South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Match Preview: SMFC v Heidelberg United

Match Preview: SMFC v Heidelberg United

Thursday, 5 March 2009 12:05 PM

By John Kyrou

In a match being billed as the ‘Heritage Clash’, South Melbourne FC will be looking to win its first points in the 2009 Victorian Premier League season when it meets Heidelberg United at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday evening. The match holds enormous significance for South, being a huge derby fixture that the lakeside club desperately needs three points from in order to kick-start its 50th year into gear.

Despite a dominant pre-season campaign which saw the club win every match on route to a third Hellenic Cup triumph (including beating Heidelberg United 3-0 in the final), South could not continue the good form in the opening round of the new season, losing 0-1 at home against the Dandenong Thunder. As a result, the importance of a good result in the Heidelberg United fixture has increased.

Beating Heidelberg United so convincingly in the Hellenic Cup final two weeks ago will help the South players heading into Sunday’s match, although psychologically the Bergers will be up for the occasion, having had the upper hand against South since both teams re-commenced their rivalry in the Victorian Premier League in 2005. In the nine VPL encounters since, there have been three draws, with South winning twice and the Bergers prevailing four times, including the last three occasions (3-0 at the Olympic Village in 2007 and 2-1 both home & away in 2008).

Over the years, this derby has seen some fantastic battles in front of massive crowds appropriate for such a fixture. Fittingly, Heidelberg (or Fitzroy Alexander as they were known in the early period of their history), were the first ever opponents of the newly-formed South Melbourne Hellas team in 1960. South lost the friendly match 3-2 but would then go on to dominate the Bergers in the 1960s. One of the most memorable wins for South against the Bergers in that decade was a 7-3 win at Middle Park in the league in 1967, with Boulis Kambouropoulos, Ulysses Kokkinos and Leo Damianakos all netting doubles, with Jim Pyrgolios scoring the other goal. Another memorable win was the 7-1 triumph over Heidelberg United in the Quarter Final of the Docherty Cup in 1970, with Geoff Gould netting a hat trick, Ernie Ackerley a double and Jimmy Armstrong and Ian Marshall chipping in with one goal each.

While South dominated League and Cup meetings between the two sides throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, it was a much different story in the late 1970s and early 1980s once the National Soccer League commenced. Heidelberg could not stop beating South in the NSL and NSL Cup until South stopped the rot in the 1984 season. The blue & whites opened the season with a 2-0 win over Heidelberg at Middle Park (Oscar Crino and John Yzendoorn the scorers), recorded another win by the same score in round 14 at the Olympic Village (Kenny Murphy and Crino the scorers) and won by the same scoreline again in round 27 at Middle Park (Carl Halford and Doug Brown the scorers). South completed a clean sweep of the Bergers that season with a famous come-from-behind 4-2 victory in the Southern Division Grand Final (Crino with a double, Alan Davidson and Yzendoorn with the other goals) before beating Sydney Olympic to win its first NSL championship.

Although both clubs are not in the elite competition any longer, the burning desire to win the derby for bragging rights still remains strong in the minds of the players and supporters alike. After all, South has been competing against Heidelberg on and off for 50 years. The fact that both clubs lost their opening games last weekend will add even more spice to the contest, in a match that both clubs need to win.

Sunday’s match will be the 68th league derby between South and Heidelberg (both in the Victorian Premier League and the National Soccer League). Overall South has bragging rights, with 35 wins compared to Heidelberg’s 16 wins. There have also been 16 draws. However the Bergers have won the last three derbies. History has shown that there are usually goals in these games, with only six goalless draws in the 67 contests thus far.

The match kicks off at 6pm on the 8th of March at Bob Jane Stadium. All South supporters are strongly encouraged to attend to not only help gain South’s first points for 2009, but to continue on the tradition of this grand derby that has been fought out for the best part of 50 years.


South Melbourne vs. Heidelberg United – An Overview

First VPL match:
Round 2, 1964
South Melbourne 2-1 Heidelberg United
(SMFC Goals: George Papadopoulos x2)
Venue: Middle Park

First NSL match:
Round 2, 1977
South Melbourne 1-1 Heidelberg United
(SMFC Goal: Duncan Cummings)
Venue: Middle Park

Last NSL match:
Round 15, 1994/95
Heidelberg United 1-3 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goals: Con Boutsianis x2, Paul Trimboli)
Venue: Olympic Village

Last VPL match:
Round 14, 2008
South Melbourne 1-2 Heidelberg United
(SMFC Goal: Sam Poutakidis)
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium

Total Games (League): 67
South Melbourne Wins: 35
Heidelberg United Wins: 16
Draws: 16

Highest Aggregate Score:
Round 2, 1967 VPL
South Melbourne 7-3 Heidelberg United
(SMFC Goals: Boulis Kambouropoulos x2, Ulysses Kokkinos x2, Leo Damianakos x2, Jim Pyrgolios)
Venue: Middle Park

SMFC Biggest Win:
Round 7, 1991/92 NSL
South Melbourne 5-0 Heidelberg United
(SMFC Goals: Con Boutsianis x2, Mike Petersen, Paul Trimboli, Kimon Taliadoros)
Venue: Middle Park

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