Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Saturday 14 July 2012

FC Clifton Hill v Fawkner Blues FC, Quarries Park, 14/07/12

Off to Quarries to see if Fawkner can get the three points and close in on Moreland City. If Clifton Hill can't get the 3 points today their promotion hopes will be slim. So there's a lot at stake.

Arrived at 2.15.

Fawkner ressies up 2-1 with about 15 to go. Clifton Hill arguing among themselves. Neither team looking likely.

All over. Fawkner win 2-1.

Team sheets are below.

A very young referee (who had a good game btw)
Fawkner leaves the dressing room.

3.00 underway. Clifton Hill defending the clubhouse end. Free kick Clifton Hill in good position on right taken quickly and wasted.

3.03. Bad Fawkner tackle results in handbags. Free kick to Clifton Hill on half way.

3.05. Defensive free kick taken by Tyrikos.

Clifton hill having slightly the better opening exchanges.

3.07. On cue. Fawkner break. Keeper calls for it and nearly mucks it up. Out for throw. Fawkner bring it back but Clifton Hill free kick.

Fawkner player Baross given yellow card for wearing skin colored shorts that are normally unseen under his blue shorts. Coyness forces him to the dressing room to remove them. Fawkner down a man for 2 minutes. 

Back Baross comes, sans leggings.

Game a midfield tussle so far.

3.12. Fawkner free kick 25 out on right. Floated in and keeper takes on the full.

Two biggish teams tending to cancel each other out. Fawkner trying long balls that Clifton Hill have managed to defuse. Though the feeling is that one may yet work. Clifton Hill not penetrating at all.

3.20 Fawkner's McNamara: "where's the fookin tempo!" good question.

3.23. Dangerous Fawkner free kick 20 out. Headed back. Keeper saves fumbles cleared. Return shot saved and cleared.

3.24. Clifton Hill free kick 30 out. Floated in and put behind unnecessarily for corner. Corner cleared.

3.27. Fawkner free kick 30 out on right. Headed behind for goal kick.

Fawkner looking the better team. Their keeper has had nothing to do while the Clifton Hill keeper has been very busy.

3.31. Clifton Hill corner right. Ronald McDonald punches clear.

3.32. Normal service resumed as Fawkner attack. Cross from right over forward's head. Out for goal kick.

3.33. Beesley on for Clifton Hill. Replaces Sharkey.

3.34. Clifton Hill free kick left 20 out. Blasted over.

Where have I been moment #564. I asked the Clifton Hill subs why Bobby wasn't playing. "He's left the club and gone to sunshine!"

3.36 Fawkner cross. Header on target. Well held by keeper.

3.40. Fawkner shot from distance sliced wide.

3.41. Fawkner's McNamara not happy with offside call.

3.42. Fawkner cross from left headed behind for corner. Foul by Fawkner in box releases pressure.

3.43  Rare Clifton Hill penetration deep on right. Nothing comes of it.

3.45. Clifton Hill's Dohi looks a good player. Not getting much chance to show his skills though.

3.46. Half time. 0-0.

A tight tussle that Fawkner shaded. Clifton Hill with little sense of penetration will need to figure something out if they want to win this. Fawkner has probably played too much long ball. Better football might have seen them score already.

4.00 2nd half underway. Fawkner dangerous immediately.

4.01. Clifton Hill free kick 20 out on right. Weak. Cleared.

4.02. Fawkner free kick. 25 out to right. Low rocket. Well parried. Keeper gathers returned ball.

4.06. Good lead up work by Fawkner. Weak shot. Easily saved.

4.07. Clifton Hill counter. God crops from left. Gathered and cleared by lb.

4.08. Fawkner corner after good lead up. Headed over.

4.10. Clifton Hill shot just wide.

4.11. Fawkner free kick 30 out on right wing. Crossed. Headed back and after a bit of a scramble poked in.

Fawkner lead 1-0.

The goal hasn't changed the character of the game. Fawkner still dominant though Clifton Hill looking slightly dangerous at times.

4.18. Fawkner free kick 25 out on left. Shot takes slight deflection and saved easily.

4.20. Dangerous cross from Clifton Hill's Dohi. Kennedy off his line well to intercept.

Fawkner keeper, Kile Kennedy still in his pink gear.

4.21. Clifton Hill press again. Kennedy does well to prevent corner.

Clifton hill looking much brighter this half.

4.23. Clifton Hill muck up free kick. Fawkner break and Baross breaks and scores in one-on-one easily lifting it over advancing keeper.

Fawkner 2-0.

Clifton hill fight back. Two attacks in a row crosses from the left gave proved dangerous. Fawkner saved by a deflection and then excellent keeping and poor reflexes from the Clifton Hill forward. Offside in any case.

4.28. Clifton Hill corner right. Scottish centre half, McKlusky nae fkn happy! Nothing comes if the corner.

Clifton Hill don't seem to understand how dangerous they have been on the left. Dohi starting to have an impact. Fawkner starting to seem a little edgy. Not panicking yet.

4.33. Word through that Altona city are up 1-0 against Phoenix.

4.38. Clifton Hill yellow. Kennedy not happy that ref hasn't played on. Free kick results in blast over bar.

4.40. Clifton Hill Sabonovski off. Fakos on.

4.41. Promising Clifton Hill move called back for offside.

4.43. Fawkner 15 off 20 on.

4.43. Fawkner capitalizes on poor punched clearance by Milliaras. Good interplay and shot across keeper is wide.

4.45. Clifton Hill offside again! It's as if they don't know the rule.

4.46. All over. Fawkner win 2-0. And they deserved it.

Apart from a brief period Clifton Hill just werent in it. Fawkner should probably have won by more but they'll take it I guess.

Is soccer the game that never "happened"?

This is something from the book I am writing on the cultural history of soccer in Australia. I'd be really interested in feedback (positive or negative). It's slightly pessimistic when excerpted like this but is embedded in a more positive context in the book.
Soccer has failed to rise to the level of mythology, legend and story in Australia. Philip Mosely and Bill Murray put it another way: “it has not entered the Australian soul”. Roy Hay asks whether “there has been a failure to make the game Australian.” These formulations are all ways of remarking that soccer has not managed to insert itself positively into the narratives that Australians tell themselves about themselves. This is the basis upon which it is possible to utter an apparent falsity – that Australian soccer is the game that never happened.
Even though there continue to be countless moments of individuals, teams, clubs and associations seeming to play and organise soccer matches and competitions, the game has never really happened in and for itself. It has been an instead game and a nearly game, a counter-attraction or curtain-raiser to the main game wherever and whenever it has been played. Australians have played and watched soccer as a digression, a replacement, a substitute, a surrogate, a next-best thing at best, when they would rather be doing something else, somewhere else.
So games of soccer that were very much played, and won (or drawn) did not ‘happen’ in the sense that they did not register as having happened as significant moments of Australian behaviour. Like mirages, they appeared on the horizon and vanished as suddenly as they emerged not even to be consigned to the scrapheap of history but almost to disappear, leaving little but unsettling personal memories and a thin archival trace.
Australian soccer is a game on the edge, literally and metaphorically. It is a foreign game and has remained so for all of the 140 years or more that Australians have been playing it. Indeed, it is sometimes a “wicked foreign game” that menaces and threatens to overrun Australian society, steal our land and brainwash and enfeeble our children. Its values and practices are ‘other’ and the game has periodically been asked to go back whence it came. When it does find a temporary residence here it is often on the edge of the comfort zones of our suburbs and towns, on grounds built on industrial wastelands and recently reclaimed rubbish tips. Australian soccer has had to fight and scrap against more permanent and established residents for every piece of land to which it has access. Only rarely has such land become a settled home for the game. Freud might have described the condition of Australian soccer as unheimlich, in acknowledgement of its homeless and uncanny presence in Australian sporting culture.
Australian soccer is a game on the edge of attention, often languishing in the shadows cast by bigger edifices, silenced by the white noise of mainstream sports trivia. Mainstream media outlets down the years have rarely supplied good coverage of the game (peak moments aside), usually relying on the nincompoopism of the circular argument: “We don’t cover it because there is little interest. Australians don’t follow soccer,” thereby simultaneously confessing and justifying their failure to lead or create that interest or follow whatever interest that does exist. Newspaper and other media audiences have been reminded and reminded for the past 150 years about how little they know about this ‘brand-new’ game, soccer, leaving those who consider they do know the game feeling like uninvited guests.
Soccer sits on the edge of history in Australia. It is never a core theme for the historian – though perhaps sometimes an interesting sideline (or Greek chorus!) to the main story. Historians refer habitually to its novelty, difference and foreignness. Sporting histories are little better. While able to respect the game as a legitimate object of research, they are still written under the sway of the myths of soccer’s marginality. Sport historians find it harder to see soccer as a subject of research. Even those histories that profess to tell the story of the game from the inside can be diverted by the all-pervading mythologies that have built up around sport and culture in Australia. They are liable to take on board non-negotiable truths that rule the game out of the game. Many soccer historians have been complicit in their own marginalisation, happy to provide comments from the sideline rather than fight their way into the commentary box.
Australian soccer is on the edge of Australia – again in two senses. It is only played around the edges, in the big cities, home to the migrants, that leaf-fringed demense despised by the architects of bush nationalism. AD Hope’s ‘Australia’ has this biting stanza:
And her five cities, like five teeming sores,
Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state
Where second-hand Europeans pullulate
Timidly on the edge of alien shores.
While not about soccer, Hope’s poem is about its place, the “second-hand Europeans” who live there and that place’s relation to the spiritual centre of Australia. The rugged heart, the heroic source of real Australia is not a place of soccer.
Australian literature, legends and mythologies are constructed as soccer-free narratives and the game’s intrusion in them is rare and ever dissonant when it does occur. Australian soccer has no Cazaly up there with whom its players can go – whether that be to popular adulation or to their deaths in the field of battle. It has no “six-foot recruit from Eaglehawk” to provide its “hope of salvation.” There are many Australian soccer players who have “come down from the bush” but the game has access to no mythological narratives in which to accommodate them. The game might be able to boast Kasey Wehrman, an Aboriginal hard man from Cloncurry, but it cannot point to any archetypal bush heroes in its pantheon of greasy wogs and sneaky Scotsmen alongside whom he can sit.
Nor does Wehrman have any tangible Indigenous notables to provide fatherly mentoring. The deeds of Bondi Neal, Charles Perkins, Gordon Briscoe, John Moriarty and Harry Williams could shine down the ages as beacons to young Aboriginal players because they were genuine stars of Australian soccer, a game to which Aboriginal players were welcomed in ways other codes of football found difficult. Yet this moment, like many others, has vanished from public perception and Aboriginal players are largely absent in the stories of Australian soccer.
Ultimately Australian soccer is a game on the edge of legitimacy, a game at the edge of itself. And while we inhabit a cultural conversation that can accommodate the perversion of logic and sense that allows the nation’s most played team game to be figured as un-Australian and marginal it will be ever thus.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Altona East v. Keilor Park, Paisley Park, 7/07/12

Back at good old Paisley Park after 6 weeks away.

Arrived at half time in the ressies. Altona East down 2-1.

Keilor score a good goal despite great effort by keeper. 3-1.

All over.

The other Les Murray, aka Steve from Broady and his stats from the ressies game below
How could they have lost?
3.04. Underway. Phoenix running away from the golf course.

3.06. Yabio for Phoenix shoots. Tries to beat keeper inside post. Put behind for corner. Poor corner. Cleared.

3.09. Keilor corner cleared. Firm shot well held by keeper.

Good open game so far. Though my commo-fascist companions beg to differ.

3.21. Piledriver by Bourakis for Phoenix from 30 just misses right hand post.

3.32. Close shot by Keilor. Just wide.

3.33. Massive uproar. Was it a dive by the Keilor player?

3.35. Good pressure by Phoenix. Results in corner.

3.36. Free kick Phoenix left. Too long headed behind for goal kick.

3.41. Nice interplay up front for Phoenix. Out for corner. Foul in box fk to Keilor.

3.45. Goal to Phoenix. About 6 unnecessary passes before its slotted from a metre out. 1-0.

3.49. Keilor corner. Reminder that they had poor field position towards the end of the half.

3.50. Half time. Altona East lead 1-0.

4.07. 2nd half underway.

4.08. Phoenix break left. Cross missed. Should have scored.

4.09. Keilor scores but goal disallowed. Not clear why.

Keilor have lifted in response.

4.16. Keilor now pressuring. 2nd firm long shot in two minutes smacks of desperation.

4.18. Phoenix fk 30 out. Floated in and cleared.

4.19. Keilor break. 2 on 2. Feeble shot straight at keeper.

4.24. Keilor break. Put behind for corner. Corner cleared.

4.26. Phoenix corner left. Into side netting.

4.30. Good break by Phoenix Yabio cuts back in shoots. Cleared. Return shot wide.

4.35. Good goal to Phoenix. Cross to Yabio. Cut back to Galea. Sidefoot placed beautifully into side netting. 2-0.

4.41. Yellow to Keilor.

4.44. What looked a certain goal to Phoenix just wide. Unmarked man in box.

4.47. Long shot from Keilor. Desperation.

4.48. Another looping dipping shot from Keilor. Just wide.

4.53. Keilor yellow.

4.57. Keilor kick. 25 out. Goal. Well taken. 2-1. A twitchy time for Phoenix.

4.59. All over. Phoenix win 2-1. Probably deserved to win as well.