If Milos Lujic misses chances during the pre-season - and he should have done better with a chip over the keeper - it doesn't bother me, because his record when it matters speaks for itself.
But everyone else, especially those cutting in wide from the left or right, come on! The lake is not the goal, the running track is not the goal, the temporary seats are not the goal, the emergency path next to the pool complex is not the goal, and the temporary goals behind the actual goals are, perhaps a little confusingly, also not the goals.
Bad finishing on our part was the main complaint I had from what was a fairly middling affair. Richmond offered very little going forward, which considering I'd read one report of them looking pretty decent so far in the pre-season, was a disappointment.
While we clearly weren't going at 100% out there, there were nice moments - we were able to get behind the often stacked Richmond defense much more easily than we did with Canberra Olympic the week before.
I think our corners have generally looked better this pre-season than I have seen for a long time, and as far as I can recall, there has been mostly a lack of short corners so far. Free kicks, well, that's another matter.
Depending on who we play against, how we decide to play, and who we put into the defensive slots, I am concerned that we may be a tad slow at times at the back, especially if the mids commit too far forward.
Should I put my neck on the line say the People's Champ is going to have a bit of a breakout season? Probably not, but if he can hit a few shots like his opening salvo onto the woodwork, it would be nice.
There was a moment where a fight almost broke out on the field after a slow motion wrestling take down of one of our players, but that was quickly sorted out by the referee.
It looked like there was another new player out there, until it was made known to me that it was new and already signed recruit Jesse Daley with a new haircut.
I think I'm well fed up with the pre-season now, and I'm just counting the days until we have something meaningful to play for and complain about. Speaking of which...
For the third year in a row we are in the Community Shield game, and like last year, we'll be playing against Bentleigh out at Kingston Heath. I don't know why the game has to be out there, and I especially don't understand why it has to be on a Thursday.
If it had to be held at Kingston Heath, why not on a Friday or Saturday? I know that people at South are not happy about this, especially those involved with the senior team, because it will leave them with a large break between the Shield game and our round 1 match against Bulleen, which will be on a Monday..
And then of course after that Bulleen game, we have a short turnaround to the round 2 fixture against Port away which is on a Friday. I know that our extended stay away from
For their part, Bentleigh only have an 8 day wait compared to our 11. Don't be surprised if South arranges another friendly in between the Shield and round 1 just to keep sharp.
Thursday's hardly an ideal time to get people out to a game either, especially for something that's not a local derby. All of this is more confusing because under the 12 month calendar released by FFV, the Community Shield game was meant to be played this week, not next.
Welcome to the 2017 rigmarole I suppose.
Lakeside gets dressed up for the palace ball
Much interest of course centred not on the players last night, but rather on the stadium, which has had temporary seating installed in preparation for an upcoming medium profile athletics meet.
It actually looked rather good, and one could envisage more seating being placed on the eastern side as well. I didn't do a count of the seats, but did notice one particular issue with the view of the eastern side from the lower levels of the southern grandstand - that the crossbar seemed to disappear from view, blending in with the top of the temporary seating. I fancy that problem would be a lesser issue if there were actual people sitting there, breaking up blur of horizontal lines.At Lakeside for @smfc vs @RichmondSC1953 #ps4nplvic preseason friendly. No lines marked, but the temporary seating looks nice. pic.twitter.com/Eu6TKYP57r— Paul Mavroudis (@PaulMavroudis) January 27, 2017
Some people disregarded the menacing barrier of the tape barring entry to the temporary stand on the western terrace to check out the view from behind the goals
And from the western side at least, the view is not completely abominable. A question asked around the traps last night was whether there was even any point in removing the seating (one assumes) bolted directly into terracing. A fair point? Or a misguided, ignorant one?Stunning full pitch view from the #ClarendonCurve at #LakesideStadium! Best stadium in AUS⚽️! #ps4npl #ps4nplvic #aleague #foxfootball pic.twitter.com/nm6moEWNdb— Mike (@smfcmike) January 27, 2017
Get a job (sha na na na, sha na na na na)
South is looking to hire a venue and restaurant manager. Is that because they're looking to open up a venue and restaurant? Stranger things have happened I suppose.
Crazy Gamblers (it's not necessarily a new thing, but still...)
Oh yes, we all like to have a laugh while playing spot the Dodgy Asian Betting guys (and gals) calling games for the betting companies. And from some of the very earliest days of this blog we've discussed the lengths people will go to bet on Australian matches of absolutely no consequences, but Twitter has added another dimension to this gambling fixation.
The 3x30 minute style friendlies that some coaches, especially Chris Taylor, prefer for pre-season hit-outs makes some members of the online gambling community very nervous and edgy. Not that I have a problem with that, because
WHY ARE YOU BETTING ON GAMES OF ZERO CONSEQUENCE, LOOSE STRUCTURE, AND UNCERTAIN SQUADS IN THE FIRST PLACE. DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO BET ON, AND HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT THIS LEAGUE WAS BESET BY A MATCH FIXING SCANDAL NOT THAT LONG AGO ?
Anyway, gambling, disturbing trend, think of the children (and aren't we all someone's children) blah, blah, blah, but seriously, can you guys just keep it (metaphorically) in your pants until the actual season starts?
A-League bid 'news' (not that any of that matters)
Most of you will have probably become aware that the Geelong bid has formally announced its existence, currently going under the name 'Victoria Patriots'. So that makes South, Tasmania and Geelong as three groups at the very least nominally in the hunt for the alleged two spots. If nothing else, that seems to put paid to the getting in by default option - if that option ever existed, of course.
Your (accredited) correspondent
Yes, your chief South of the Border correspondent has been given FFV media accreditation for 2017. Even better when the envelope is marked 'priority'. No lanyard though.
I'm sure they'll be released eventually...