|SMFC TV boss and self-styled active support maestro 'Doc' attempts to corral|
the monkeys of Clarendon Corner into producing a coherent performance.
One way to get by in times like this is to do other things, usually burying oneself work. I do my studies as a matter of course, and I try to find things that aren't soccer related; last week I went to a session at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and I've got three more sessions planned for this week; I read my books; I cultivate my cult on Twitter. And sometimes you need a reminder that the things which seem to happen by themselves every week at South actually require work. After the implied (or is that inferred?) turmoil of the past week or so, it seems that a good deal of the more transient (uni intern) volunteer base disappeared, and things reverted to requiring a bit of old fashioned doing things ourselves.
Thus after having a beer and a so-so burger in the social club, I found myself being called upon to help with the utterly manual task of putting up the advertising boards. This wasn't new to me per se, but it had been a while since I'd done it, and it brought back memories of taking down the signage after a Clarendon Corner vs Original Melbourne 21 game back in the day; of moving rugby posts with George Kouroumalis and a surprisingly athletic George Koukoulas; and moving those toblerone-style ad bags back into the deteriorating though still yet to be gutted social club during our early days of our return to Lakeside.
|Tiff Eliadis competes for the header, while Chelsea Blisset, promoted|
from the 18 waits for the spill. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Eventually the time came around for the senior men. No Milos Lujic, suspended. No Jesse Daley, gone, maybe, to a better a place. No Michael Eagar, on the bench for reasons unknown. In their place, Leigh Minopoulos, Luke Adams, Tim Mala, and a reshuffle seeing Matt Foschini back in midfield. Would it work? Well the answer is 'sort of'. We got the win, generally looked the more dangerous, could have had another goal or two, and looked by Johnny A's own admission the hungrier and more lively of the two teams. And beating Bentleigh is its own reward, certainly from the players' perspective, what with having struggled against them so much in recent years.
Having said that, as one of our more astute observers of the team has noted, it wasn't just that Bentleigh looked fatigued, but that we also won the ball further up the field. In his post match comments Johnny A noted much the same - errors at the back giving us the chance to punish his team. But that's the risk that a team that likes to knock it around the back always takes - if it's not working on any given day, turnovers will happen much closer to your own goal.
|Leigh Minopoulos wheels around to celebreate his second goal. |
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
It was free flowing even if it wasn't always pretty; it was energetic where one didn't know for sure how the team would come out to play; and no one really played a bad game for us, including Zaim Zeneli, who came off the bench after Nikola Roganovic seemed to injure his arm during the late stages of the first half. It was impressive even if we were playing against a tired opponent, who were also experimenting a little bit - they played the underdone Nick Ward, who had trialled with us during the pre-season, and brought on Andy Brennan only for the last half hour despite him only playing 60 minutes during the middle of the week.
Other than that, the biggest issue was the seagulls deciding to deploy missiles in the uncovered parts of the grandstand, forcing people in those areas to retreat further back. If getting crapped on by a bird is the worst thing that happened on Sunday, then the day mus not have been too bad. But not being of those people that received the seagulls' lucky prize, I would say that wouldn't I?s
Next game + and calculations
Kingston City at home, in the final round of the home and away season -- keep in mind that the kickoff time is 3:00PM thanks to the simultaneous start for the final round.
Barring some incredible disaster, we'll finish the home and away season in at least second position. To finish first and secure the national playoff position however, we need all of the following to happen:
- We need to win our game against Kingston.
- We need Bulleen to beat Heidelberg.
- And we need the goal difference tally to work its way into our favour.
The Bergers are playing at Bulleen and the synthetic pitch, but I don't think that will cause them too many problems, and besides which, they only need a draw. The goal difference tally - their +25 to our +22 - is also an issue, but I figure that if the Bergers do lose, than we should be able to make up the difference and more, if things go as we'd like them to.
I can't see it happening, but you can always hope.
FFA Cup news
We have been drawn at home once more, this time against Western Australian side Sorrento. Apart from someone saying that they play a hoofball oriented style of soccer, I know nothing about them.
Goodbye, Jesse Daley?
Apparently been picked up by Perth Glory or their youth team, or maybe not, but who knows for sure? Anyway, so much for Kenny Lowe feigning disinterest in our man.
Or maybe I inadvertently made Kenny aware of Jesse? Heaven help Glory if they're making recruiting decisions based off my tweets. Anyway, I noticed that one of my retweets of a South tweet was retweeted in turn by Daley,@PaulMavroudis Poor Intel. Visiting daughter at Melb Uni and watching sons show at Melb Comedy Festival....and managed to squeeze a game in https://t.co/aIQNHYDUZn— Kenny Lowe (@kennylowe10) April 3, 2017
As noted in a rather oblique post (with a link to funny poem by a dead junkie) earlier during the week, there was some chatter doing the rounds about the club being in crisis. I didn't post much more about it then, because I didn't know enough then to go off even half-cocked. Well after a few sessions of speaking to various intermediaries but no one of Capital I 'Importance', what did I learn? Probably not much more than you guys.
The problem, or perhaps more accurately the majority of the problem, stems from the State Sports Centres Trust. The SSCT, which is apparently once again under new management, had decided that rather than stick to the agreement of dishing out our allowance on a monthly basis, decided instead to give us our money as a lump sum... and later in the year. Now that's obviously going to cause cash flow problems, though it's probably a debate for another time as to whether we should be dependent on this cash or whether it should be seen as a bonus.
That saw the Trust withhold our monthly stipend for three months. Anyway, that situation has been sorted out, and the money due paid to us in full. Not that this was done without some damage to confidence in our management, from a public relations point of view at least. And not without the club going through either a forced, half-forced, or totally planned all along restructure of its front office staffing. Two people were let go, and then one of them brought back in a reduced capacity. It doesn't seem from an outsider's point of view to have been done particularly smoothly.
As for the more serious allegations, including players leaving and players not being paid, I'm little the wiser. For the former, as usual one has to wait until the end of the season to see what manifests itself as true. On the latter, I can't say with any certainty how long our players went unpaid for, but the Bentleigh supporting peanut man told me at Paisley Park that it was six weeks, so that seems to be the story which exists outside of the club. Whatever the amount, the fact that the story made it out of the confines of the inner sanctum - when the club has been much better at plugging leaks in recent years - is also of concern.
Anyway, for the time being at least it seems as if the ship has been righted, but there seems to have been a jolt put through the club. And the more serious issues with the Trust, the profitability of the social club, and the bigger issue of volunteer and staff continuity - that is, expertise being spread throughout the club as opposed to being contained solely within individuals - remain problems to be dealt with.
Of course, some people have different interpretations of all these things. It's not that I'm going out of my way seeking a middle path, only that there seem to be very adamant people on both sides of the ledger about how things actually played out and how things should be interpreted.
There's a trivia night being hosted at the social club on Friday 25th August. It's been so many years since the club hosted one of these, so I'm looking forward to it. My table (Secret Seven, if I recall our name correctly) did not do well at the last one, and the one before that I hosted in lieu of a sick board member. Oh, and there was the famous women's team trivia night in 2007 (pre-blog days) which my table (Team Cindy) did win, but at which I had to stay behind after everyone left the pub because the West Coast-Collingwood final went into extra time. My other appearances at trivia nights were a Melbourne Uni political interest club night (Shane Warne Appreciation Society; I was the only one in the very large room who knew the answer to who the only English pope was) and another Melbourne Uni one, this time a fundraiser for left-wing student politics. My team (PPPC, don't ask) would have won if they had more than two sport questions.
Anyway, it's not about winning or losing, it's about spending time in the social club among fellow South fans, putting more money into the club, and having a good time. Though if I don't win, I will probably have a big sook.
Around the grounds
15 years ago - or thereabouts - Altona East (coached by Chris Taylor!) and Preston played off in the Victorian Premier League finals. Fast forward to 2017, and Altona East is just about to drop out of the Victorian third tier into the fourth after several dodgy escapes; meanwhile Preston is pissing money up against the wall for goodness knows what reason considering they let Altona Magic get a five or six game head start. But Preston are still in better shape than they were about three years ago when they only brought about 20 odd fans to this same fixture; this time they brought a lot more, and a couple of banners and a drum. As for myself: I dithered about going to the Altona East vs Western Suburbs game the week before, and decided to skip it and go to the supermarket and the 'Pies game in the evening instead. Not exactly sterling behaviour in a crisis. I inadvertently made up for it during this game by ending up helping out at the gate for about an hour and a half. Not that I deserve an award for this example of accidental atonement of sin, and besides, it helped impair my view of a pretty ordinary game. An early goal in each half settled this otherwise mediocre contest in Preston's favour. Next week I'll be at Melbourne International Film Festival watching anime instead.
Stingy amount of tomato sauce, further evidence of an @smfc budget crisis? #ps4nplvic pic.twitter.com/GeddJz2NTC— Paul Mavroudis (@PaulMavroudis) August 13, 2017