Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Random Black and White Photos

Since belatedly discovering that Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Photo are a little more advanced on Windows 10 than they were on Microsoft XP over ten years ago, I thought I'd go through some documents and cut, paste, straighten and crop some old photos.

A shot from the famous 1962 VSL game between South Melbourne Hellas and George Cross at Olympic Park. The stands are a mass of humanity, as over 22,000 people crowded the venue.

Another big crowd at Olympic Park watches Torpedo Moscow's Brednev go to ground as he tackles Victorian star Mike Jurecki in their 1965 clash.

On to another lost ground with this great wide shot of Middle Park in 1968.

Only just a star at the time, later to be a South Melbourne Hellas legend, Jimmy Pyrgolios in 1968.

A great Victorian state team from 1967. Willy Schroif, who played in a World Cup Final. Johnny Sanchez, an early Bill Fleming Medal winner. Jimmy Armstrong, goalscoring legend of Hakoah and South Melbourne Hellas who still helps out at Lakeside. Hammy McMeechan, who remained active in the game until his passing. Tommy Stankovic and Frank Micic, who were probably the two greatest ever J.U.S.T. players.

Nino Borsari, Olympic Gold Medalist, Patron of Victorian Football. A great gentleman of Carlton.

The ground remains, the grandstand does not. Action from Jubilee Park in 1963 as Layt of Ringwood Wilhelmina lead's Richmond Alemannia's Zammit to the ball in their VSL game.

Ringwood City 1982. Brooksy of the Music Men in the front row. Coached by Sjel de Bruyckere. Sjel was often referred to as Mike, but since the NCIP scandal I have amended all my records to include his proper name.

Richmond Alemannia player hi-jinx on the front page of Soccer News as Rudi van Altena holds back Peter Erasmus so Billy Copeland can cut his beard.

Prahran City team shot from 1969. Got the nod ahead of other team photographs found in Soccer News from that era simply because the goalkeeper is sporting a flat cap. You can't beat goalkeepers that wear flat caps.

                                                          (Click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Scotch Have the Celts Measure

Saturday May 14 saw Old Scotch host St Kilda Celts in a top of the table clash in the Zagames State League Division Two South East at H.A.Smith Reserve.

The Celts kick-off, with the Monash Freeway as a backdrop.

Players get into the box for a set-piece, while Steve Gray of Football Chaos films the game from the clubroom roof.

Midfield action, on another ground in excellent condition, especially since it's an open park.

2000 and 2003 VPL Referee of the Year Senko Rastocic controls proceedings.

At H.A.Smith Reserve it's the benches that are the marquee signings.

An Old Scotch player places the ball down for a free-kick, which he will play to a man out wide on his right.

The cross is turned in at the far post, and Old Scotch take their 1-0 lead into the half-time break.

Pitchside lounge suites aren't a feature off too many football grounds.

It's celebration time as Jonny Beamish puts Old Scotch back in front late in the second half.

The players exchange pleasantries at the final whistle.

H.A.Smith Reserve is located in leafy Hawthorn. The iconic tennis stadium of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club sits on the other side of Glenferrie Road. In the parks on the other side of the Monash Freeway you will find Kooyong Park, home of Malvern City from State League Division One South East.

It was a quiet first half, with the action intensifying as the game went on. Maybe it was the beer kicking in, as the home support became more vocal as the second half went on. With victory in sight big tackles and surges forward were heartily cheered. The win saw Scotch move clear at the top of the table, with St Kilda, Caulfield United Cobras and North Caulfield all chasing.

Match highlights from the brilliant Football Chaos website:

                                                     (Click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Is It A Joke?

On the same day Melbourne Victory released this statement on hooliganism by their club associates at an NPL game (should be gameS, but let's sweep that under the carpet for the moment) it was interesting to hear club CEO Ian Robson laughing about West Ham United fans attacking the Manchester United bus on Radio 1116SEN.

At 5:20 you can hear Robson stifle a laugh as Kevin Bartlett brings up the subject of West Ham fans attacking the bus, before joking "that's called a London greeting".

Is it as funny as when South Melbourne fans attacked the Adelaide City bus? I'm not sure anyone laughed about that, not just because of the injury sustained by Ange Costanzo. It is one of the most cited incidents when condemning the NSL and it's clubs of ethnic origin as a blight on the game in this country.

If South Melbourne are condemned for such an incident, but it is laughed off when done by West Ham, is it outrageous to point out a possible racist double standard that is at the forefront of the Old Soccer/New Football divide?

Rather than calling for a league to be disbanded, and clubs expelled could someone not just have said "that's called a Greek greeting!" and we could have all had a chuckle and moved on?

What we also know from the Victory statement is that the hooliganism in Epping after the game against Melbourne Knights was far enough removed from the stadium/game to be able to be brushed aside by the authorities. Brand protection comes ahead of protecting opposition supporters and their vehicles, it would seem.

Maybe we are meant to believe nothing happened in Epping? Just like we are supposed to believe that when Robson was CEO of the Essendon Football Club he had no idea his football department were running a supplements program that would eventually see 34 players banned for breaching anti-doping rules.

Robson sometimes talks a hard-line on hooliganism, but his laughter gives him away. Talk is all it is.

Monday, 9 May 2016

A Striking Battle at Centenary

I belatedly get around to covering April 23rd's clash between Peninsula Strikers and Old Scotch in State League Division Two South East after being sidetracked by internet issues and hooliganism.

The teams line-up pre-game for a ceremony to commemorate the Anzacs.

There's a rise down the middle of Centenary Park, not as extreme as Gardiner's Creek Reserve, but very noticeable.

Looking towards the North Eastern corner of the ground which houses the clubroom and changing rooms. The away rooms have long been among the smallest in the state, but the first stage of building extensions is set to commence this month.

The Strikers are about to deal with an Old Scotch cross.

Aerial duel in midfield about to take place.

Richard Ojo guards the Peninsula goal. The surface was in pretty good condition, barring some patched up areas in the eighteen yard boxes.

The ground is well banked on three sides.

The shed is vacated for the half-time rush to the bar/canteen, with the home side having the upper hand at the interval.

In what is now an obligatory part of the match report photo essay series, Jonathan Beamish prepares to take a penalty, which he duly converted.

                                                   (Click on images to enlarge)

The game itself was action packed, though perhaps a bit niggly to be labelled a classic. It was a rather ill-tempered affair, with Strikers having a few older, slower players preferring to stop their opponents with extreme physicality. In response, a few of the Scotch boy were hoping the ref would win the game for them rather than taking it the game by the scruff of the next themselves. The referee was copping an equal amount of abuse from both sides.

While Old Scotch held possession very well, Strikers were more potent in the attacking third and took a 1-0 lead into the break. The home side went 2-0 up early in the second half, before Beamish pulled a goal back from the spot. An equaliser for Scotch set up a grandstand finish. Just as it seemed as if they had the game at their mercy, another sharp turn and shot regained the lead for Strikers. The drama was not over yet, with Old Scotch grabbing the equaliser in stoppage time.

There was a bit of feeling between both teams, benches and even marshalls during the game. In the second half, a Scotch supporter jumped the fence on the Northern side to act as ball boy as time-wasting became an issue. He assured the assistant referee he was entitled to act as ground marshall for the away team, an assertion he repeated when the home club marshall returned from  the clubrooms. The Scotch man then told him the assistant referee had requested him to act as marshall (it was more a case of begrudgingly accepting his jumping the fence). The Strikers marshall then told the Scotch man if he wanted to marshall he should introduce himself to the home club prior to the game and pick up a high-vis vest to wear when conducting his duties. Tensions soon eased as the excitement on the pitch neared it's epic finale.

The draw kept Old Scotch at the top of the table. The club has been climbing through the leagues in recent years, after starting in the Provisional League following a breakaway from Eastern Lions. Old Scotch had previously merged with Waverley City to form Old Scotch/Waverley which was later re-branded as Eastern Lions.

Peninsula Strikers are also the product of re-branding and mergers. Dingley-Skye United emerged at Centenary Park following the collapse of Frankston City in the early 1980's, becoming Frankston United in 1989. A merger with Karingal United in 1993 saw the club become Frankston Strikers in 1994, with a re-brand to Peninsula Strikers taking place in 2008. In the mid-1990's there was a push for promotion to the VPL, but the club never went beyond a short stint in the First Division.

The history of Centenary Park is probably best off told in a post of it's own, so we'll leave it at that for now.