South sign exciting trio
Wednesday, 4 July 2012 4:20 PM
South Melbourne FC is delighted to announce the signings of Steve Burton, Andy Vlahos and Shaun Kelly as part of its mid season transfer acquisitions.
Steve Burton is an English footballer who has played the majority of his football as a striker in the Conference tier of English football, with stints at Ipswich Town, Doncaster Rovers, Boston United, Crawley Town, Harrogate Town and Scarborough Football Clubs. One of Burton’s strengths, apart from his goal-scoring prowess, is his ability to hold the ball up well to bring other players into game, as well as being quite strong in the air. In February 2011, Burton signed for Western Australian side Balcatta SC, and was an instant hit by scoring a hat trick on debut in their 5-1 win at Bayswater City SC. The Englishman has made a huge impact in his first season in WA football, scoring 12 times to help Balcatta SC clinch the League title and be voted WA Player of the Year. His scoring record did not go unnoticed, as he was watched closely by Perth Glory and played in a couple of games in their 2011 pre-season.
Shaun Kelly joins South Melbourne FC from Shepparton United, where he has played in 2012. The 23 year old Liverpool born Kelly is an established defensive option, spending a large chunk of his senior career with English club Chester City. Kelly also has the ability to play in the midfield, where his toughness and ability to win the ball are the highlights to his game. In 2012 he caught the eye of the South Melbourne football department whilst playing for Shepparton United, where in his eight matches to date has been nothing short of exceptional by leading the defensive line for them as well as managing to sneak forward and score four goals of his own.
Andy Vlahos returns to South Melbourne FC for his second stint at the Club, after being part of 2000/01 National Soccer League squad. That year saw Vlahos make 39 appearances for 15 goals. The much-travelled footballer, who plays as either a winger or striker, commenced his football career at Heidelberg United in 1994, with stints at both the Collingwood Warriors and Carlton Soccer Club. In 1998, he made the move to European football by signing with Greek outfit Panathinaikos FC. His stay at the Greens was short lived, as he only made two appearances and subsequently moved to Agios Nikolaos FC in the lower divisions of Greek football. He returned to Australia to sign with South and played in the side coached by Mike Petersen that finished as Minor Premiers but lost 2-1 against the Wollongong Wolves in the Grand Final at Parramatta Stadium. Vlahos followed Petersen to the Football Kingz before returning to Europe for a second time, this time playing for Belgian outfit Cercle Brugge. He has remained active by furthering his football career at both Hume City and Heidelberg United as player/coach. In a career spanning 18 years, Vlahos has made 335 appearances for 76 goals in total.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, SMFC General Manager Peter Kokotis was quite excited about the new attacking options and said that “we are very excited about these three individuals joining the Club. Andy’s record at local level speaks for itself and alongside Steve Burton, we have added some depth to an attacking area that has been a problem for us so far in 2012. Shaun Kelly is a wonderful prospect and will help the club immensely throughout defence and at times within the midfield.”
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