South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Vs. Football Kingz – Preview

South Vs. Football Kingz – Preview

Thursday, 27 November 2003 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

On paper this Sunday’s clash between South Melbourne and the Football Kingz appears to be a one-sided affair. South Melbourne are currently flying and find themselves in 2nd position, conversely the Kingz have had a torrid season to date, rooted at the bottom of the NSL ladder an unlikely 3-1 victory against Marconi last week has Ken Dugdale’s men hopeful of a positive result against South.

South have lost inspirational captain Vaughn Coveny to a hamstring injury, the Kiwi international didn’t figure in last week’s victory over Adelaide United and is expected to miss anywhere between 3-4 weeks.

With the competition’s leading goal-scorer out of the line-up South found and unlikely hero in Ante Kovacevic last week, Kovacevic managed to double his career goal’s tally by nodding in a double against United. However, of vital importance will be the emergence of another goal-getter. In Con Boutsianis, Michael Curcija, Paul Trimboli and Scott Tunbridge South possess one of the competitions deepest and most talented forward lines; hence the absence of Coveny has good foundations to be minimised.

Gun recruit Michael Panopoulos continues to impress in his attacking midfield position, his work rate and ever growing understanding with Marcus Stergiopoulos has seen the South midfield flourish. South also possesses the league’s best goal difference, an achievement which can be largely attributed to the Lakesider’s defensive line which to date has only leaked four goals.

Conversely, the Football Kingz have the worst defensive record in the country having conceded 18 goals. Ken Dugdale has a squad that is vastly inexperienced at NSL level. Exceptions to this notion apply to leading scorer Heremaia (Harry) Ngata, Mark Burton and goalkeeper Michael Utting who had a brief spell at South during the Middle Park era in the mid 1990’s. Former South youth player John Tambouras also finds himself in the heart of the Kingz line-up after returning from a period of playing his football in Greece.

Game: South Melbourne Vs Football Kingz
Date: Sunday 30 November 2003
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium
Kickoff: 6.00pm

HEAD TO HEAD (Overall):
Played: 8
Sth Melb wins 5
Kingz wins 2
Draws 1

HEAD TO HEAD (at Melbourne):
Played: 4(Regular Season)
Sth Melb wins 3
Kingz wins 1
Draws 0

Last Encounter:
Sth Melb won 3-0

Sth Melb 2-1 home win V Adelaide
Kingz 3-1 home win V Marconi

Position on Ladder:
2nd V 13th

SOUTH MELBOURNE SQUAD: E Galekovic (gk), M Panopoulos, A Kovacevic, M Stergiopoulos, M Curcija, C Boutsianis, S Tunbridge, S Poutakidis, M Lohy, S Storey, K Sarkies, S Laurie, P Trimboli, L Osman, M Theoklitos (gk),

IN: Unchanged
OUT: Unchanged

FOOTBALL KINGZ SQUAD: M Utting (gk), A Midtsian, G Collins, J Tambouras, M Burton, J Campbell, H Ngata, J Rowley, M Donoso, E Schjerven, P Harries, T Martin, D Rayner, C Coombes, R Nicholson (gk)

IN: D Rayner
OUT: C Jackson (suspended – 1 match)

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