South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Vs. Sydney Olympic – Preview

South Vs. Sydney Olympic – Preview

Wednesday, 10 December 2003 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

Sydney Olympic’s visit to Bob Jane Stadium every year is viewed as one of the biggest clashes on an average South Melbourne supporter’s calendar.

The rivalry between these two traditional clubs has grown fierce in recent years, South’s heavy 6-0 defeat at the hands of Olympic only a couple of days after returning from the World Club Championships in Brazil is often remembered at the catalyst that sparked the rivalry. For the week immediately after the hammering, a ten-man South got their revenge with a 2-0 victory at Bob Jane Stadium, that day many Olympic fans made the journey to Lakeside holding up small signs that were aimed at reminding the South faithful of the result the week before. A tense rivalry was born.

After a Championship and then a grand final loss, Olympic have fallen somewhat predictably to the financial constraints of the league and as such have lost many high quality players. Players like Ante Milicic, Anthony Durante, Clint Bolton, Tom Pondlejak, Jade North, Wayne Shroj and Jeromy Harris have all departed to other NSL clubs.

Rookie NSL Coach Peter Papanikitas has had to assemble a squad with many unproven at NSL level NSW premier league players, however, Olympic have been somewhat fortunate in that they managed to retain club stalwarts Ante Juric, Paul Kohler and Hiroyuki Ishida, gun forward Pablo Cardozo has also returned to the club but has so far struggled to find the back of the net with only 2 goals to date. Exciting youngsters Iain Fyfe and Joseph Schirripa have also come to the club and with the recent additions of ex-South midfielder George Goutzioulis and former Perth playmaker Troy Halpin, Papanikitas has managed to assemble a respectable squad.

Conversely South continue to be one of the competition’s pacesetters. An enviable goal difference spurred on by the league’s securest defence and a forward line that has started scoring freely, Stuart Munro’s men are currently flying. Michael Curcija looms as an obvious danger man, his 4 goals against the Football Kingz sees the ex-Partizan Belgrade striker as one of the competition’s inform front-men. Add to the attacking mix the roaming presence of Scott Tunbridge, the freakish abilities of Con Boutsianis and the style and vision of Michael Panopoulos and South have goal scoring avenues all over the park.

Date: Wednesday 10 December 2003
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium
Kickoff: 7.30pm

HEAD TO HEAD (Overall):
Played: 53
Sth Melb wins 27
Olympic wins 11
Draws 15

HEAD TO HEAD (at Melbourne):
Played: 24(Regular Season)
Sth Melb wins 15
Olympic wins 2
Draws 7

Last Encounter (Regular Season):
Sth Melb won 6-4

Sth Melb 3-1 away loss V Spirit
Olympic 1-0 home loss V Parramatta

Position on Ladder: 2nd V 10th

E Galekovic (gk), M Panopoulos, A Kovacevic, M Stergiopoulos, M Curcija, C
Boutsianis, S Poutakidis, M Lohy, S Storey, S Laurie, S Tunbridge, V Coveny,
L Osman, C Recchia, M Theoklitos (gk),

IN: L Osman, S Tunbridge, M Panopoulos
OUT: K Sarkies (omitted), I Ibraimi (omitted), N Tolios (omitted)

B Hughes (gk), G Souris, P Kohler, A Juric, J Schirripa, I Fyfe, P Cardozo,
J Bakis, S Baillie, E Augerinos, G Goutzioulis, Z Caravella, G Moss (gk)
(one to be omitted)

IN: T Elrich, S Baillie, J Nikas
OUT: T Halpin (suspended – 1 match), H Ishida (ankle – 1 week), P Bojic

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