Photo: Takis Mantarakis, Leigh Minopoulos, Michael Mandalis, Nick Epifano, Takis Xanthopoulos
South Melbourne FC is pleased to unveil a new away kit for the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup, coinciding with emerging Australian apparel provider BLK Sport committing to the Club for the next three years as our Official Apparel and Kit Supplier.
SMFC joins the likes of Richmond FC (AFL), Western Bulldogs (AFL), Melbourne Storm (NRL) and Melbourne Rebels (Super Rugby) in wearing the BLK brand in Victoria and will be the marquee football (soccer) club wearing BLK in Victoria.
As part of the extremely lucrative deal, SMFC will also now have custom designed playing gear and merchandise forming a part of its range, as well as a unique online store that will allow SMFC fans from across the globe to purchase gear from 2016 onwards.
As hosts of the Round of 32 FFA Cup tie, our opponents Palm Beach SC will be in their blue home strip and SMFC will wear its original white top with red V, which was the first strip worn in competition by South Melbourne Hellas from 1960 to 1964. For future FFA Cup matches, South will wear a blue BLK shirt similar to its 2015 NPL Victoria shirt. As per our NPL home shirt, Plastamasta Knauf will once again feature on the front as our major sponsor, with MW Lomax and AIS Insurance featuring on the sleeve. Beachcomber Cafe and Bank of Sydney will also once again be on the back of the shirt.
As the heritage shirt was specifically designed to recognise and respect the history and formation of SMFC in 1959, the Club invited legends of that wonderful era in Michael Mandalis (11 Seasons, 5 Championships), Takis Xanthopoulos (5 Seasons, 3 Championships) and Takis Mantarakis (9 Seasons, 4 Championships) to help launch the new shirt. The occasion was very emotional for these legends and they invited current SMFC players Leigh Minopoulos and Nick Epifano to join them in the photo shoot, whilst also providing them with advice for what is going to be an exciting upcoming week back on the national stage.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, Leigh Minopoulos spoke about how much of an honour it was to respect the club in such a way. “I’ve grown up in a South family and have supported the club all of my life, so to have names like Mandalis, Mantarakis and Xanthopoulos who are legends of the club get emotional seeing the shirt worn again means quite a bit to me and I’m sure it means alot to many other South fans too. I can’t wait to wear the shirt next Wednesday night.”
SMFC Marketing Manager George Kouroumalis was excited about the new sponsorship arrangement. “BLK Sport are ready to make their mark on Australian football and as a club we are looking to do the same. We are very pleased that they have chosen our brand, alongside some other large clubs in Australian sport. Following BLK’s sponsorship of our custom designed FFA Cup gear, we cannot wait to get started on some new merchandise ideas for our fans in 2016. This sponsorship opportunity not only saves us a great amount of money per season but also ensures that we have modern and unique gear that is a point of difference from other clubs.”
The match will be shown live on Fox Sports this Wednesday night at 7.30pm, with a documentary on the club also being screened on the same channel from 6.30pm.