on this attempt?

    Will they finally 'give up'?

    I am one of the many that, not only am I relatively happy being in the NPL, but am wary about getting into A League.

    However, there appears to be a lingering element of those that are hanging around in the (forlorn?) hope we will get in one day. And that, when that moment arrives where we appear to be getting rejected FOREVER, that these fans will depart.

    Anyway, just a thought.

    1. The board as a whole I think would continue, though certain board members may choose to step away.

      On the other point, I have often commented about those South fans still with us who are with us at least in some part because they believe our ascension to the top flight is imminent. I reckon most of those have dropped off, but each failed bid probably only makes things worse for those people.

  3. Bill Papastergiadis was on Daily Football Show, listen from 41:00 onwards

    1. There was a dig at President in relation to not denigrating other bids. :)

    2. Indeed there was. Now someone needs to pull up Bill in terms of not making stuff up.

  4. What a way to lead into Christmas and the New Year. So many positives coming out of the club. Regarding the social club - which I absolutely cannot wait for - it is like putting a stake in the ground and saying "this is our home!" - can anyone please of any influence make sure that the history section just simply states "South Melbourne Football Club Museum" we don't need like the old one "hellas museum". We need to signal our intent - showcase our history - but also make a strong statement of where we are heading. I'm not talking about whitewashing our history - I just want us to proclaim who we are moving forward. I am sick and tired of peeps talking about our ethnic background. We should celebrate our history - all facets of it - even include a section on the Anglo SM united and even the youth merger with Hakoah - if we are true to valuing our history. It would also be great if could carry the torch so to speak for the NSL - and have a small section which celebrates the rich diversity of what the NSL was. I want our club to lead the way and be the voice for the past - but also be an advocate of how clubs can evolve and look forward to the future. I so please hope we do not outsource the catering of the social club - lets keep it family run - I want home cooked food - not generic crap that you can get at AAMI park or Etihad. That is part of our story and what differentiates us. Let's be bold - let's make a strong statement of where we are headed. Let's not think small like the Knights who hold onto their small minded views and longing for a (foreign) country which has nothing to do with football in Australia. Go South!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Seriously? Oh man, this is a new low. Not only do some fans want to de-hellenise present-day south, now you're advocating de-hellenising the history of hellas? Do you realise how ridiculous this is?
      On behalf of all the greeks immigrants who formed and supported the club over the years - who are unfortunately mostly departed or nearly departed - I say you have no right to do this! Go form a new club.
      What a joke, lol.

  5. Curious as to why Papa is hell bent on making SMFC and fans look like idiots. 7k to games? At least be factual.
    Fortunately he got pulled up on it by mark van aken and hopefully he'll start speaking facts.
    No more bullshit please!

  6. They're getting rid of the dank? Oh but South, the dank. The dank!

    1. Here's hoping for an amazing amount of crap on the walls. Oh, wait - that was the old social club.


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