South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Melbourne v Frankston Pines – Match Preview

South Melbourne v Frankston Pines – Match Preview

Friday, 3 June 2005 12:44 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

South commence a consecutive streak of three home games this Sunday when the Frankston Pines make the trek to Albert Park to take on John Anastasiadis’s men.

Frankston are in a massive form slump having not scored a win since their 2-3 Round 9 triumph against the Sunshine Georgies.

The Pines were dealt a further body blow in the past fortnight when experienced coach Stan Webster decided to leave the club to take up the coaching post at State League 1 side Richmond. Webster was responsible for guiding the Pines to a surprise Grand final appearance 2 seasons ago and will be hard to replace.

Conversely, even though South Melbourne have gone undefeated in their past 4 encounters, their last two displays against Heidelberg and St. Albans have been quite scrappy with the Lakesiders extremely fortunate to come away from both games with a point.

Dean Anastasiadis is back in goals for South after a personal engagement prevented him from lining up against St. Albans. Anastasiadis has been superb all year playing a massive role in South continuing to have the best defence in the league.

Exciting young winger Vasilios Natsioulas is rated a decent chance of at least making the substitutes bench this week after nursing a bout of glandula fever. Fellow youngster Steven O’Dor who ironically has also been dealing with the same bug returned to U21 action last week putting himself back in the mix for a call-up as well.

Defensively, question marks still remain over the fitness of colossal centre-back Con Blatsis who has missed the past 2 games with a calf injury. The central pairing of Blatsis and Arthur Tsonis is perhaps the most intimidating in the league with South looking a far shakier prospect when these two don’t start together.

That said, young defender Sammy DeVito has been superb in his 4 senior matches to-date, showing a level of maturity beyond his years and experience.

What line-up coach Anastasiadis plays will be of interest as against St. Albans Ryan Dinse started on the bench with youngster Evan Karavitis getting a recall and Scot MacNicol pushed wide on the right. Karavitis had a decent game and it’ll be a matter of whether or not Coach Anastasiadis looks to a more attacking formation by bringing MacNicol back into the centre of the park and playing Dinse out wide.

What is certain is that the three points are vital to both sides, with South on the tails of both Heidelberg and Green Gully whilst Frankston sails somewhat uncomfortably near the relegation zone.

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