Picture of logo sourced from Wikipedia
Before they take on Gombak United tomorrow at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Here's insight of the team hailed from Down Under, Victorian Premier League powerhouses - South Melbourne Football Club.
Many thanks to Paul Mavroudis, the blogger behind "South of the Border - a South Melbourne FC - Hellas - Lakers - Pirates blog " - a fans' blog of the club, for this contribution.
SPOTLIGHT ON SOUTH MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB
When I started writing this, I wanted to give a friendly overview of the club - where it came from, where it is, and where it might be going - but I then realised the readers of this wonderful blog could just as easily look that stuff up on wikipedia, the South Melbourne FC article in particular which I actually wrote the majority of in its current state. So, you want to know a little about South in the here and now, and what kind of team will be taking the field.
South is, at present, a semi-pro club, in the equivalent of the 2nd tier - there is at present no promotion/relegation to the top tier in Australia (for reasons we won't go into now - the last time such a thing existed was back in the early 1990s), and there is no nationwide cup (a true nation wide cup died in the 1980s).
Players typically train a few times a week in the evenings after finishing their day jobs.
The Victorian Premier League, like most if not all the state based competitions, is a winter league, which will make it even more difficult one would fancy for South to acclimatise to both the fitness of the opposition and the hot and humid conditions of Singapore - and the fact they'll be playing on a synthetic surface, as 99% of venues in Victoria use natural grass fields (ranging from the minority in excellent condition to worse than cow paddocks.
That's not to say though that there aren't capable players in the league and at South. The league is littered with up and comers, and those who have flirted with top flight football at various lengths and levels.
Here are some of the players to watch out for, though whether they all got on the flight, I do not know.
First choice goalkeeper Peter Zois returned to the club this year from rival VPL side Richmond, and has made a solid start to the year. A former South junior, he spent several years in Europe, mostly in the Netherlands, mostly coming off the bench. In front of him in defence, centre back
Steven O'Dor has some A-League experience, having played with the defunct New Zealand Knights and Wellington Phoenix, as well representing Australia at under 20 and under 23 level. He's a solid defender who is good in the air.
Captain Ramazan Tavsancioglu is typically the right back, and a fiery customer who doesn't mind occasionally getting forward and launching a shot or cross. Left back New Zealander Rhodri Payne belies his short stature, and also makes the occasional quality run forward.
In the middle of the park, Brazilian Fernando De Moraes, who was originally a futsal player in his home country, is the most skilful player in the side. After emigrating to Melbourne, he joined South's senior ranks, and become the club's most consistent scorer post-2005. Now a naturalised Australian, de Moraes also turns out for the Futsalroos, the nations' national futsal team.
Englishman Joe Keenan, a midfielder/winger/forward, was on the books at Chelsea, had stints in Belgium and the Netherlands, played briefly with Melbourne Victory in the A-League, and most recently had a stint with Scotland's Hibernian. Has nice touch and quality finishing.
Carl Recchia is typically the lynchpin in midfield, a solid passer, with good vision, had various stints at national league level, including at South many years ago. There's also an assortment of wing players available depending on the coach's mood
Up front perhaps is where South's biggest weakness lies, where the side lacks a quality and in form out and out striker. Gianni De Nittis has struggled to regain his championship winning form since 2006, while Joseph Youssef's radar has sadly being missing this season after a reasonably solid 2009.
Thankfully the midfield provides its share of goals to make up for that. South's coach is former New Zealand international Vaughan Coveny, in his first year as a senior coach. Coveny is better known for his years of service at several National Soccer League and A-League clubs as a winger/forward.
The majority of his league appearances though were spent at South, notching up 100 goals in 297 appearances. South has a tradition of playing attacking football, but whether they will seek to temper some of their natural attacking instincts to suit the circumstances remains to be seen.
** Views expressed may not necessary be that of the blog owner, thanks**