Thursday, 30 October 2003 12:00 AM
By Michael Tsoukalis
After a sterling performance against Newcastle United South return to Bob Jane Stadium to face the rejuvenated Marconi Stallions. Coached by NSL stalwart and former Marconi legend Jean Paul De Marigny the Stallions have made an impressive start to season 03/04.
Marconi kicked off their season with an undefeated run through their first 5 encounters; the Stallions however dropped their first game last week (25/10/03) against title favourites the Parramatta Power, going down by 2 goals to 1.
Marconi find themselves comfortably entrenched in the top 6 and coach De Marigny must be credited with managing to attract an impressive array of players back to the club. Winger Brendan Renaud has returned after a couple of seasons at Parramatta, Brad Maloney also makes a much-heralded return to Marconi Stadium after spells at both the Perth Glory as well as the Parramatta Power. Ex-Sydney Olympic striker Jeromy Harris has also made the move to Bossley Park.
Perhaps however, De Marigny biggest coup is the acquisition of Nick Carle, an exciting midfielder with a classy technique and an eye for goal. Carle returns after a spell in France and is looking to re-establish himself in the NSL in order to impress the national coaching staff.
Add these signings to an already impressive crop of established NSL-hardened players such as Angelo Costanzo, Dominic Longo, Luke Casserly, Chad Gibson, Joe Spiteri as well as exciting youngsters such as Shane Webb, Kevo Gulessarian and Alex Brosque (who will be missing due to commitments with the U20 national squad) and Marconi possess one of the strongest squads in this season’s competition.
Conversely South Melbourne are coming off yet another positive away result against Sydney United, the Lakesiders have conceded only 2 goals in their 5 encounters and hence possess the strongest defence in the competition. Worrying for South is the fact that their 8 goals have come from only 2 games, – the 0-4 victory against Wollongong and the 4-1 drubbing of Newcastle – Coach Munro will be eager for his charges to settle early and work at getting some goals on the board.
Young Socceroos Vince Lia and Massimo Murdocca will be missing due to national team commitments, however, their absence should allow for the first team return of Kristian Sarkies, the just turned 17 year old made a sparkling NSL and South Melbourne debut against Newcastle and will be eager to follow up his first performance with yet another solid display.
A win for South could see them overtake Marconi into third position; whilst a Marconi victory would see the Stallions consolidate a top 3 position and perhaps nudge into second place if Parramatta drops points.
Game: South Melbourne v Marconi Stallions
Date: Sunday 2 November 2003
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm AET
HEAD TO HEAD (Overall):
South Melbourne: 19
Marconi wins: 22
HEAD TO HEAD (at S’th Melbourne):
Played: 24 (Regular Season)
South Melbourne: 15
Marconi wins: 9
Marconi 2-2 home draw (Round 23 – 21 February 2003)
South Melbourne 0-0 away draw v Sydney United
Marconi 2-1 home loss v Parramatta Power
Position on Ladder: 5th v 3rd
SOUTH MELBOURNE SQUAD: E Galekovic (gk), M Panopoulos, A Kovacevic, M Stergiopoulos, M Curcija, C Boutsianis, S Tunbridge, V Coveny, S Poutakidis, S Storey, K Sarkies, S Laurie, P Trimboli, L Osman, M Theoklitos (gk)
IN: L Osman, M Panopoulos (both promoted)
OUT: V Lia, M Murdocca (both U-20 international duty)
MARCONI STALLIONS SQUAD: M Turnbull (gk), C Gibson, L Casserly, D Longo, A Costanzo, N Carle, G Last, B Renaud, E Anabalon, J Harris, J Spiteri, M Thwaite, T Brodie, S Webb, S Alogdellis (gk)
IN: S Webb, L Casserly (both back from injury), D Longo (back from suspension)
OUT: B Maloney (suspended – 2 matches plus tribunal hearing pending), A Brosque (U-20 international duty), K Gulesserian (long tem injured), D Severino (omitted), D McDonald (omitted)