Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Completing The Set? VicSoccer '89

Earlier this year Paul Mavroudis of South of the Border scanned and shared my copy of VicSoccer '88. Now I'm able to share with you all the copy of VicSoccer '89 loaned to me by George Cotsanis of My World Is Round.

As noted back in May, VicSoccer was the annual/yearbook of Les Shorrock's Soccer Star newspaper. In a way it was a local successor to the Australian Soccer Annual's of Soccer Action produced by Laurie Schwab. While Soccer Star went on into 1990, I'm not sure there was a VicSoccer '90 as the paper didn't last beyond that year.

Personally I prefer the 1988 edition, finding squeezing multiple team photos onto the one page a bit of a let down. Though the records of the State League clubs is nice.

Anyway check it at the link below:

VicSoccer '89

Sunday, 25 June 2017

State of the Blog 2017

I'm doing a bit of housekeeping on the blog as I prepare for a bit of a revamp in the coming weeks.

I will be keeping the existing major pages, but by adding pages within pages in the History Documents section I hope top make it less unwieldy. The same method will be used to clean up the Video Archive as well.

End of Financial Year Stocktake

Soccer News Archive - 76 items

Soccer Action Archive - 387 items

History Documents - 201 items

Posts Record Statistics

Page Statistics

                                        (Click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Not So Random Pictures

Yes, it's the return of one of the Blog's franchise series, a Random Pictures post. Only not that random as they are all from a collection of photos loaned to me by Heidelberg United, so there's a strong Alexandros theme.

Speak of the devil....

No doubt there are some in football that will cringe at this image of our ethnic football past. Even less doubt that many of those aren't as tolerant of other cultures as they like to make out. Screw the hypocrites, all hail Alexander!

Ollie Norris interviewing then Sydney Olympic coach Tommy Docherty.

Manny Poulakakis and Ollie Norris present legendary VFL coach Tom Hafey with a commemorative Phillips Soccer League plate.

Ange Koutos presents Collingwood FC icon Lou Richards with a ball in the short-lived Collingwood Warriors era.

The multi-media mega star takes on Koutos.

A youthful John Anastasiadis.

Peter Tsolakis heads the ball under pressure from George Petrov.

Heidelberg's Phil Stubbins is tackled by Melbourne Croatia's George Hannah with Stuart Stevenson watching.

Jimmy Rooney tries to get away from Croatia's Ned Batinovic.

The third of the trilogy, Jamie Paton battles with Croatia's Steve Kokoska.

Celebrations for Gary Cole, Jimmy Tansey, Derek Hunter and Jimmy Campbell.

Heidelberg United from the Victorian Premier League in 2000.

Back (LtoR): Andrew Charalambous, Bill Makris, George Angelos, Peter Di Iorio, Alfonso Opazo.
Middle: Cameron Brown, Manny Pappas, Arthur Tsonis, Leigh Tsoumerkas, Sean Cunningham, Robbie Grakovski, Gerry McAleer.
Front: Jeff Stefanidis, David De Propertis, George Katsakis, Jeff Olver, Phil Peladarinos, Mile Medjedovic.

                                           (Click on images to enlarge)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Soccer Action Is Well And Truly Here!

Last August I started putting my Soccer Action collection online, and in under a year the task is now complete. Which is a bit ahead of schedule as I initially anticipated uploading just one or two a week and thought it would be something that would be completed in five or six years. The device of posting links to the new uploads on Twitter every Friday brought about the hastened completion of digitising the collection, making sure I did a few week then pushing me to do a few more than the week before.

It went from being happy with four uploads a week to trying to hit ten every Friday. I'd like to thank John Morris for giving me my original collection, and Damian Smith for the inspiration in putting them online. Thanks to Pave Jusup for allowing me to add to that collection by letting me copy from his own. Thanks also to Shahan Petrossian of Soccer Nostalgia, Miles McClagan and his amazing flickr scans, Paul Mavroudis of South of the Border and George Cotsanis of My World Is Round for further inspiration in making sure the collection was shared for all to enjoy.

Thanks also the the great statistician and historian Andrew Howe for providing me with a few missing pages and moral support. Thanks also to everyone who provided encouragement via the comments section of the blog or on Twitter, knowing people wanted to share the memories contained in the papers is what it was all about. The great Gary Cole falls into this lot, as well as the final group I need to thank, those that provided us with Soccer Action in the first place - Laurie Schwab, Les Shorrock and Craig MacKenzie.

Of course the the job is not quite finished, as my collection is not complete and after a break I will look towards finding and scanning the missing issues. The starting point to that, of course, is listing them here.

There are a few editions I have that are incomplete. They are:


March 19 (pages 13 and 14 missing)


March 25 (pages 13 and 14 missing)

July 1 (pages 5, 6, 7. 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 missing)

July 22 (pages 3, 4, 13 and 14 missing)


July 9 (pages 3, 4, 13 and 14 missing)

July 16 (pages 1, 2, 15 and 16 missing)

And the editions I am missing completely are:


February 4

March 31


March 14

July 25

August 29


May 28

June 4

June 25

September 10

October 15

October 22

November 5

November 19


April 1


January 27

February 10

March 3

March 10

March 17

March 24

April 14

May 19

June 30

July 14

August 11

September 22

October 20


February 16

March 16

March 23

April 6

June 8

July 20

August 10

August 17

October 19

October 26


April 4

September 12


September 4

September 25

October 2

October 9


February 12

February 19

February 26

March 19

April 9

April 16

May 7

May 14

June 11

June 18

June 25

July 2

August 13

October 8

So it's 387 down, 71 to go. Currently the file full of scans comes in at 5.96GB, so it may be that one day you can carry a complete set of Soccer Action's with you on an 8GB USB. The wonders of modern technology.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Soccer World, Week & News Plus A Spot Of Tennis

A few years ago I got a USB from leading historian Roy Hay which contained files of scans of old Soccer newspapers. The file was labelled the John Punshon-Tom Wall Collection. John is another of the great football historians, largely responsible for the Victorian state league section of OzFootball. I don't know who Tom Wall is.

The scans were a mixture of jpeg and pdf files, but each file was just a single page from the paper. They must have been able to scan full size A3 pages and are great quality. Having discovered sites that allow you to make pdf files of jpeg images, and merge single page pdfs into multi page documents, I can now add these papers to the various archives on the blog.

Soccer World

The Green Paper (not hard to figure out where this nickname came from) was Sydney's soccer newspaper from the 1960's to the early 1980's with Andrew Dettre and Lou Gautier chief contributors. Jim Cook was the longtime Melbourne correspondent.

If you scroll down the History Documents page, you will find the Soccer World archive.

The new editions added to my previous scans of 1970's issues are:

1961 September 8

1962 Septmber 21, 28 October 5

1963 August 9 November 8

1964 June 12

1966 October 7, 14

1967 June 9

1968 May 3 July 26 September 13 October 4, 11

1969 January 24 May 9 August 22 September 5, 12 October 3

Soccer Week

I've blogged about this mid-1970's Melbourne paper before. Now I can share the following editions, also found on the History Documents page:

1975 April 23 June 9, 18 July 9, 16 August 6

Soccer News

The old faithful Soccer News underwent several changes in the 1960's. Having begun as a small A5 booklet in the 1940's, it grew slightly larger in the late 1950's. In the 1960's it would go full newspaper size, also becoming Soccer Weekly in 1962 in an attempt to go national. Reverting back to Soccer News the following year, it became Soccer News & Soccer Life in 1966 and then Soccer Tennis News in 1968 with the legendary Harry Hopman involved in the tennis section, again reverting back to Soccer News for 1969.

Some of the news scans are missing pages, but I've added them to the archive as there may be information someone is after and something is better than nothing. The Soccer News Archive now has had the following added to it:

1962 August 30

1963 April 11 October 3

1964 February 27 March 26 April 2, 16, 23 May 21 June 25 July 30 August 27 September 17
         October 15 November 5

1965 March 12 May 27 September 9

1966 June 2 August 11

1967 April 6 June 8 and better versions of June 15, 22 & 29

1968 April 25 May 16 June 27 August 1

1969 May 22

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Vic Soccer '88

I've always maintained that Vic Soccer '88 is one of the greatest things ever published. When Soccer Action died, the great Les Shorrock started up Soccer Star, and Vic Soccer '88 can be considered the Soccer Star Annual of 1988.

Following the Great Computer Death of 2015, I gave a box of items to Paul Mavroudis of South of the Border to have a look at while I began to put my collection back into order. Thanks to his efforts in scanning and hosting, we can now share Vic Soccer '88 with a wider audience.

Personally nothing can hit the nostalgia sweet spot for me better than this publication. It's hard to turn a page without finding someone I know. On the cover is the great Josip Biskic hoisting the Dockerty Cup. Biskic was a proper footballer, and a gentleman as well. There are team photos of all the Victorian NSL clubs, all the clubs in the Victorian State League, all the Victorian boys junior state teams, the NYL-winning Sunshine George Cross youth team and touring Dinamo Zagreb side featuring the legendary Zvonimir Boban. Even the Industrial League champions and Cup winners get their pictures included.

Phil Stubbins, Andy O'Dell, Dean Hennessey, Roy Maclaren, Carl Gilder, Stan Webster, Steve Blair, Ange Goutzioulis, Jimmy McBride, Stuart Cannell, Nick Gourlias and Willie Raynes are all pictured, men who I served under as team manager in their senior, senior assistant or reserves coaching roles. It's a sign of my old age that some players pictured that I handed shirts to now have children who are NPL stars.

As a pictorial record, it is without peer. Carl Recchia even makes it into a picture as a club mascot. All the tables are there, which is a basic feature that the VSF came up short in with their late 1960's Yearbooks often lacking the final reserves tables. A slight fault could be lacking full details of Cup Finals (full line-ups, but that's probably being too picky). It was also clearly published before Croatia was stripped of that Dockerty Cup Final win for bringing on a substitute who had been suspended in a NYL game.

The only possible thing that could surpass it would be Vic Soccer '89, which I'm told by George Cotsanis of My World Is Round did come out. But for now, behold the beauty that is

Vic Soccer '88

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Musings on Recent Research

As steady work continues on the Statistical History, frustration at years of poor record keeping continues to grow.

A fortnight ago, I visited the State Library to check out some old VSF Annual Reports they had retrieved from storage for me. Unfortunately rather than ordering all the years I'd requested all I got was that for 2000, and I had to re-order the others and go back a week later.

The good news was that in the 2002 Annual Report I was able to find the missing State and Provisional League Best and Fairest Award winners. As well as the missing reserves league champions for that year. The 2000 Annual Report had already given me the missing reserves league champions for that season, with full final tables no less!

The Annual Reports generally have reports from the President, CEO etc at the front, a Roll of Honour of past champions and award winners in the middle along with lists of that season's award winners and champions plus state team achievements. At the end are financial reports.

What I found odd was that the 2000 Report had all final tables, yet the 2002 one didn't. Given that the VSF had ceased producing a Yearbook in 2000, I would have thought it may have been the other way around. With no Yearbook to record the final tables in, they should have been in the Annual Report. A lack of foresight from those at the VSF at the time, who obviously assumed their results system would still be operational and functional in the years to come rather than dead and holding so much data in it's grave.

The foundation of my research began with the Rolls of Honour in the mid-1990's VSF Yearbooks. I added to this by visits to the State Library to check out the major daily newspapers and The Sporting Globe on microfilm in the Newspaper Reading Room. Then came the internet and OzFootball and later Socceraust. Trove then made going through old newspapers so much better, with a search function that covered what winding through whole newspapers on microfilm in a darkened room may have missed.

So when I look at the Roll of Honour in the 2000 VSF Annual Report, I can't help but be a little angry.

                                                       (Click on image to enlarge)

Look at that list of PREMIER LEAGUE RESERVES CHAMPIONS. 1983 and then nothing until 1972. 1970 and then nothing until 1961 and then nothing before that time. Now 1973-1982 is hardly ancient history. How come no-one with any sway was able to say that this was not good enough and try and improve this sad neglect of history? A bit like the version of the FFA Hall of Fame on their website, can such an embarrassing record of history really be labelled a "Roll of Honour"? Where is the honour? All is see is disrespect.

At this point in time I'm one or two years short of being able to extend that lineage all the way back to WWII, and with around 80% of the reserves champions before that also established. The FFV, meanwhile, no longer even bothers to maintain a Roll of Honour, they have in fact gone backwards.

Similarly incomplete was the list of top flight leading goalscorers. Pre-1970 all that was listed was 1969, 1967 and 1963. Wouldn't it be great to see if the current four time consecutive champion, Milos Lujic, was the all-time record holder? I've been able to add 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1968 to that list, as well as large chunks of 1930-1941. Looks like the great Frank McIver was top scorer on 5 or 6 occasions, so Millsy will need to keep on banging them in for some time to come to catch up.

Just to put the lack of records in the 1960's and 1970's into perspective, I've been able to complete a record of the "Local International" played between 1908 and 1937. Complete, and almost with line-ups, the major issue in that regard being the newspapers of the day only using surnames (no initials) and possible various spelling differences actually being the same person needing to be clarified. Once that's worked through, I'll be able to list everyone who was "capped" in these games. The data is there though.

As it is, the local international was contested annually bar for some years during WWI and 1910 when it was held twice (possibly because the 1-1 draw in the first game was an unsatisfactory result). Some reports state it began in 1909 with the first organised league, but there was a contest in 1908 that I've included in the records. There are also selected teams for the 1884-1886 versions, but for some reason no results found for those games.

The home of the local international was the Fitzroy Cricket Ground, which held 12 contests. The Motordrome was used 4 times, as was it's successor Olympic Park. The fields at Middle Park were utilised 3 times, with the Exhibition Oval used twice and a single event held at East Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In the end, honours were even. Scotland had 11 wins, England had 11 wins and there were 4 draws. The Scots did inflict some heavy defeats on their foe though, with the goal difference being 64-50 in their favour.

J.Maxwell (of Windsor, and later Prahran City) was England's greatest ever scorer with 7 goals. P.Dowker got 5 with G.Brown, Percy Lewis, Hawkes and Frank McIver all getting 3. Jock Baxter led the way for Scotland, netting 9 times. Johnnie Johnstone got 7 with Thompson on 4 and Jim Lurton with 3 next best.

From 1970's Soccer Action I see that when the Bill Fleming Medal was run by the press, independent of the VSF and the Rothmans/Gold Medal, there were also press awards for Under 21 VSL Player of the Year and VSL Coach of the Year. I will add these winners to the lineage of their later VPL/NPLV equivalents, as they should be. Maybe in the future the FFV will do the same.