South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Sunshine Georgies v South Melbourne FC – Match Preview

Sunshine Georgies v South Melbourne FC – Match Preview

Friday, 24 March 2006 10:22 PM

By Michael Tsoukalis

After a week hiatus due to the Commonwealth games making Bob Jane Stadium unavailable, South Melbourne return to Vodafone Cup action against a Sunshine Georgies outfit in desperate need of 3 points.

The Georgies have recorded only one win in their opening six encounters and find themselves in the relegation zone on a meager three points.

Adding further intrigue to the encounter is the appointment of former South youth coach Joe Montemurro as the new head coach of the Georgies. Montemurro replaces Chris Taylor who paid dearly for Sunshine’s poor start to the season.

In the Georgies camp, midfielder Tony Neceski is an experienced campaigner with the ability to score goals. Neceski has netted three times so far this season with his contribution having to be well managed if South is to take control of the midfield battle.

In goalkeeper Martin John the Georgies posses one of the league’s best shot-stoppers. John has had vast experienced playing at the highest level in the NSL and provides an intimidating final barrier.

Defensively, Colin Azzopardi brings some much needed experience with youngster Emanuel Muscat given the Captain’s armband after barely a season under his belt at Premier League level.

The Georgies have also added two British players to their ranks in recent times. The first, Fidel Richards, has moved from Heidelberg after spending last season at Richmond. Richards was on the bench when South played the Bergers in the opening round of the season. The second acquisition is a 21-year old English striker by the name of Mark Draycott. Draycott has played second division football in the U.S. and represented the Republic of Ireland at Under 15 level. He possesses a tallish frame and will provide the Georgies with a target man up front.

Conversely, coming off a week’s break South will be looking for the three points to cement their spot in the top 6. John Anastasiadis’s men were particularly impressive in the first 20 minutes against Essendon but lost their way after conceding against the run of play. Anastasiadis will be looking for a consistent performance throughout the entire 90 minutes.

On the injury front, midfielder George Tzirtis may miss after coming off against Essendon with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. His and the long-term injury of Con Blatsis aside, coach Anastasiadis has a near full list of players to choose from with his brother and veteran custodian Dean Anastasiadis expected to return after resting his arm injury over the past two weeks.

South’s major concern remains its ability to score goals. With only 6 goals in 5 games, the same problem that plagued the team last season has resurfaced this campaign. However, with captain Vaughn Coveny back from his A-League stint, it is hoped that the Kiwi marksman can form a good understanding with strike partner Kevin Nelson and bring the much needed goal supply to Lakeside.

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