Wednesday, 15 December 2004 10:14 AM
South Melbourne FC have taken a large step to assuring their financial viability for the 2005 VPL season by announcing Rocket Batteries as its major ‘shirt’ sponsor.
“It’s all about building blocks, and slowly we’re climbing them” said South President George Donikian at a sponsors launch at Bob Jane Stadium. “We are about 40% of the way there, and considering where we’ve come from that’s terrific. But there is still more work to do to reach our goals”.
The buzz at the club’s VIP night was positive, with a host of sponsors and partners of the club, both past and present, on hand to celebrate the approaching VPL season.
“We extend our warm thanks to Lou Vetouladithis and Eddy Bithavas at Rocket Batteries for their ongoing support and we are sure we will offer them a fantastic return on their investment”. The club has also announced a string of other sponsors including Doric Marble, Laiki Bank and Limnos Poultry that will help underpin the clubs short and medium term viability.
“OnlySport have come on board as our kit sponsor and have produced an exclusive South Melbourne strip that looks fantastic and we’re hoping to have some merchandise available early in January.”
South Melbourne’s on field stocks are boosted with the confirmation that some of the teams best players of last year are backing up, including Vaughan Coveny, Ante Kovacevic along with favourite sons Paul Trimboli and Con Blatsis. Coach John Anastasiadis is building a team with an experienced ‘spine’, supported by a crop of promising young talent.
And it’s a philosophy of sound defence on which, perhaps surprisingly, the former South striker is building his team. While promising the club’s fans some good entertainment in 2005, Anastasiadis emphasises that he believes good football starts in the back half of the field, drawing a left field analogy. “The great NBA basketball coach Pat Riley used to have teams known for ‘Showtime’ play, but that flash was built on a foundation of rock solid defence – you can expect the same from South Melbourne in 2005”.
Quite literally off-field, Donikian has hinted at some aesthetic changes to the clubs Albert Park home. “We are looking at making some minor changes, like moving seats inside the stadium to create greater comfort and atmosphere for our patrons”. The club has engaged a new grounds keeping team and despite Melbourne’s heavy rain of late, the pitch is set to be in good shape when the blue and whites host cross town rivals Heidelberg United in little over 6 weeks time.
It is shaping as a make or break season for the proud Melbourne club, returning to the VPL after 27 successful years in the NSL, something that the new President is aware of. “It’s a new chapter, and the best part is we get to write it. And we plan to write it as fun, successful and above all positive”.