The inaugural NPLV1 season is underway with South Melbourne recording a 3-0 win against Heidelberg United at Olympic Village in the opening fixture. A big crowd was in attendance, but I chose to listen to the game on the NPL Vic Live radio commentary through Live Cast.
Host Teo Pellizzeri did the play-by-play commentary, and put in a solid, professional performance. At times it became a bit formulaic, as he'd first ask Adem Barolli, and then Ryan McGee for an opinion. Often there was no need for the second opinion, and by the time the Scot got to talk he was often left with little to do but back up what had just been said. With a bit of hash-tag pimping going on, things did seem repetitive at times.
Early crosses to Shaun Moran on the touchline seemed to have a few technical difficulties, with his volume quite low and hard to hear, but they were later resolved. There was a weird exchange after a goal where Pellizzeri asked Moran about the coaches reactions. Moran seemed a bit taken by surprise, and informed us that George Katsakis was still standing up and then walking around. I'm glad he was not paralyzed at the shock of seeing his side fall behind.
The lack of excitement in the game, and Survivor starting, saw me pay less attention to the second half. The Heidelberg fan who runs up and down in time with play got a belated mention. I know Griffin McMaster is going to be part of their team, but coupled with what I suppose was a bit of A-League Fanboyism, they seemed to over-rate him a tad.
Some of the NPLV hype has started to grate, the way in which the wheel seems to have been re-invented. It's the same teams as the VPL would have had with two added country bumpkin teams. Not really akin to landing a man on the moon or anything like that. All the hype shows is that the FFV seem to be putting in a bit more of an effort, possibly after years of tanking.
Was also bemused by a tweet from the official NPL Victoria account which read "Congratulations to @smfc midfielder Mathew Theodore on scoring the first ever #NPLVIC goal!" Given they wouldn't know who scored the first ever League goal in 1909, the first ever District League goal in 1927, the first ever State League goal in 1958 or the first Premier League goal in 1991, are they celebrating actual history or the creation of their own Year Zero?
The cynic in me asks did any of the bigwigs brought in for the NPL Victoria launch attend the game? How about the former South President who is now the Bergers No.1 ticket holder?
It's good to have local football back, and I am looking forward to getting to Knights Stadium tomorrow night for the clash between Melbourne Knights and Northcote City. Two good teams, great people at both clubs to catch up with, that is what it's all about.