Sunday, 21 November 2004 12:00 AM
The moons are in alignment and the stage is set for a mid-summer nights classic @ Bob Jane Stadium in just over two months time when South Melbourne FC host eternal football rivals Heidelberg United.
Two of the heavy weights of Australian football will come together to showcase the centre piece of fixtures in the opening round of the VSF’s 2005 VPL Season on Sunday, January 30 @ South Melbourne’s famous lakeside ground.
South Melbourne FC President George Donikian is ecstatic that his club will host their old rivals first up. “I had my heart in my mouth as the coin was tossed, and when I realised we had the home game, for the first time in my life, I was speechless”.
“We expect no favours and have a responsibility to stage an opening game that captures the imagination and interest of all football fans in Melbourne. Our match day rivalry will resume on the pitch and a carnival atmosphere will chant out on the terraces – we are here to play in a whole new league and to build a whole new football culture”.
The two sides were founding members of the now defunct NSL and have provided some of the greatest and most memorable derbies in the Australian game. Heidelberg won promotion from the State League this year while South Melbourne are keen to impress as they rejoin Victoria’s elite after a 27 year sojourn in the NSL.
South Melbourne FC began pre-season training recently and are continuing to build a strong squad to maintain their tradition of footballing excellence. Coach John Anastasiadis describes pre-season as “So far, so good, we have a good mix of youth and experience and are putting together a unit that will do the club’s heavy shirt proud”.
Round 1 of the 2005 VPL will be the first time the two teams have met in a competitive fixture for 8 years – South Melbourne FC invites all supporters to ‘join the football renaissance @ Bob Jane Stadium’.