Wednesday, 10 January 2018

On the matter of the sudden expansion of a giant ball of burning gas

If there are any South Melbourne Hellas fans left - and I'm not sure that there are - they may be wondering what's going on at their beloved club. Is the club signing any players? Does the senior team have any friendlies coming up? Does the club even exist?

Some of these concerns can be put down to the club's sole paid part-time social media person being overseas on holiday (fair enough), but I assume that there are other people around at the club who could tell us stuff if they wanted to. But maybe they don't want to? Maybe they don't know how to? Maybe they think that if no one talks about the club for long enough, it will cease to exist, and therefore we'll all be the better for it.

Let's look at one curious situation in the lack of 'news'. Jump onto the Lakeside Stadium website and check out the calendar there for a list of upcoming events. In December 2017, within a reasonably crowded month events-wise for Lakeside Stadium, you can see SMFC gala days and midweek exclusive use sessions, used for training and scratch matches.

Moving ahead to January 2018 however...

and there appears to be diddly squat SMFC content. There's South Melbourne athletics, Athletics Victoria, and even a Carlton Football Club exclusive session, which I assume is them trying to prepare for the AFLX thing, or else why waste time hiring out Lakeside? For the running track? To be fair, there appears to be very little official use by anyone for January, but that doesn't lessen my concern from a South Melbourne Hellas point of view.

Is it possible then that the former, glorious South Melbourne Hellas social media presence was actually an example of star death?
When a star like South Melbourne Hellas has burned all of its hydrogen fuel, it expands to become a red giant. This may be millions of kilometres across - big enough to swallow the planets Mercury and Venus. After puffing off its outer layers, the star collapses to form a very dense white dwarf.
In simpler terms, perhaps our social media presence, self-produced media, and A-League bid antics, rather than being a case of a resurgent South Melbourne, those efforts were actually a form of bloated nuclear-cosmic self-cannibalism; the final stages of the lifespan of what was at best only a modest sun, before it collapsed upon itself and becomes a dim white dwarf. Hey, you try and come up with new analogies for this situation after ten years.

On another topic, with the A-League expansion banter fading well into the background, there has been what I would consider a shift in the rhetoric coming from the club, or at least from the president. Where once South Melbourne A-League bid media efforts were totally geared toward A-League expansion, as that issue has moved to the backburner, Leo Athanasakis has been posting comments in favour of promotion and relegation.

The following examples - here, here and here - are just some of the posts which our lovable larrikin prez has made over the past couple months on the matter. This point of view of his may be new or it may be old, but it is not one that has been made by someone at South Melbourne with any official standing, at least certainly not at the levels where I would have expected to have noticed it before.

But back to Lakeside. We're told repeatedly that we're in control of at least some (perhaps key, perhaps not) aspects of Lakeside Stadium, so where is our presence? Outside our priority period during the soccer season (April to September, or thereabouts), do our costs for using the venue go up? Is that why we're scheduled not to be at home in the early part of the 2018 season? Is that why our January presence on the Lakeside calendar is invisible?

What I'm trying to say is, in recent pre-seasons following our return to Lakeside, we have promoted pre-season matches held at Lakeside to our supporters, and attracted interested crowds, and yet for the moment it appears that we're not doing that. Could we even - and I'm shuddering as I type this - could we even be breaking in clandestinely, Alex Dimitriades style, into Lakeside to play and train?


  1. Apparently had a friendly against Thunder tonight. Who knew? Judging from Twitter, not even the usual Dodgy Asian Gambling fraternity knew about it.

  2. I think Princes Park is currently unavailable for Carltoon's AFL side after resurfacing. Prior to Christmas they were training at Doug Nicholls Oval in Thornbury.

  3. Chinese whispers or needing to listen to George Karantonis' community radio program doesn't seem like the best way to find about when South friendlies are coming up.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.