Thursday, 19 April 2007 1:23 PM
By Michael Tsoukalis
South Melbourne returns to on-field action this Sunday when John Anastasiadis’s men make the trip to C.B Smith Reserve to take on the Luciano Trani-coached Fawkner Blues.
Both sides are in desperate need of a win to put them back into top-six contention after Fawkner’s consecutive three-game run without a win and with South Melbourne not playing last week, the Albert Park-based club will be looking for its third away win of the season to propel it back into top-six.
Under Trani the Blues have improved this season and contain in their lineup some high quality players at both Premier League and National League level.
David Pilic and Mark Tsiorlas are major attacking threats that South must contain if it is to leave Jukes Road with a positive result. Pilic has netted four times this season with Tsiorlas yet to find his rhythm of past seasons managing only one to date.
Carl Recchia and Ricky Chillico are quality players in the centre of the park who have performed consistently at Premier League level for the past 3-4 seasons. Recchia in particular has the ability to open up a game with his shooting ability and will have to be closely watched by South.
In goals the Blues possess one of the leagues’ most experienced and proven goalkeepers in Steven Tilovski, Tilovski has been consistently good for Fawkner over the last few years and instills a lot of confidence in his defence.
In the South camp, Coach Anastasiadis will no doubt be expecting a big performance from his squad, especially after not playing last week. Anastasiadis has the majority of his squad to call from minus Tansel Baser who is nearing the end of his suspension, Con Blatsis who continues recovering from his injury and of course Dean Anastasiadis who has been ruled out for the season.
With new Recruits Ricky Diaco and Trent Waterson in superb form and the return from injury of young winger Vasilios Natsioulas South go into Sunday’s encounter bristling with confidence after their last match, against the table-leading Oakleigh Cannons, saw the Albert Park-based club unlucky not to escape Jack Edwards Reserve with all three points.
It will be interesting to see what formation Coach Anastasiadis elects with players like Arthur Tsonis, Giannis De Nittis, Nicholas Curtis and Yusuf Yusuf all on the fringe of first eleven selection and all pushing very hard to be included from the start.