Thursday, 11 March 2004 12:00 AM
The South Melbourne Soccer Club today announced the details of their plans for the home final against Marconi Stallions to be played at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday 14th March at 7:00pm.
Pre-game highlights include:
· Southern Division Champions, South Melbourne’s Youth versus traditional rivals, Heidelberg United in a pre-game curtain raiser.
· A farewell to South Melbourne legend and Australian representative, Mehmet Durakovic who will be paraded around the ground in a convertible BMW.
· A special ASA presentation to Australian Soccer and South Melbourne legend Paul Trimboli commemorating his 450th NSL game.
· Victorian winner of the Australian National Anthem competition, Haylee Simpson will sing the National anthem prior to kick-off.
Today’s press conference also highlighted the significance of this elimination final between two of the NSL’s oldest clubs. South CEO Mark Patterson said “this is likely to be the last clash between these two great clubs in their current form.” “With the new league, this final represents the changing of the old into the new”. Both clubs have achieved unparalleled success since the NSL’s 1977 inaugural season winning four championships apiece and competing in over 15 finals series each.
“We are encouraging supporters to purchase tickets prior to the game as we are expecting a great crowd to turn out to make the trip a daunting task for Marconi” Patterson added. With plenty of pre-game entertainment and the emotional farewell to Mehmet, a large blue and white crowd will create an electrifying atmosphere and spur on South Melbourne.
From a player’s perspective, both teams are raring to go and are excited about the possibility of playing in the next round of finals. South captain, Vaughan Coveny said “all the boys are keen to make amends for our under-performances in the last month. “ “Last week’s draw was an important result for us and we are confident in our ability to score at home.”
Earlier in the day, acting Premier and the club’s number 1 ticket holder, the Honourable Mr. John Thwaites threw his support behind South Melbourne’s finals campaign. Posing for photographs with retiring legend Mehmet Durakovic, Thwaites noted the importance of South Melbourne’s presence in the finals as the only Victorian contingent competing against five other states.
The South Melbourne Youth curtain raiser kicks off at 3:30pm with the main game kick-off at 7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased through the office, online or at the gate.