Monday, 20 February 2017

Boo's NPL Review - Week 3 - Nelson Muntz Goes To JL Murphy Reserve

NPL Victoria

Port Melbourne shocked everyone, and inspired a "Let's All Laugh at South Melbourne" Movement, when they beat the next A-League club 4-0 on Friday night. For more, as always, check out South of the Border.

The Finals are still a long way away, and Oakleigh Cannons just can't wait that long to start their choking, so they threw away a 2-0 lead for a second week in a row. This time it was against Bulleen Lions. One day I might do some stats on how many early season home games Oakleigh have had over the years.

Melbourne Knights lost 1-2 at home to Pascoe Vale. Michael Ferrante scored the winner, a champion player and person. Didn't want either team to lose which is why I opted not to go to this game.

North Geelong took the lead with a cracker, but like Ol' Man River Bentleigh Greens just keep on rolling along. The Greens fought back to win 2-1 and their form is ominous.

Heidelberg United went down 0-1 at home to Avondale. Didn't sound like a very exciting game listening to it on FFV Radio.

Not many teams come back from 2-0 down after three minutes. St Albans didn't buck that trend, going on to be smashed 5-0 bu Hume City. Attila Ofli and Liam Boland got braces, and I mean 2 goals apiece not metal in their mouths.

NPL Two East

Friday night saw an improved Richmond draw 1-1 with Springvale White Eagles at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. A clever, quick and curling free-kick from Rudi Saglam gave the home side a deserved lead. With half an hour left Richmond were down to ten men after the assistant referee spotted an infringement from Halil Gur. The White Eagles bundled home an equaliser but the other Eagles were not without their chances in taking full points in an entertaining encounter.

Dandenong City beat Melbourne City Youth 2-0, with a goal in each half. Mate Dugandzic was back in the starting line-up with Ljubo Milicevic having another run off the bench.

On the tenth year anniversary of his five goals in an A-League Grand Final, Archie Thompson couldn't find the net against Eastern Lions. The Lions returned from Murray United with a 2-0 win to maintain an unbeaten start to the season. Did he cop a "Who are ya?" from the travelling Lions faithful?

There was no 8 or 9 or whatever it was last year for Brandon Barnes as Dandenong Thunder defeated Nunawading City (now with added mercenaries) 2-1. Barnes opened the scoring before Nuna equalised before half-time. A cracker from Alon Blumgart after the break gave Thunder the win.

Goulburn Valley Suns and Box Hill United played out a 0-0 draw in Shepparton. It was the third 0-0 draw for United in a row to open the season, and they shall now be dubbed "The Entertainers" in the same ironic way redheads get called Bluey.

NPL Two West

Bendigo City nearly took their first point until a late winner from Moreland City came along. Don't look at sportingpulse results service to find out what minute the goal was, there's fuck all there.

At Epping Stadium the late goal was an equaliser, for Whittlesea Ranges after Brunswick City had taken a fifth minute lead.

Sunshine George Cross beat Werribee City 2-1 in what won't be the last game at Chaplin Reserve.

Moreland Zebras had no trouble scoring again, but leaking a few goals saw them blow good leads to draw 3-3 at home to Melbourne Victory Youth.

Northcote City are looking they will walk this league in (but I stayed up until 1 am thinking Jared Tallent was going to do likewise in Rio, so who am I to say) and continued their winning ways with a 4-1 defeat of Ballarat City. Four points clear after three games, not a bad start.


It was good to see Andrew Viola back in Richmond colours. Amid the turmoil of 2012-13 the circumstances of his departure was particularly disappointing.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Boo's NPL Review - Week 2 - The Shrine of Tiki Taka

Back again for another look at the weekend's NPL action.

NPL Victoria

The choke started early at Oakleigh this year, with the Cannons blowing a 2-0 lead inside the final ten minutes to share the points with Kingston City. The local derby finished in a flourish with a 91st minute goal and a 92nd minute red card for the Reds.

Friday night football began with North Geelong taking a point with a 1-1 draw when visiting Pascoe Vale at C.B.Smith Reserve. Paco took the lead through my favourite current NPL player, the brilliant Davey van 't Schip, but the Warriors drew level seven minutes later.

The Green Derby was an easy win for Bentleigh Greens, sealed with a 79th minute goal from substitute Andy Brennan. Will everyone need to extend bench sizes once again to accommodate the Green Gully staff?

Hume City and Melbourne Knights emulated Thursday's season opener as the Knights squandered a 2-0 lead at ABD Stadium by conceding an equaliser deep into stoppage time. Theo Markelis pulled a goal back for the hosts with eight minutes to go setting up the grandstand finish. One goalkeeper would be the hero, the other the villain. Knights custodian Fraser Chalmers was sent off for dissent, and from the delayed free-kick it was Hume's gloveman Michael Weier who headed home.

New signing Kaine Sheppard was the matchwinner for Avondale as they defeated St Albans 1-0 at Knights Stadium on Saturday in a match overshadowed by the drama in Westmeadows.

Another Saturday evening game saw Heidelberg United get up 1-0 over Port Melbourne at the Village. The game was settled by a first half own goal.

NPL Two East

Melbourne City Youth had a second consecutive 2-2 draw at home, with the same scoring sequence (0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2) and all. Spooky. Murray United were their opponents, for whom Archie Thompson made his debut off the bench.

Dandenong City got their season back on track with a 5-0 thrashing of Richmond. Enes Sivic got on the scoresheet against one of his former clubs, as Ljubo Milicevic made a successful debut for City off the bench.

Conversely Dandenong Thunder crashed back down to Earth, falling to a 2-1 defeat at Springvale White Eagles. There may have been some shenanigans at this fixture, not sure if the term "Gypsy" was bandied about though.

Box Hill United and Eastern Lions played out a 0-0 draw at Wembley Park. For the second week in a row the failure to convert a penalty cost the Lions full points.

Nunawading City and Goulburn Valley Suns drew 1-1 at Mahoneys Reserve. The Suns had taken an early lead through Liam Baxter before he was sent off on the half hour mark. City were able to pull level through Mitch Cooper but were unable to claim the win against ten men. They were able to unveil their Shrine to Tiki Taka though:

NPL Two West

Northcote City's 1-0 win at Melbourne Victory Youth kept them as the early season pacesetters in NPL Two West. New skipper Josh Knight's 29th minute penalty was enough to get Hercules over the line.

Sunshine George Cross drew 0-0 with Moreland City at Chaplin Reserve. There may be a line or two more on this over at South of the Border later in the week.

Werribee City and Brunswick City also played out a draw, 1-1, at Galvin Park. The hosts lead before the visitors equalised.

Ballarat City racked up their first ever win with a 1-0 defeat of Whittlesea Ranges at Morshead Park. Pat Karras got the winner as Danny Gnjidic's boys made history.

Bendigo City may be creating unwanted history, beaten 0-7 by Moreland Zebras making it twelve conceded after just two games. Nejc Kolman hit four for the Zebras.


Results service audit shows improvement: 7 COMPLETE 8 ALMOST 1 RUBBISH

I'm still shaking my head at the Shrine of Tiki Taka. Is it a club, or an academy, or a cult?

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Yo, I Tell You What I Want

What I really, really want is:


2002 - Reserves League Champions from the Premier, State and Provisional Leagues. Final table for the Premier League Reserves. League Best and Fairest Winners for the State and Provisional Leagues.

2001 - the result (score) of the State League One/Two Play-Off Final. I know it was not good for Langwarrin.

2000 - Reserves League Champions from the Premier, State and Provisional Leagues, Final table for the Premier League Reserves.

1994 - Reserves League Champions from the State and Provisional Leagues.

1992 - Results (score and scorers) of the Armstrong Cup, Provisional League Cup and Provisional League Reserves Cup Finals.

1991 - Referee of the Dockerty Cup Final.

1990 - Reserves League Champions from the Victorian and Provisional Leagues. Dockerty Cup Final substitution details. Results of the Provisional League Cup and Provisional League Reserves Cup Finals.

1989 - Results of the Amateur League Cup and Amateur League Reserves Cup Finals.

1988 - Results of the Provisional League Cup, Provisional League Reserves Cup, Amateur League Cup and Amateur League Reserves Cup Finals.

1987 - Results of the Amateur League Cup and Amateur League Reserves Cup Finals.

1985 - Victorian League Division Two Reserves Champions. Results of the Amateur League Cup and Amateur League Reserves Cup Finals.

1984 - If there was an Amateur League Cup.

1983 - Reserves League Champions for Amateur League Division Two Reserves. Results of the Provisional League Reserves Cup and Amateur League Reserves Cup Finals.

1973 - Dockerty Cup Final details.

1971 - Result of the Federation Cup Final.

That's only the start of it.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Boo's NPL Review - Week 1 - I Don't Like Mondays

Given there's been more past than present or future on the blog in recent years, I thought I'd start a weekly match review to try and balance the ratio somewhat. Not sure how long it will last. If it's considered odd to start a review of the round on a Monday when there may still be games to be played, I declare that on Monday the weekend is over and it is time for a review, and that Monday night football is an abomination I have no time for.

NPL Two East

I was in attendance, with a couple of thousand people probably, at the season opener at George Andrews Reserve on Friday night as two title contenders were expected to slug it out. Instead of an epic classic, it turned out to be lopsided like Quade Cooper's fight against the fat bloke on the Mundine/Green undercard. Dandenong City looked alright early on, but once Dandenong Thunder stepped up a gear the visitors were unable to keep up with them. Brandon Barnes, who probably has scored more goals than he's spent days in this country, was once again the star of the show. Thunder's bright start will probably have the naysayers predicting another choke like last season, but they certainly looked the goods in this game. City will be hoping to get Ljubo Milicevic on the park as soon as possible, and for their newly assembled squad to start to gel.

Richmond would have been disappointed with their 2-2 draw at Melbourne City Youth if only for the fact that they squandered the lead twice. A late equaliser by the National Youth League Champions was the first of three draws in the division on the opening weekend. Good to see Andrew Viola back in white and skippering Alemannia.

Box Hill United had to start the season with a country road trip, and it resulted in a goalless affair at Murray United. The much publicised signing of Archie Thompson by Murray United did specify a short term stint rather than a long term commitment, and he did not take part in this game.

Springvale White Eagles also had to hit the road, coming back from their visit to the Goulburn Valley Suns with a 4-3 win. The White Eagles can score as readily as they concede, and after twice trailing, hit the front with a goal from Dejan Stoilovic in the 84th minute and held out for the win.

On Sunday it was a case of missed opportunities for the Eastern Lions as they blew a lead, and then a penalty to regain it, in their 1-1 draw with Nunawading City. City's idea that they now might have to win games to avoid relegation saw them splash out on some former A-League players in the off-season. It was indeed James Brown who earned them their point with his 51st minute equaliser.

NPL Two West

Moreland City and Werribee City commenced this division with a 1-1 draw, which may get a mention at South of the Border later in the week.

Sunshine (still, for now) George Cross staged a late fightback to come from two goals down to snatch a draw at Moreland Zebras. Adam Hodor was the Georgies hero with goals in the 81st and 86th minutes.

Championship favourites Northcote City strolled to a 5-0 win at Bendigo City. There were five different scorers for the rampant Northcote, while Bendigo racked up four yellow cards.

Brunswick City opened their campaign against another country team that has been rebranded/reformed in Ballarat (wait for it...) City. Sharp improvers last term, Brunswick are shaping to be contenders this season.

Whittlesea Ranges drew 0-0 with Melbourne Victory Youth. The number of corner flags remaining at Epping Stadium remains unknown.


Some of this information is gathered from Twitter, some from club websites, and a little bit from Soccer-Forum. In terms of the NPL website, it's time to audit the match information found on

To be considered COMPLETE, a match needs full details of goalscorers, cards and substitutions entered, as well as the squad list to indicate starting line-up and substitutes. To be considered ALMOST COMPLETE a match needs at least the scorers details and at least one team's line-up. I don't think I need to define RUBBISH.

After week one it's RUBBISH leading the way on 4, with COMPLETE and ALMOST COMPLETE on 3.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Just The Facts Ma'am - Part 1

The catchphrase "Just the facts, ma'am" is often attributed to the character Sgt. Joe Friday of pioneering U.S. television series Dragnet. The fact is, he never uttered those words. He would sometimes state "All we want are the facts, ma'am" or "All we know are the facts, ma'am" but it was a parody record by satirist Stan Freberg that led to the character having the catchphrase assigned to him. The movie L.A. Confidential features a television show called Badge of Honour, based on Dragnet, who's leading character uses the actual "Just the facts, ma'am" phrase.

So sometimes what is assumed to be a fact, really isn't. Myths can be formed from slight errors, but also deliberate lies can also come to be accepted as fact. There are many instances of both occurring in Australian football.

For many years, the wikipedia entry for goalkeeper Michael Turnbull was one of the great pieces of Australian fiction. Claiming almost 50 senior Socceroos caps, and more than that many first team appearances in the Serie A for Roma, the entry was taken as fact by ignorant journalists who pushed a story that he had knocked back a move to the Budesliga in late 2014. The entry had been toned down by the time he gained notoriety for embellishing his playing career on the "reality" tv series The Bachelorette. It's an example how falsehoods come into existence and can be accepted as truths, and why lazy media should be held to account.

Emile Damey

Former Nunawading City player Emile Damey gained some media exposure last year when he linked up with the Liberian national team for a training camp. This included a game, in which he scored, that the author of his wikipedia entry touts as his international debut.

                                               (Click on all images to enlarge)

Now I'm not sure what the status of the game against Morocco was, but neither FIFA for the Liberian FA seemed to recognise it as a full international.

In the last few days that entry has been changed to note the game was against the Moroccan Under 23 team. His goals and appearances record for Nunawading City has also been amended. From 25 games and 10 goals across 2015-16 it now claims 13 games for 7 goals in 2015 and 19 games for 3 goals in 2016. The actual truth - who knows but I wouldn't trust that wikipedia page.

Sadly, some have.

"Liberia were beaten by Tunisia in their final qualifying game with Damey failing to feature, however he did play in a friendly against Morocco, scoring with his first touch."

Reading that one would assume the friendly was a full International. It wasn't. Morocco's actual national team played a friendly the following day, in Albania. It's an important clarification that needed to be made, the fact that it wasn't makes you question the motives of those that published it.

South Melbourne

South Melbourne certainly has a long and storied history. Founded in 1959 as South Melbourne Hellas the club has won numerous titles in National and State competitions and represented Australia on the world stage at the World Club Cup.

In 2009 the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) awarded South Melbourne the title of Oceania Club of the Century and presented them with this trophy:

The club, and others, have since referred to this award as if it was issued by FIFA.

FIFA only issued one award for Club of the Century, to Real Madrid in December 2000. Real were presented with this trophy:

Real Madrid also picked up a trophy from the IFFHS in 2009 for European Club of the Century. Penarol, Asante Kotoko, Al-Hilal and Saprissa also collected IFFHS awarded for their respective Confederational Clubs of the Century. 

Now undoubtedly a FIFA award is more prestigious than an IFFHS one, simply because most people would ask "Who?" if you brought up IFFHS while with FIFA they would know who you were talking about. Looking at the South Melbourne trophy it's clear to see it's an IFFHS one given the number of times/panels IFFHS appears on it.

For a club which rightly demands more respect for Australian football's past, it could do without the embellishment. When you play around with history you diminish it's credibility, and that does the game no favours.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Fred Villiers on World Of Sport

Long time Melbourne soccer journalist Fred Villiers had a weekly segment on HSV7's popular World of Sport programme, with a clip from a 1985 appearance included above. Villiers had been covering local soccer for papers including The Herald, Soccer News, The Sporting Globe, Truth and the Sunday Observer since the 1950's. He was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2006.

As you can see from the above clip, the usual formula would begin with a round-up of the overnight (the show was broadcast on Sunday afternoon) British scores. From the early 1980's this would include some footage (as technology began to allow for it). Then it would be a round-up of local results (NSL) or brief preview of fixtures later that day. Occasionally there would be an interview.

Unlike over at SBS, correct pronunciation of names was not a priority, as you can tell from his reference to "Jewventus". Likewise the Aussie vernacular gave us Preston Mackerdonia and Green Gully Ay Jacks.

The set of World of Sport was far less professional than we see in the modern day. Backstage the drinking would begin early. The number of guests (most of the VFL coaches would attend to appear in the Coach's Corner segment, as well as several players) and sponsors giveaways made for a party atmosphere. Practical joke would be attempted, as (prior to the teleprompter era) cue cards would be set alight to see if the presenter could read them before they disappeared. Presenters would also be mooned from behind the camera in an attempt to put them off.

As an outsider from the "foreign" code Villiers was targeted for special treatment from the largely Aussie Rules boy's club. Most of it came from the very old school former Richmond champion Jack Dyer and his offsider Lou Richards.

Never the most accomplished presenter, in later years the number of gaffes would increase, and by the 1990's the pioneer of football media in Melbourne was no longer on the scene. He made an appearance at the FFV's Gold Medal Night in 2011. He accepted the inclusion of his friend Michael Weinstein into the FFV's Hall of Fame, with Weinstein not well enough to attend the function.

Thanks to George Cotsanis of My World Is Round we have a couple of photo's of Fred's newspaper work below:

                                                   (Click on images to enlarge)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Moorabbin City v Hamlyn Rangers 1982

The footage above is from the Metropolitan League Division Four game at Victory Park between Moorabbin City and Hamlyn Rangers in 1982. The game was played on Saturday June 19, with Moorabbin winning 3-2, to do the double over Rangers after winning 3-1 in Geelong on the opening day of the season.

Moorabbin City folded at the end of 1998, while Hamlyn Rangers are now known as Geelong Rangers. The league was won by the now defunct Caulfield City, with South Oakleigh runner's-up and Sandringham City in third. Moorabbin City would finish eighth, while Rangers wound up twelfth of fourteen.

Sandringham City's team included former Socceroos Jimmy Mackay and Jimmy Armstrong. There were three Geelong teams in the division, with Rangers competing in local derbies with Geelong and North Geelong. For a full look at the season check out OzFootball here. Drago Krajina of North Geelong won the League Best and Fairest Award.

Moorabbin's Matchday programme made a couple of appearances early in the season before going into recess, so there was no issue for this game. There was a special edition produced for Presentation Night, which can be found here.

I got to play with some of those first team players a decade later when they'd dropped down to the thirds, including goalscorer Trevor Bishop who once slammed one in from near halfway on the back pitch at Bailey Reserve. Tony Wynton, Gary Carlisle, Steve Martin, Tony Morgan, Peter Crawford, Steve Thomas, Mick O'Neill, Dave O'Gara and Brian Barlow were the others still playing for the thirds at times during the 1990's. Steve Thomas would often back up in the thirds on a Sunday after playing seniors or reserves on a Saturday, I wonder if that still happens anywhere?

Moorabbin's Best and Fairest votes for this game were 3 for Paul Tierney, the eventual winner. John Rigby picked up the 2, and Steve Gregory got the single vote. Gregory would win the Metropolitan League Division Four Best and Fairest Award the following season.