South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Marconi vs. South – Preview

Marconi vs. South – Preview

Monday, 16 February 2004 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

South travel to Marconi Stadium this Tuesday for a catch-up fixture that was postponed due to the Olyroo commitments of a number of Marconi players. The game has increased in importance for Stuart Munro’s men as 2 consecutive losses has seen South plummet to fourth position with all hope for the invaluable second spot, all but gone.

Conversely, Marconi are in stunning form and are coming off a 3 game winning streak which culminated in a sterling 3-0 victory against Sydney United on the weekend. A win for the Stallions could see Jean Paul De Marigny’s men sky rocket to as high as 3rd, repaying the request of the club to postpone matches until its players returned from international duty.

In Alex Brosque and Nick Carle, Marconi possess two of the nations most talented youngsters, both players have returned from international duty with an added zest and have been outstanding in assisting the Stallions to victories in their past 3 games. Carle in particular has had a brilliant season, with his 6 goals from midfield and countless assists, showing the true potential of the former Troyes player.

Carle and Brosque aside, De Marigny has assembled one of the best squad’s in the NSL. Quality experience is to be found in the likes of ex-Parramatta midfielder Brad Maloney who has nipped in with 6 goals this campaign and has been his usual industrious self in the centre of the park. Brendan Renaud, Angelo Costanzo, Dominic Longo, Simon Bell and Luke Casserly are all super experienced at NSL level and provide quality defensive cover for the Stallions. Up front, ex-Melbourne Knights forward Joe Spiteri links up with former Sydney Olympic front-man Jeromy Harris to produce a truly burly forward setup that to-date has failed somewhat to live up to expectations – Spiteri and Harris only have 6 goals between them – however, their value at holding up the ball and providing an immense presence in the attacking zone cannot be underestimated.

Conversely, South have been ravaged by injury and poor form, against the Football Kingz, a makeshift defence consisting of Nick Tolios, Levent Osman, Carl Recchia and Sam Poutakidis was used as through injury and suspension, defensive regulars Simon Storey, Mehmet Durakovic and Ante Kovacevic were unavailable. Kovacevic is set to return from suspension against the Stallions, however, who Munro retains in defence shall be interesting to observe.

In the centre of the Park, the return to fitness of Marcus Stergiopoulos is a huge boost for the Lakesiders; Stergiopoulos played a key role in South’s impressive start to the season playing the defensive midfield role superbly well. His inclusion against the Stallions may be crucial in aiding South’s defensive problems, as his ability to track back and break up the opposition’s attacking play is invaluable to the Albert Park based club.

Attacking wise, South have not scored a goal in their past two encounters, with the array of attacking talent at Munro’s disposal, such a return is disappointing and may lead to more game time for ex-Adelaide City forward Scott Tunbridge who has been extremely patient in waiting for his chance to obtain a regular spot in the first 11. Tunbridge was used in a wide role early on in the season, but with the return of Young Socceroo Vince Lia and the established pairing of Coveny and Curcija scoring regularly, Tunbridge has had to bide his time.

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