Friday, 1 June 2012 11:38 AM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC hosts Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium for the first time on Sunday afternoon in what will no doubt be an exciting match. A win for South will see it keep in touch with the top five whilst three points for Northcote will see it further consolidate its position in the top five.
South goes into Sunday’s match with injury clouds still surrounding centre-halves Luke Byles and captain Steven O’Dor. Byles is recovering from a broken thumb and O’Dor is still nursing a calf injury sustained against Hume City on 11 May. Also most likely to miss again will be Fernando De Moraes, who returns to Melbourne today having represented Australia in the AFC Futsal Championships in the UAE, with the Australians making the semi finals and qualifying for the World Championships in Thailand in November. Despite missing all three players last week, South gallantly fought out a 1-1 draw against League leaders Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve and will be confident in backing that up with a good performance against Northcote this Sunday.
The visitors will not be an easy side to defeat, as they showed last season by smashing South 5-0 at John Cain Memorial Park before both sides played out a highly entertaining 3-3 at Anderson Reserve in the final round of the season, a game in which South qualified for the finals series at Northcote’s expense. The match also has added spice considering the defections of coach Peter Tsolakis, Trent Rixon, Gianni De Nittis and the Trifiro brothers to Lakeside over the summer as well as Bradley Norton’s status as a former Northcote player as well.
Representing Northcote on Sunday will be former South boys James Stefanou and Brad Treloar. Northcote have done an exceptional job since joining the VPL in 2010, qualifying for the finals series that season before winning the Mirabella Cup in 2011. Currently they are fifth on the table thanks to a 2-0 home win against Heidelberg United last Sunday. Without a doubt one of the players to watch out for on Sunday will be James Kalifatidis, who has scored four goals in 7 League games for Northcote this season. Northcote will take great confidence into the game as they have not lost against South in four League meetings.
The match kicks off at 5:00PM at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. South fans are encouraged to attend and support their side as they seek to defeat Northcote for the first time in the VPL.