“It’s against my religion to be here.” – Fingers (a former Macedonian, now Bulgarian) attending the Northcote City (Greek club) vs South Melbourne Hellas (another Greek club)
The second post. This is quite the milestone. I’ve outposted Kip Riptide’s blog.
Before I delve into last weekend’s battle of the souvlakis, I thought I might go on about my relationship with the Greeks. I spent five years at a greek high school. Now this wouldn’t be unusual, unless you were not greek and had a bit of the rice paper roll genes. It’s strange being bought up in this environment, as I did not speak a word of the language, didn’t quite buy into euro techno, couldn’t fill out a bonds t-shirt or was not a V8 lover. But I did manage to get greek accent, score a greek chick in my final year of high school and learn the greek national anthem.
Obviously, the number one sport at our school was football. We did try to attempt to play other sports. When we played AFL in a high school competition, our average losing margin in the three games was close to 120 points. We did manage to kick one goal, which caused grand final like celebrations from our team. Our problem with the game, is that had we tendency not to pick up the football and try to kick off the ground as much as we could, which kind of defeats the purpose of the game. We also participated in a cricket competition. The sight of seeing some of our players kick the cricket ball (I do not recommend this, despite this being common practice by cricketers in the sub-continent) at the stumps rather than picking it up and throwing it was quite horrific.
So we only got serious when we played the round ball. Although we didn’t win much, we didn’t look like duds. Our most memorable match was against a rival greek school. I think it would be the only time we were all on the same page (there was not a whole lot of lasting friendships coming out of this class) and enjoying each others company. We drew the game, but we could have won it, if it wasn’t for my poor finishing (as one greek student said to me after the game, “You stupid kinesos”).
On to the game…
Saturday, 13th March 2008 at John Cain Reserve
I headed towards Northcote with Mr and Mrs Ego. The last time I was at John Cain, was when Melbourne Victory smacked five goals against the Victorian Premier League All-Stars (Allsopp kicked his first goal for the club after a million poor attempts beforehand). As I entered into the ground, I was confronted by raffle tickets sellers. On offer was apparently $2,000 worth of cosmetics and perfume (sorry ladies, but I find that hard to believe its worth that much). One seller said I had great hair, fortunately I have a good sense when people are talking shit. I went straight for the food and beer stall. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of food and beer options (I had a hot dog in my mind all morning), but the tasty lamb souvlaki made up for the lack of variety.
Not surprisingly, the crowd had a greek flavour to it. The game was one-all with South Melbourne dominating play. The ground was in superb condition, so there was no excuse for bad touches and passes. Hellas was causing havoc on the left wing, and would have been annoyed with lack of finishing up front. With ten minutes to go in the first half, shoddy defending by South Melbourne allowed a City striker (the artist formally known as the Impotent Striker) to catch on to a long ball and finish truly. Five minutes later, they showed the replay of the goal, except it wasn’t a replay, the same City striker scored again with the long ball. It’s a shame the manager can’t stone his defenders at half time (note to self, when I take over the Victorian Premier League, allow managers to stone players).
Fingers arrives at half time with beers. He is clearly feeling uncomfortable being at a greek game. The second half begins, and it’s Northcote who begins well. They go close extending the lead, but the defending from Hellas has tighten up. The game changes when South Melbourne scores (former Victory player, Daniel Vasilevski). The boys from Hellas go off in the stands (“Northcote City Fuck Off”), and now its game on. With ten minutes to go, Vasilevski scores the equalizer with City now hanging onto dear life. You can sense the lack of any forward movement from City, and deep into injury time, Hellas blows a chance to win the game. The whistle blows, and it’s a draw. Overall, an entertaining game from the Greeks.
Notable attendees – A midget wearing a Northcote City jersey
Number of Hot Dogs consumed – 1
Number of Beers consumed – 5
Number of Souvlakis consumed – 1
Number of food poisonings – 0