I arrived at half time in the U21 game in time to see an attacking South team dismantle the 10-men Sharks 4-1. Suffice it to say that the senior team, a few nervous moments aside, dominated and thrashed the hapless Port team 4-0, sending them down to 6th place and out of the finals (in light of Gully's win) and us to a home elimination final at home this Sunday at 5pm. If you want a match report, the unsurpassable Mavroudis gives his thoughts here.
Now I'm looking forward to Sunday (as long as I can get back from Ballarat in time - a long story).
|The view from behind the Southern goal in the first half. |
Note the substantial crowd on the western side of the ground.
|View from the northern end during the half-time break.|
Habitual Neos Osmos readers will know my beef with writers like the Age's Michael Lynch who insists that he doesn't write about VPL because there's little-to-no interest and even if there were substantial interest the competition is second tier and doesn't deserve coverage in a national newspaper (except when there's a 'crowd riot' or a betting scandal).
Travelling in the car after the game, listening to the ABC coverage of the grand finals of 5th, 6th and 7th-tier footy, the double standard was driven home. Typically, in the next day in the Age we could read reports of Upper Woop-Woop and their mighty footy Grand final come-back against Kickacrowalong, but a report on the weekend's most significant game of elite Victorian winter soccer (along with the classified results for the rest of the competitions) was nowhere to be seen.
It would do mainstream soccer writers well to come out to grounds like SS Anderson, especially when bigger games are on. But it would also do them well to get to Quarries Park or Campbell reserve from time to time. Some of their assumptions would be productively undermined and they might well be able to imagine an audience for articles on the VPL and other state leagues. They would see colour and excitement and not a little skill on the field. It would not be foolish to predict that 2 or 3 of Sunday's players were potential A-League recruits and a mainstream journalist covering the game would at least have the vital experience of having seen them play in the flesh (rather than having to phone around their contacts asking "Wot's 'e like then?").
|One of the three memorial press boxes in Melbourne |
named in honour of Laurie Schwab, at JJ Anderson.
It also would present a suggestion to the thoughtful among them that this is what comes to those journos who cover our game properly: respect and remembrance.