Saturday, 6 May 2006 2:41 AM
By Michael Tsoukalis
South Melbourne travel to Monterey Reserve looking to build on the momentum established in last week’s triumphant 4-1 win against Bulleen.
With Frankston a game outside the top 6 and South in 6th position, the game serves as an important fixture which for South could lead to consolidating their finals status whilst a win for the Pines would see them apply heavy pressure for a spot in the six.
The game also serves as somewhat of a return for former Frankston players Andreas Oliveira and Antonio Naglieri who along with the suspended Dino Djulbic began the season with the Pines with all three players relocating to Bob Jane Stadium after only 5 games of the current Vodafone Cup campaign.
Naglieri and Oliveira can no doubt expect an icy greeting from the Pines faithful but with both players, especially Oliveira settling in well at South, the Pines will have to be cautious with their approach towards the pair.
Furthermore, with Dino Djulbic suspended after being sent off against Bulleen and Con Blatsis once again succumbing to injury, South find themselves extremely light in defence as courageous left back Rama Tavsancioglu is still serving out a 5 game suspension for his automatic send-off against Richmond.
Thankfully for South, Ivory Coast native Jonas Salley returns from injury and will no doubt take up a defensive role, joining the likes of Tansel Baser and youngsters Sammy DeVito and James Stefanou in forming a somewhat inexperienced defence.
South’s attacking stocks are also bolstered by the return of young winger Vasilios Natsioulas who missed the game against Bulleen after picking up a heavy knock on the leg against Oakleigh.
In the Pines camp, current coach and ex-South player Craig Lewis has departed the club after accepting a transfer to Dubai for work. Lewis will be replaced by Adam Jamieson who will be the Pines third coach of the season once he takes the reigns at the conclusion of Saturday’s match.
Players South must keep a close eye on include ex-South youth player Tas Psonis who is an unpredictable yet highly skilled player who possesses the ability to do something special.
Battering ram forward Nick Waite is also a threat and has proved prolific at Premier League level where his sheer size and aerial ability have seem him score quite consistently. Waite has scored twice this season and will no doubt be looked upon to fire to help ease the departure of Oliveira, who somewhat ironically remains the Pines top scorer this term with 3 goals.