A new year is here, and a little more progress has been made on the playing personnel front.
Two areas of concern seem to have been addressed with these signings, one being the back up goalkeeper situation, and the other, the desire for another forward.
The goalkeeper is one James Burgess, a 21 year old former South junior, who's been plying his trade Langwarrin and Springvale White Eagles. Insert some of joke about once a upon a time having a coach who would recruit from those places, or banish players to them.
I know nothing about Burgess apart from what comes out of the official press release, but one does wonder - surely a 21 year old isn't moving from (I assume) a starter's role lower down the leagues to sit on the bench here?
Burgess' arrival at Lakeside surely means that Josh Dorron's time is officially up, even if nothing is actually officially announced. He was on the fringiest of fringes in 2020, when he was "loaned" to some club lower down the food-chain, so it always seemed unlikely that he was going to get a game ahead of Clark and Nikola Roganovic last year.
That it turned out that no one would play a game after March probably just made it even easier to let him go. But we'll always have the night that South plucked him from obscurity - that is, recruiting him because the football department actually saw him - and one of the worst chants ever performed by South fans that wasn't racist, homophobic, sexist, sweary, or offensive in some other way.
The other signing is a bit more pivotal. The player in question is one Henry Hore, another Queenslander making the move to what one Bananabender has referred to as the Queensland Development League - that is, NPL Victoria.
Again, I know very little about Hore, except that he was in a championship winning team up there last year, including being teammates with fellow South signing Marco Jankovic. Who knows if Hore can make it happen down in Melbounre, but you'd rather winners than losers, yes? Maybe.
Scrabbling around on the internet suggests that Hore is a forward/attacking midfielder, who apparently only weighs 67kgs. I don't know who's been weighing him and posting his details online, but if that weight class is true, it does seem a bit on the lean side.
Nevertheless, asking around social media for comments on Hore's quality, and the Queenslanders seemed universal in their praise and assessment. They say that Hore is a technically sound, versatile player, who can play across any of the attacking positions; tyat we can expect plenty of goals and assists; that he has a bag of tricks and a good deal of pace, and covers a lot of ground, and that he loves to play a 1-2.
All of which sounds very promising, but there's always a potential catch, and in this case it's one of South of the Border's all time favourites: if he's actually that good, why is he playing for us, in this competition? It's a valid question when you consider that Hore has played for Perth Glory in the National Youth League, and apparently "killed it" there, and that he was also apparently close to getting signed by Brisbane Roar as recently as last month.
It makes you wonder what those two teams know that no one else is telling us, especially Roar, who you assume would have been Hore from up close for the past couple of years. Is it because he's too little? Too old at 21? A-League scouts too dumb or cowardly, or merely distrustful of the standard of the NYL or NPL Queensland to take a punt on home grown talent right in front of their eyes?
Whatever the case may be, in time we will hopefully see plenty of Henry Hore, or at least enough to judge for ourselves whether his admirers were right in their assessments.
We'll also see whether or not we got the right Hore, with Henry's older brother Mitch signing for Bentleigh.
South senior men's squad as of 3/1/2021
- Luke Adams (played in pre-season friendly, and interviewed following one of those games)
- Zac Bates (played in pre-season friendly, and interviewed following one of those games))
- Daniel Clark (yes, back from Queensland)
- Pierce Clark ((yes, also back from Queensland)
- Ben Djiba (could yet become the right-sided fullback or winger of our NPL dreams)
- Lirim Elmazi (was wished a happy birthday, distinctive head spotted in other social media content)
- Chris Irwin
- Perry Lambropoulos (was wished a happy birthday)
- Mathew Loutrakis (interviewed post friendly)
- Jake Marshall (played in pre-season friendly
- Brad Norton (scored goal in pre-season friendly)
- Luke Pavlou (some sort of mention in a social media gimmick video or something)
- Harrison Sawyer (yes, also back from Queensland)
- Marcus Schroen (was interviewed in that video about South Melbourne;s new blind football team)
- Gerrie Sylaidos (scored goal in pre-season friendly, also easily recognisable thanks to trademark bandana)
- Sasha Murphy
- Yianni Panakos
- Esad Saglam
- Giorgi Zarbos (unclear if he will stay or seek greener senior football pastures)
- James Burgess
- Henry Hore
- Marco Jankovic
- Josh Wallen
- Josh Meaker
- Melvin Becket
- Josh Dorron
- Stephen Folan (returned to Ireland in mid-2020)
- Amadu Koroma
- Nick Krousoratis
- Nikola Roganovic (retired, again)
- Peter Skapetis (Kingston City)