Saturday, 12 June 2021

Puskas doco update - Ange at Celtic - NPL getting back into action?

Ferenc Puskas documentary update

Some of you may have seen the recent Neos Kosmos article on this matter, but the Ferenc Puskas in Australia/at South Melbourne Hellas documentary being put together by Rob Heath and Tony Wilson is progressing well. I have recently seen a rough cut of the full film - about which I cannot say very much at all - and it's not too bad. Some truly surprising moments. Several funny moments. Many moving moments.

With more support from the public, the filmmakers believe the film could be even better. I know I've banged on about this a bit, but I will continue to bang on about it. If people have homemade footage, or even footage off the TV, which includes prominent, or even incidental footage of Ferenc Puskas in Australia, you should get in contact with Rob ( Tony (, or even me ( 

If you have photographs or footage of Middle Park from that era - the ground, the social club, the celebrations following the 1991 grand final win - get in contact with us. If you have photos of Ferenc from that time, or from his time coaching juniors out in Keysborough before he joined South, get in contact with us.

Huge thanks to the people who have already made their personal collections available to Tony and Rob. You know who you are, and you're all champions.

There are also people out there who have made promises to look through their materials, but who haven't done so yet. I get it - you get excited, but it slips your mind. The pandemic and lockdowns haven't helped. But this is another prompt from me, on behalf of the filmmakers, to dig out the VHS tapes, the Betamax, the photo albums, the scrapbooks, the Super 8 and 8mm.

The people who have this stuff may or may not read this stuff. Maybe you, dear reader, know someone though who has this material. If you fall into either category, do what you can to get those materials to Rob and Tony. Because of its subject matter, this is a film that has the potential not only to be seen in Australia, but throughout the soccer loving world. Imagine that - the ephemera of soccer loving Australians, gathering dust in a cupboard or box or garage, seen by people all around the world.

Here's the other thing the filmmakers need: financial support. They need money for purchasing film rights, and for production costs. To that end, Rob and Tony have a set up a fundraising section on the Documentary Australia Foundation site. You can check with your accountant, but donations may even be tax deductible.

His stint with Yokohama F Marinos saw no revival of CC Japan, but does Ange's Celtic move mean the return of the SPL thread on the South forum?

Congratulations to Ange Postecoglou who is now the manager at Celtic. Is it a step up or sideways? It's a curious question for Australians to ask, because in this country Celtic were last considered a "big" team in Australia back when SBS still used to have its World Soccer program, which would include highlights from mid-ranking leagues like Scotland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. 

Of course now we're at that stage of civilisation where SBS is basically soccer-free, and just as likely to torch its The World Game digital archive along with its soccer tapes. Anyway, even after SBS stopped its World Soccer program, we would still get occasional bouts of Celtic on free-to-air thanks to Celtic's participation in the Champions League, and every now and again you'd get a news report of the goal scoring exploits of Scott MacDonald and Tom Rogic. Even that though seems like a long time ago to me, even though Rogic is still there.

Certainly a long, long time ago though, was when this blog used to take a sort of strange interest in the life and times of Ange Postecoglou, in particular as it pertained to his wilderness years following his run with Australia's national youth teams, but before his career revival with Brisbane Roar. More specifically, South of the Border was probably the only English language outlet anywhere to take any regular interest in Ange's attempts to revive his coaching stocks in the Greek third division with the then Con Makris owned Panachaiki in 2008. 

That's not meant to sound like aggrandisement of this blog - even back when South of the Border mused on Ange's ascension to Socceroos coach, we noted that our interest in Ange's Panachaiki stint was covered "more as an oddity than as anything serious". I had space to fill, and a yearning desire to post relentlessly in the early days. That was a long time ago, for both Ange and myself. I've already written about the accomplishment of Ange digging himself out of a football coaching grave - in no small part not just because someone at Brisbane Roar thought it would be worth taking a chance on him, but also because he was willing to take chances himself.

Since the beginning of his career revival, so many words have been written about Ange, and there'll be many more to come. One day, hopefully, he himself will write the full version of his story, discussing not just his well known achievements and failures, but also Panachaiki and Whittlesea Zebras, and the very first coaching gig - and his last playing gig - at Western Suburbs. Celtic will be a challenge of course, something more regular viewers of Scottish football will understand better than me. It's also an opportunity though, not just for Ange, but should he be successful, for other Australian coaches as well. It took decades for Australian soccer pioneers to break down the playing doors of European football; now we may see the first big blow struck for Australian coaches.

Let's not forget though...

Congratulations also to Joe Montemurro, who became the manager of Juventus' women's team during the week. Blimey, South Melbourne related coaching trailblazers wherever you look these days. 

Return to football coming soon?

Now that lockdown restrictions are being tentatively eased, are we likely to see a return to football soon? Seems to be a suggestion that the competition could resume next week, but that may be hard to do if the 25 kilometre limit, as well as limits on public gatherings, are in still in place. Of course things could change again for better or worse between now and next week. Probably best to keep tuned to better sources of information and news than South of the Border. 

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