Friday, 4 June 2010 12:46 PM
By John Kyrou
It is back to reality this weekend as South Melbourne FC returns to Victorian Premier League action for the first time in three weeks by entering into a derby against sister club Northcote City at John Cain Memorial Park. Three points is crucial for South as it could potentially see the side climb back into the top five with two catch-up games still to play as well.
South enters the game in excellent form having won its last two games. South beat Sunshine George Cross 3-1 before traveling to Singapore and defeating Gombak United 2-1 in their RHB Singapore Cup first round match. The challenge this week for the coaching staff in Vaughan Coveny and Joe Montemurro has been to ensure that the players quickly re-adjust from Singapore’s humidity to Melbourne’s winter conditions in order to be ready for Sunday’s match.
Kyle Joryeff and Hamid Basma both made their South debuts in Singapore and both players will be pressing for selection this Sunday in order to make their League debuts for the club. These signings have given the coaching staff more headaches, firstly because both players impressed in Singapore and secondly because two of the club’s best players in Fernando De Moraes and Joe Keenan did not even travel to Singapore and are therefore fresh and rested.
Northcote has proven this season that they will not be easy to beat, having held South to a 3-3 draw in round three and being 3-1 up during the match. Northcote currently sit in sixth position on the ladder, one point ahead of a South side that has two games in hand. Northcote coach Peter Tsolakis (a former championship player with South) said over summer that he would keep faith in the players that got his side promoted and thus far his squad has proven that they are more than capable of not only staying in the VPL but possibly even being finalists. Undoubtedly the player to watch out for is captain Trent Rixon, who is equal leading goal scorer in the VPL this season and who scored twice against South in round three.
The match kicks off at 3pm on Sunday at John Cain Memorial Park in Northcote. The match is a South Melbourne FC home game despite the fact that the game is being played at Northcote City’s home ground, therefore South Melbourne FC members and sponsors are entitled to the usual privileges that they enjoy at home matches.