Thursday, 11 April 2013 11:40 PM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC travel to Kingston Heath Soccer Complex this Saturday evening to play the Southern Stars in Round 2 of the Victorian Premier League. Both sides had a positive start to the season last week and will be looking to continue the good form this week. It is the second week of four consecutive away matches for South.
Southern Stars go into this weekend’s match on the back of a solid 0-0 home draw against defending champions Dandenong Thunder. It was an excellent point for Zaya Younan’s side, with Younan celebrating his first point in charge as a coach at Premier League level. Southern Stars have former South players Jason Ricciutti and Rama Tavsancioglu on their list, with the latter captaining South during 2009 and 2010 and to this day remains very popular with South supporters.
South goes into the game on the back of a crushing 0-3 victory away against Green Gully last Saturday. Renco Van Eeken, Tyson Holmes, Rhys Meredith and Alan Kearney all had solid debut games for South, with Van Eeken (or RVE as he is now affectionately known) scoring South’s third goal of the afternoon. South have Dimi Tsiaras available for selection this week after he served the second of his two-match suspension against Gully. Fernando De Moraes is also available after not being selected in the squad last week. Tom Matthews will be missing for another month after breaking his arm in the week leading up to the Green Gully match.
If selected, Andy Vlahos will play his 50th League match with South, including two seasons with the Club in the old National Soccer League. Vlahos first played for South in the 1999/00 NSL season as Ange Postecoglou’s side missed the finals. The following year (2000/01), Vlahos scored 13 goals as South finished as Minor Premiers before losing 2-1 against Wollongong Wolves in the Grand Final. After a decade, Vlahos returned to South last season and contributed with two goals from nine appearances. In total he has represented the Club in 49 League games and scored 17 goals.
The corresponding fixture between the two sides last season (Saturday 28 July 2012) was arguably the biggest highlight of South’s season. Southern Stars twice took the lead against the run of play through Nick Harrhy, before two South goals in injury time won the three points for the away side. Steve Burton equalised in the 91st minute with a nice strike before youngsters Andrew Cartanos (on debut) and Phil Petreski linked up on the left to cross the ball for Nick Jacobs to head home the winning goal in the 94th minute.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 6:00PM at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
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