Thursday, 7 July 2011 10:53 PM
South Melbourne FC travels to the Kevin Bartlett Reserve this Saturday for the Round 19 fixture against the Richmond Eagles, knowing that a victory against the Eagles will maintain its hold onto third position on the Victorian Premier League ladder. On the other hand, the home side must win the three points on offer to give itself any realistic chance of making the finals.
South goes into this Round 19 fixture in indifferent form. In fact, over the last five matches, South has recorded three wins against the VTC Football, Oakleigh Cannons, and St Albans Saints, while it has recorded two losses to the Bentleigh Greens and cross town rival Melbourne Knights. The coaching staff are hoping for another win this week as the team looks to maintain its top 3 position on the ladder. In positive news, the coaching staff will have most of the playing squad available to choose from. Jesse Krncevic remains suspended, and is expected to return for the fixture against Hume City. Junior Camargo remains sidelined for a further two weeks with an injury sustained in the match against the Oakleigh Cannons.
On a positive note, this fixture represents Fernando De Moraes’ 150th appearance in the South shirt. His career statistics speak volumes for the quality and skill of this great club servant. In his distinguished seventh season at South, he has scored 52 Victorian Premier League goals, 6 goals in the Mirabella Cup, and 1 goal in the RHB Singapore Cup. In 2010, he was awarded the Theo Marmaras Player of the Year Award, along with the FFV Victorian Premier League Gold Medal Player of the Year Award as well. De Moraes was a member of the 2006 Victorian Premier League championship side and was awarded the Jimmy Rooney Player of the Match Award at the Grand Final. In addition, De Moraes has been awarded the SMFC Golden Boot for top goal scorer in the 2006, 2008, and 2010 seasons.
Richmond will no doubt prove difficult opposition on Saturday with the Eagles enjoying two victories in succession thanks to a 2-3 away win over the Bentleigh Greens last Friday night before a 2-0 victory over the Springvale White Eagles the previous week. This has moved Richmond away from the relegation zone and is only two games out of a finals position. Moreover, over the last five matches, Richmond have recorded three wins, one draw and a loss to Green Gully. In the corresponding fixture earlier this year at John Cain Memorial Park, a Carl Recchia goal in the 72nd minute was enough to give South the three points on the day in what was a tight contest.
Saturday’s match at the Kevin Bartlett Reserve kicks off at 3.00pm.