South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Melbourne FC vs Moreland Zebras Match Preview

South Melbourne FC vs Moreland Zebras Match Preview

Sunday, 25 March 2012 1:56 AM

By John Kyrou

South Melbourne FC kicks off its 2012 Victorian Premier League season by hosting newly promoted Moreland Zebras on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium.

South enters the new season with high expectations following the signing of several talented players over the summer, as well as the fact that the team is now based back at its Lakeside Stadium home after a two year absence. New coach Peter Tsolakis, a former champion of the Club as a player in the late 80s and early 90s, has signed a balanced squad that contains many experienced Victorian Premier League players as well as several up-and-coming youngsters, including players promoted from the Club’s youth system. The new signings that many of the supporters will be most keen to see will be Trent Rixon and the brothers Glen and Jason Trifiro, as well as Joe Keenan, who missed all of 2011 following an excellent 2010 season with South.

Moreland Zebras (formerly known as Whittlesea Zebras) arrive at Lakeside Stadium as State League One Champions, after winning the State League One division on a dramatic final day. The Zebras are new to the Victorian Premier League this season but have been in the division as recently as 2009, when they were relegated along with Preston Lions. South and the Zebras last met in League competition on 28 June of that season, when a Goran Zoric double (63′, 72′) and goals to Vaughan Coveny (03′) and Fernando De Moraes (35′) gave South an easy 4-0 victory at Lakeside Stadium. The home side would no doubt love to have another score like that come Sunday.

A few familiar faces will return to play against South on the weekend, with Carl Recchia and Daniel Vasilevski two of the Zebras’ key summer signings after transferring from South at the end of last season. Former South players Danny Radojicic and Steven Weir may also make an appearance against the Blues on Sunday. Despite being disappointed at Recchia and Vasilevski’s departures, Tsolakis and the coaching staff are no doubt comfortable that they have signed other players capable of replacing them in 2012.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 17:00 on Sunday afternoon. South members are reminded that they can pick up their memberships on the day from the membership tent at Gate 2 (traditional entrance).

South Melbourne FC Squad 2012

01: Peter Gavalas (signed from Bentleigh Greens)
02: Tom Matthews
03: Rhodri Payne
04: Steven O’Dor
06: Dimitri Tsiaris (signed from Richmond Eagles)
07: Joe Keenan
08: Dimitri Hatzimouratis (signed from Alki Larnaca, Cyprus)
09: Trent Rixon (signed from Northcote City)
10: Glen Trifiro (signed from Northcote City)
11: Bradley Norton (signed from Adelaide United)
13: Luke Byles (signed from Heidelberg United)
15: Fernando De Moraes
16: Christian Skok (promoted from youth team)
17: Matko Budimir (promoted from youth team)
18: Marinos Gasparis
19: Gianni De Nittis (signed from Northcote City)
21: Jason Saldaris (signed from Perth SC)
23: Jason Trifiro (signed from Northcote City)
24: Nick Jacobs
25: Kyle Joryeff

Coach: Peter Tsolakis
Assistant Coach: Joe Montemurro
Team Manager: Frank Piccione

Departures at the end of 2011:

Josh Colosimo (Springvale White Eagles)
Abdelhadi Deroune (released)
Daniel Dragicevic (Oakleigh Cannons)
Yanni Galanos (Southern Stars)
Jesse Krncevic (Oakleigh Cannons)
Sebastian Petrovic (Heidelberg United)
Carl Recchia (Moreland Zebras)
Steven Topalovic (Richmond Eagles)
Brad Treloar (released)
Jake Vandermey (Pascoe Vale)
Daniel Vasilevski (Moreland Zebras)
Trent Waterson (Sunshine George Cross)
Steven Weir (Moreland Zebras)
Zaim Zeneli (Dandenong Thunder)

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