News, unsubstantiated rumor and wild shenanigans regarding the South Melbourne Football Club



Frankly I can't be fucked.

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Footballing With The Stars


Sure, it's Glenn Manton as a Goalkeeper part two - but tell me you didn't yelp when you flipped over the Herald-Sun and saw the back page with a massive picture of a South home jersey?

And wouldn't Rocket Batteries be dancing around in celebration at their investment paying off for the first time?

STROKE victim Angelo Lekkas is threatening to sue his former club Hawthorn for more than $1 million while contemplating an audacious career switch to soccer.

Lekkas, 29, has been training with Victorian Premier League club South Melbourne for the past two weeks and has not missed a session.

While Lekkas and South are suggesting his appearances at the Albert Park ground are "just for fitness", it is believed club is hopeful he can succeed.

The 180-game AFL on-baller played soccer as a junior and has not looked out of place at training.

Meanwhile, Lekkas is embroiled in a bitter battle for compensation for his career-ending stroke, sustained in a practice match in Western Australia in 2005.

Lekkas said last year his neurosurge on had warned risk of another stroke had increased.

Originally Lekkas was believed to be seeking about $150,000 compensation, with the Hawks offering only 10 per cent of that.

But negotiations soured after a meeting with Hawthorn officials last week.

Lekkas' manager, Jacques Khouri, said yesterday the officials asked Lekkas to sign a waiver, absolving the club and its doctors from any blame if a he accepted the payout.

But when Lekkas refused, Khouri said he was told he was no longer welcome at the club.

"Initially they promised Ange he would be welcome there, either way, whether he pursued a claim or not," Khouri said.

"The boy's got 30 per cent damage to his brain and will be on medication for the rest of his life, and any further head injuries could cause death."

Khouri said he had been approached by a legal firm to take on the case for free and it was looking at the exact nature of Lekkas' injuries.

When asked if Lekkas could seek damages of $1 million, Khouri said the claim could exceed that figure.

"Brain injuries can be life threatening and the brain doesn't recover," Khouri said.

"It's an absolute insult to be told he is no longer wanted around the club.

"What if it was Shane Crawford who suffered a similar injury or the chief executive (Ian Robson)? How would they deal with it then?"

Robson said last night he was not prepared to respond to specific claims made by Khouri, given that the matter could be subject to litigation.

"What I will say is that we have always shown an on-going commitment and interest in Angelo's welfare," Robson said.

"Given that the journey with Angelo is almost 12 months since he suffered the stroke, I believe the club has been respectful of its obligations to his welfare at all times."

Robson said Lekkas was encouraged in his recovery, firstly with Box Hill in the VFL, and then in the AFL.

"He was placed on the list in 2006 and a contract offer was made to him, but he chose to retire," Robson said.

"We then offered him part-time employment while he assessed what he wanted to do next in his life."

Khouri also stressed that Hawthorn would receive a summons for compensation within the next three weeks if any further offer was not forthcoming.

Khouri also wasn't prepared to confirm Lekkas' South Melbourne association as any more serious than keeping fit.

"A lot of his mates play soccer and he has been doing a bit of jogging with them," Khouri said. "I don't think he has any intention of taking up the game."

Lekkas is a friend of a South director and South coach John Anastasiadis was happy to include him in the senior squad's pre-season training program when Lekkas indicated he was looking at ways to stay in condition.

Pre-season training is more about fitness than ball skills and match practice and that has presented Lekkas with an easier way to blend into the surrounds.

He would be unlikely to walk straight into the first team if he decided to register with the club but his touch on the ball is reasonable and he is a natural athlete who would not find it hard to adapt if he stuck with the task.

South has reserve and junior teams which would be a more reasonable vehicle if Lekkas was just looking for fitness.

It's believed South hopes Lekkas succeeds at the club he followed as a junior before turning to Australian rules.

Lekkas' long-standing association with South Melbourne included a substantial donation when the club was trying to buy its way out of administration two years ago.

Nice to get a mention in the press but don't expect him to line up at the Village in Round One and smash home the winner against Heidelberg. The bit about how blows to the head could kill him is hardly compatible with a sport that consists largely of knocking a heavy object around with your head. But, let's milk that publicity while we can.

SMFC 1, Oakleigh Cannons 2 - Legitimate Match Report


By Michael Tsoukalis

South Melbourne have lost their first pre-season friendly after a late counter-attack by the Oakleigh Cannons saw ex-NSL journeyman and Fijian international Esala Masi send his angled drive past the outstretched arms of South keeper Con Dimitropoulos.

South coach John Anastasiadis continues to use the pre-season as a chance to monitor the progress of the returning players from last season as well as continuing to trial a number of potential acquisitions.

Anastasiadis sent out a reasonably strong South outfit with veteran custodian Dean Anastasiadis in goal, a central pairing of Steven O’Dor and Arthur Tsonis with the right and left back positions taken up by Evan Karavitis and recently promoted Under-21 South player-of-the-season Lester Abalos. In the centre of the park the returning Tansel Baser took up the defensive holding role with Arthur Tsirtsakis alongside him in a more attacking role. On the left wing Peter Koutsoupias was deployed with George Tzirtis on the right. Up front Kevin Nelson took up an out-and-out striking role with Brazilian Fernando Moraes given licence to play in the hole behind Nelson.

Both sides seemed evenly matched with Oakleigh slightly edging the proceedings after an early chance fell to beanpole strike Peter Kakos who, from just outside the South box, failed to test Anastasiadis with no real defensive pressure.

New Oakleigh signing Cameron Pino was having a field day down the left wing and it was his quality ball into the heart of the South area from a set piece that nearly put Oakleigh ahead. Pino’s centre was sharply nodded down only for the ever-alert reflexes of Anastasiadis to quickly kick into gear with the premier keeper of the 2005 VPL season saving with his feet.

South then took the lead in the most unexpected fashion. Abalos keen to impress made a good run down the left, cut inside and fed the ball to Nelson, who from the edge of the box, rifled an 20 yard “daisy-cutter” comfortably past the outstretched arm of Oakleigh custodian Stuart Webster. It was the most unexpected of finishes but highlighted Nelson’s immense potential and finishing prowess.

The Trinidad and Tobago youth international nearly added to his tally late in the 2nd half after again being fed on the edge of the area, Nelson produced a sharp turn to create a yard of space, with his eventual strike forcing Webster low to glove.

Oakleigh however managed to equalise late in the half, after the ever dangerous Pino got in behind the South defence down the left hand side and sent an angled drive towards goal that Anastasiadis looked to have superbly saved, only for the ball to continue rolling towards the goal line. Anastasiadis tried desperately to parry away, getting his hands a further 2 times to the ball only for the bumpy ground and ball watching defenders to combine to see South cop a comical equaliser with Anastasiadis failing to cleanly glove.

The 2nd half saw coach Anastasiadis send out a completely different unit. Youngsters such as Gianni DeNittis, James Stefanou, Tex Apostolikas summoned from his loan with Altona Phoenix, under-21 defender Ralph Napoli, recent signing Andrew Bourakis, reserve keeper Con Dimitropoulos and two defensive trialists took the field.

Considering the makeshift nature of the South line-up coach Anastasiadis would be heartened with just how well the defence held up.

South managed to limit Oakleigh from creating clear-cut chances with Dimitropoulos managing to hold onto any ball that was coming into the box.

Furthermore, Fernando Moraes was bossing the midfield, looking to always push forward and have a shot at goal. A feat which he managed a couple times however he failed to test Webster.

Unfortunate then was the late sucker-punch South conceded with virtually the last kick of the game. Masi was released in acres of space down the right hand side in what appeared to be clear miscommunication amongst the makeshift backline. The Fijian international took a touch to enter the box and then smashed his strike past Dimitropoulos and into the far left hand corner with what proved to be virtually the last kick of the game.

(Match reports reprinted with permission of the author)

Pre-Season Madness


Note: This site does not go in for match analysis and rating. In fact we don't know what the fuck is going on half the time. Until somebody else writes a match report that we can beg to print it'll be half arsed observation and farce all around.

The South pre-season world tour continued at Oakleigh's Jack Edwards Reserve on Sunday in front of a relatively large crowd. Bigger than what we got in the last round of 2005 at home to Bentleigh anyway. SMFC took the lead in the first half through new signing Kevin Nelson and were unlucky to go into half-time at one apiece after a scramble in the sandpit goalmouth at the city end of the alternative pitch resulted in the ball being kicked out of Dean Anastasiadis' hands and into the goal.

The makeshift defence, consisting of a triallist from the Ivory Coast (!) on the right and a guy who was a 100% dead ringer for Thomas Gravesen on the right held up well in the 2nd half under almost constant pressure, and only cracked in the 90+ minute when former NSL player Esala Masi scored the winner for the Cannons and sent a group of watching Fijians into rapture. One in particular completely lost the plot. Standing up on a chair and yelling like they'd just won the World Cup. Maybe somebody told him it was the A-League and he was enjoying football but not as he knew it?

Next stop - Springvale White Eagles in the Crazy John's Cup @ BJS next Sunday.

Welcome to Park Life. Inconsistently posted news, rumor, undue speculation and outright slander about events surrounding the four time Australian national champion South Melbourne Football Club. That's football in the world game sense of course. If you've come looking for wild Sydney Swans post-Premiership celebrations you'll go home empty handed. Face facts, they ditched you and moved north. We've flogged the name now. Cop it.

What we've missed posting in the last couple of years,

* South Melbourne plays in the NSL.
* The NSL is abolished.
* A new league is created.
* The new league declares that each city will have only team.
* Everyone realises that we're no chance of making it.
* The VPL refuses to admit South and the Melbourne Knights for the 2004 season because the Whittlesea Stallions would have been forced to reprint thousands of fridge magnets with fixtures on them.
* With no money coming in South go into administration and come ludicrously close to going out of business. Extinction is only avoided due to big donations and creditors accepting insultingly low payouts on what they were owed. Thanks for that.
* The Whittlesea Stallions were relegated and forced to merge with Fawkner to avoid dying in the arse. They were then invited to stick their fridge magnets fair up their arse.
* South finally admitted to the 2005 Victorian Premier League, along with the Knights.
* 13000+ show up to the first game of the new season against Heidelberg and everyone wonders why we didn't do this years ago
* 5000 show up to the next game and we realised why
* The world came to Bob Jane to punch on against Preston. Result = we lost, people knocked down a fence and the next two days were spent with frenzied media reports about the evil nature of football in this country.
* By the last home and away game of the season there were 600 people there.
* South were defeated by Heidelberg in the preliminary final.
* Australia qualified for the World Cup and suddenly football wasn't evil anymore and everyone loved the World Game.
* Another season rolled around and left us right at this spot.

This page has been created as a way of dissecting all the important things covered on the SMFCboard forum but without having to go through two hundred "OMG! ROFL! LOL!" posts to get to it. Thanks to Adam 2.0 for our logo. I think the picture of Albert Park looks a bit like a giant cock and balls but he assures me that's it's stylistically off the charts and worthy of any number of design awards so I'm sticking by it.

Stay tuned. There's at least a couple of months of this to be had before I lose it and give up. If you want to contribute to Park Life please contact me via the forum (username: Supermercado) and you'll be firing off lengthy slanderous diatribes against Neos Kosmos journalists before you know it.

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