Tuesday, 1 March 2011 12:34 PM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC’s Victorian Premier League season continues on Wednesday night when the team faces the Victorian Training Centre (VTC) at Port Melbourne’s SS Anderson Reserve at 8.30pm.
All Victorian Premier League sides played two mid-week matches against the VTC last season but the matches were effectively friendlies, with no competition points played for. However in 2011, all matches against the VTC are being played for competition points – as a result there are 24 Victorian Premier League fixtures this season, as the VTC is effectively a 13th team in the Victorian Premier League despite the fact they cannot participate in the finals series or be relegated.
South will go into Wednesday night keen on winning a second consecutive match following the thrilling 6-4 win away at Springvale White Eagles last Friday night. With difficult matches in the coming weeks, it is essential that South picks up as many points as possible early in the campaign, with the VTC match being no exception. One thing Eddie Krncevic’s side needs to fix up is its defensive problems, with five goals being conceded in two matches, including four against the White Eagles. With Jesse Krncevic on fire at the other end of the field (3 goals in two Victorian Premier League matches) and with Fernando De Moraes, Kamal Ibrahim, Kliment Taseski and Carl Recchia all scoring already this season, the coaching staff will be expecting that good form to continue.
De Moraes limped off with what looked to be a nasty ankle injury against Springvale, however the early signs are that the midfielder is recovering well and may even be able to line up against the VTC on Wednesday night. Otherwise it is expected that he will be back in the match against Bentleigh on Sunday afternoon. South fans will be hoping that De Moraes is back as soon as possible, as he currently sits on 49 Victorian Premier League goals for the Club and will be hoping to become only the eighth player in the Club’s history to score 50 League goals. Daniel Vasilevski will also be hoping to play in the coming few games, following his injury against Heidelberg in the recent Hellenic Cup final.
The VTC has experienced a mixed start to its 2011 season, with a 4-1 thumping of Springvale followed by a 1-0 loss against Bentleigh. It is expected that the VTC will be an extremely quick side due to the large amount of youth players in their team, and the 4-1 result against Springvale has proven that they are more than capable of scoring and winning against Victorian Premier League teams. South’s defence will need to be as alert as ever in order to put a stop to the amount of goals conceded in the opening two weekends of the new season. One player South will know about is former Under 21’s player Jason Riccuiti, who made five substitute appearances for Vaughan Coveny’s side last season. Another former South junior in Damir Lokvancic will also most likely feature for the VTC.
Wednesday night’s match kicks off at 8.30pm at SS Anderson Reserve in Port Melbourne. The match is a home game for South Melbourne FC and as a result all 2011 South Melbourne FC members will be entitled to free admission into the venue. The Club encourages all supporters to attend the match and lend their support to the team as it strives for back-to-back Victorian Premier League wins.