Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Where do I even begin?

Where do I even begin? A fair bit has happened in the past few weeks and I was beginning to think it might be the end of the blog. (Un)fortunately thought I'm at home with then cold/flu which has given me some much needed free time. The last few weeks have been absolute chaos in terms of getting as many things as I need done before heading overseas in a couple of weeks.

Had I been doing this blog over 10 years ago, I wouldn't have gone more than a few days wihout writing something about the 'Melbourne Derby' let alone a few weeks. For some reason on my way to the match I was thinking about how different the fixture has become. What was once the date I would look for immediately every year when the fixtures were released. What was once something I would countdown to for weeks, is now something I look forward to after work that day. Gone are the days of thousands of people coming close to filling a stadium and creating a pulsating atmosphere. It has now sadly become nothing more than any other game. A great crowd now is anywhere near 1000+ which was once an average crowd against Green Gully or Altona Magic. I have shown such little interest in the ocassion this year that I haven't even bothered to check our rival blog to see what they have been saying about us.
As far as the match itself went, you couldnt asking for much more (other than the three points). If you were wanting to put your case forward about the club to anyone this was the match to do it. The crowd was good, the weather was fine, there were plenty of goals and not a sign of any violence which Melbourne Victory has been plaguing the league with in recent times (without any form of sanction it would seem). 
An early lead was as good as it was going to get for us. While a comment about us probably going on tok lose 3 - 1 may not have been correct, it was at least pointing  in the right direction. There have definitely been easier losses to swallow than this one, but I don't think we can really fault the boys all that much. We are a very young side with injuries shuffling around our 11 weel to week, against a side who has the luxury of splashing the cash on quality players every year (at least until the government funding runs out). 
Jason Hicks may not have done what I was hoping he would do, but he did enough to impress one older Knights fan who went on to claim he is our best player since the NSL, could play anywhere in the world apart from the EPL and that we should send him to Hajduk Split. And we always have the return leg for him to make things right. 

Our loss to Avondale hurt me a lot more than the one against South did. I'll even go as far as saying that it is worse than our second round loss to Heidelberg. 
Our last Friday night match at home, which I don't agree with for a number of reasons. Mainly because I just prefer Friday nights. And I think the majority of our fans who aren't in or approaching retirement would agree. But also I don't buy the arguement that it's too cold in winter, Sunday afternoons in then middle of winter are bloody cold and if you can bare them you can bare Friday nights. And a lot of people just don't want to go on a Sunday afternoon. I'll go no matter when we play, but Sunday afternoon I believe is the worst time lot and is probably the day I would miss most games due to other commitments. People with young kids who are out at 8am for juniors football don't want to hang around until 5pm. Nor do people want to hang around for a drink as is evident by the place being a ghost town by 6pm. Nothing beats a few drinks before the game after work on a Friday, followed by more of the same until 1, 2 or even 3am on some occasions this season. 
Anyway the only thing lacking from our first half performance was another three or four goals. We definitely created the chances but failed to take them. What happened at the break still remains a mystery to me and how two teams can come out the complete opposite the way they did that night just doesn't add up. I initally jumped to the conclusion that our season was over, until common sense prevailed and I realised it was only just the half way mark.

Our last fixture was far more pleasant than the two prior.  My first time back to CB Smith since we donned the ol' camouflage jersey. The place sure has changed a bit with the old stand being knocked down and rebuilt on an adjacent pitch. Nice little set up and decent stand, just a shame there was no foresight with some genius placing three light towers between the playing arena and the stand blocking a fair bit of the view from numerous spots. Another match where our 11 had to be reshuffled due to injuries and suspensions but the boys definitely proved they have what it takes. I felt that they dominated throughout the match and the result never really looked in doubt, even after heading into the rooms the exact same way we did the week before. 
Jason Hicks took another step closer to anywhere else in the world after the break with a well taken goal on his weaker right foot. The magic man together with Stipo Andrijasevic were unstoppable with both finding the back of the net after assisting each other. But I think the man in yellow may have beat them both for man of the match after showing two Pascoe Vale players red. I really do think that he listened to me when I told him he still owes us three red cards against them.
The win put us back into contention for finals just a week after the season was prematurely labelled over. But even though the boys have shown they have what it takes to put away the teams below us, it seems we may need to have a bit of activity in the window if we are to be able to take on the few at the top.

And finally tonight our much anticipated FFA Cup clash against our Croatian brothers Dandenong City. Win and were probably cunts, but lose and they will all laugh. I learnt from our last cup match that if you are 50/50 about going to a match, go as you will never no what you may miss out on. But if there is one thing that can stop me from going to a game, it's man flu.

*Please note this is a rush job, affected by sickness and medication. Therefor there are no images and more than likely a handful of mistakes with a lot of bad writing.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Victory

'an act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition.'

Kind of weird to have that name when you lose isn't it? 

I was very close to not attending this match. It was one of those worst possible time situations where I had more than enough things to do/places to be at the exact same time. But after weighing things up I don't think I really had a choice. Being so busy I naturally turned up about five minutes late. I do hate being late, but when it's due to my own actions and there is legitimate reason behind it then I am ok with it. I must admit it also felt a little sweet to get some revenge on the person that made us late to Richmond.

As mentioned prior to the match, there were separate entrances for home and away supporters. What they failed to mention about who went to the left and was where they were looking from? Is it to the left walking in or to the left from the other side of the pitch? As far as I could remember it was the opposite of what I would have expected. And in the end probably pointless as Victory officials didn't allow their active supporters inside the venue anyway.

Going into the match I was expecting a 1-1 draw. But quickly changed my mind to a certain win when I found out we pretty much had a full strength squad available. And just our luck that it only stayed that way for half an hour or so, after Ben Surey came off second best in a 50/50 challenge hurting his knee. Still haven't heard anything as yet but I would hope it's not too serious as at his age and with a fair amount of time already spent on the sidelines through injury in the last few years, a serious injury wouldn't leave much hope of seeing him return at the top of his game.

Nikola Jurkovic did well to replace him in what I believe was his best performance for us so far. I also didn't mind see him getting in former player Anthony Duzels face after we got the winner.

Was somewhat surprised that Victory Youth were on top of us in the opening stages. Not sure if they were good, or we were shit, or there plan was to just try and hit us early and hope for the best. Kind of made for boring viewing until we started to lift our game. Luckily for us there was a group of around 30 or so 'Victory Youth' fans who seemed to look like they couldn't really give a shit about the result and was probably the last reason that they turned up.

No matter how scrappy our opening goal was, it was a great one. Even though were playing the Victory Youth side it was still beautiful to put one past them and take the lead. I thought we would have put a few more post them as by that stage we were well and truly on top of them, but it just wasn't to be. The half time break came but not before a few vocal exchanges between supporter groups. The highlight having to be a handful of them singing something along the lines of Ustase Pickice or some other form of bad grammar. I don't think anyone could help but laugh and applaud them. And more an embarrassment than a highlight was them not only ripping off BBB with their 'If you want to stay alive go home gypsies' chant but the broken English accents they tried putting on while singing it. I understand that when you are a part of something like that you have your ultra goggles on and struggle to see how ridiculous you look. Take for example the 'there is only one team in Melbourne chant'. Well no, clearly there are hundreds of teams in Melbourne. Most of them in existence well before yours. But if you had to pick one team going by name, wouldn't you naturally go with Melbourne CITY?

The second half saw former South man Vaughan Coveny make two early subs allowing Victory Youth step it up a level and get on top of us. An equaliser followed with the goal scorer getting a bit smart with Knights fans. A little disrespectful just like his clubs supporters who repeatedly insisted we make our way home for the sake of our lives. I must commend the members of VicPol who were there guarding them as they braved the threats and stood their ground for the full 90 minutes. Seriously though, why wouldn't you just move them on? 
The return of Robbie Zadworny was a very welcome one, with the winger having a few darting runs down the line before his lengthy downtime caught up with him.

For the second time in only a few days, we got another win that dreams are made of when (WHO ELSE BUT) Jason Hicks belted the ball right under the keeper into the back of the net. I don't think a description of the celebratory scenes will be necessary as it's exactly as you would imagine it to be, with not only MCF but most Knights fans in good voice.
Like it always seems the case is with us when we are winning, too many minutes of stoppage time are added. But not enough to further alter the scoreline. The match was over and Victory was ours.

After the conclusion of the match I was stopped by security at the gate who informed me that VicPol had ordered them to keep Knights fans behind for a little while. Kind of stupid if you ask me, and probably now proven to be a dumb idea after what transpired. If you have a group of 30 looking for trouble, isn't it smarter and easier to contain them for a further 15-30 minutes allowing all other fans to leave, rather than allow them to 'leave' and then lead innocent bystanders into a planned ambush? For those that don't know what happened in the car park you're not going to hear it here, I'm sure there are plenty of other places/people you can here it from. But from what I have heard, Melbourne boys are still #1. 

The FFA Cup draw took place today and saw us drawn at home to fellow Croatian club Dandenong City. It would be expected that we would progress to the qualifying match for the FFA Cup proper, but I'll just be looking forward to a great night in the Croatian Community. 

And finally the big one has come. The original Melbourne Derby. We take on South Melbourne at home this Friday with all females gaining free entry for mothers days. I have nothing else to say about this match other than, Jason Hicks, it's your time to shine!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Magic of the Cup

What a difference five days can make. I was going to touch on our FFA Cup fixture a little in the next post after this Saturdays NPL game, but it definitely needs its own one now.

Absolutely flat out with work these last couple of months and will probably stay that way until I head overseas in about 6 weeks. So I was seriously considering giving this game a miss, especially after our loss on Friday night. In the end I decided to make the long journey to Oakleigh (on my own because no one really wanted to go) and am eternally grateful that I did because it will be a match I will never forget. 


2011 Mirabella Cup Semi Final
There's just something about playing Oakleigh in the Cup that is so fantastic. Our last encounter in the Cup was back in 2011 when we also came from behind to win 2-1 and book our spot in the 'Mirabella Cup' final against Northcote City who went on to win the one and only 'Mirabella Cup'.

The only difference to the starting eleven was the inclusion of our most experienced campaigner Ben Surey, who did well to control the middle of the park. Perhaps the biggest difference tonight was the man between the posts. Michael O'Farrell had an outstanding game, pulling off a save for a definite goal to put Oakleigh up 2-0. If you hadn't watched a Knights match this year, you would have thought he hadn't conceded a goal all year with the confidence he came out with. Great to see that he has been able to pick himself up and have a great match after what he has gone through so far.


Magic of the Cup!
From the get go we were the better decide, and it seemed fairly likely that we would be the side to progress further into the Cup. However an Oakleigh goal just on half time from a quick break gave the hosts and unlikely lead. As the second half wore on, it was looking more and more likely that our Cup run would be ending very early this year, with the baby faced referee not doing us any favors in that regard (wouldn't be surprised if he was a bricklayer to be honest). But, the boys didn't give up. And when the Oakleigh keeper through the ball out to go down with an injury which I believe he was faking just to waste time, the match took a turn. The resulting throw in lead to a corner for us, where Milan Batur leveled in what looked like a bit of a goal mouth scramble. It's fair to say that it felt absolutely fantastic to get an equaliser in the last minute, but I wasn't expecting what happened next. It all happened to quickly that I can't even recall exactly how it happened. Almost immediately after the kick off we gained possession sending the ball straight up to Josh Brekalo who did well to take the ball past the Oakleigh keeper and put it into the roof of the net, sending the small but chaotic number Knights fans completely mental. I mentioned to someone that I hadn't celebrated like that in a while, jumping around like a little kid trying to jump higher than everyone else. It was the kind of finish to a match that you dream of and don't get to experience too often, which makes progression in that Cup that much sweeter. Not sure when the draw is for the next round but it might not matter cause they will probably 'randomly' draw us against South Melbourne again.

Speaking of South Melbourne, didn't they have an eventful NPL match over the weekend? I will leave my comments on that until after our match this Saturday at Epping.

Decided I would give the Oakleigh donuts a go tonight. They weren't as large as your normal donut so I decided to get two. As I was walking up I noticed there was only one left which got me down a little, especially since there was a 10 year old kid there before me eyeing it off. To my relief the guy out the back brought out another 8 hot fresh donuts, when the kid belts out, "I'll have 9 donuts". Are you fucking shitting me kid? 9 donuts? Do you know what all that sugar will do to your teeth? Anyway I waited about two minutes for another batch off fresh ones and they were delicious. And at a low price of $1.50 a donut you can't go wrong. Fresh hot donuts and two goals to win in a minute, is there anything better?


Saturday, 23 April 2016

I don't like losing 3-1

I was really quite confident this morning that we would be taking all three points tonight. But perhaps I wouldn't have been if I had known which players would be sitting on the sidelines.

It's no secret that our squad is young and lacks experience even when fully fit, so when you have 4 starters out including your keeper it's kind of hard to be too optimistic. Despite mentioning Ben Surey being sent off last week, I somehow forgot he was suspended for this match and for some reason expected James McGarry and even Robbie Zadworny to be back from injury by now. With Surey and McGarry both out, young Nikola Jurkovic would have been a great chance to start in the middle of the park, but it looks like FFV managed to count 5 of his yellow cards so far and decided to give him the week off also. Not what you would be hoping for one of your young players especially when most of the cards were silly. And to top it all off, goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers pulled up injured during the warm up and sat out the match hopefully just as a precaution. I must admit I do feel a little sorry for second keeper Michael O'Farrell who perhaps isn't quite up to the standard of the league, but I am sure gives his best whenever out there. It wouldn't be easy to have the confidence required after the rough start he had to the season.


FFA Cup action back on Tuesday
For those of you who witnessed the match, all three goals we conceded were terrible. Even though we were a little down on man power tonight it's just not good enough. And I can't keep using the same excuses every time a result doesn't go our way. We improved in the second half particularly later on with some more young players coming on off the bench and probably could have even got it back to 3-2, but I can't say we would have deserved a point. If we are going to progress in the FFA Cup on Tuesday night we need to step it up a level. I think we are capable of it, especially if we can get a couple of players back for the occasion. Otherwise we might need to start looking at some reinforcements when the transfer window opens in a few weeks.

I was feeling quite down on the way home thinking I would blurt out another negative post like this morning, but I don't want the blog to be painted in that light. I like receiving compliments from people who say they had a good laugh reading the blog while they were reading on the dunny during their morning shit.

I made a few observations tonight which I would like to touch on. First of all it was bloody cold. I think it's fair to say that the warm weather is over for this season and we will have many more cold and colder days/nights to look forward to. 
I noticed Paul Mavroudis was sitting in and amongst the injured and suspended Knights players. However I'm still trying to figure out if he was there to spy for Chris Taylor, or for South of the Border purposes.
My $7 roll was delicious and was packed with meat. Would have to be along with the Richmond kransky the best value for money feed in he league. (Not sure if Pascoe Vale still do the pizzas).
What is the World coming to?
The ref did an excellent job tonight. Called it as it was. No bullshit, was consistent and most importantly didn't favour either side. If he was a bricklayer I would be telling him to quit his job and become a full time referee.
And what was probably the most depressing fact, the lineswoman (is that the correct term?) had the best pair of boots on the park. Black Adidas Copa Mundial.

Not related to football or my beloved Knights. I have been having a lot of grief with my WiFi since getting this new laptop. I believe it is a fairly common issue for Windows 10 users which really frustratingly still has no easy fix. For those of you who have any idea what I may be on about, it's the (No Internet, Secured) problem. Any advice or better yet solution would be greatly appreciated. If I can't get it fixed soon, I might need to take it back which would mean a little downtime for the blog.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Another loss to Shaun Evans

It isn't without reason that this post comes on the morning of our next match. What happened last Friday night pissed me off so much that writing anything to soon would have seen me say some things that I wouldn't be very proud of. Warning: If you don't like the word fuck, close your browser now.

It's never easy playing against a quality side like Bentleigh, which is why it makes it an almost impossible task when they have the assistance of Shaun Evans. I am not saying he is the reason that we lost or if we were issued any other official we would have won, but we might have done so and definitely would have been in with a better chance.

I'm not going to say too much on the match itself other than Bentleigh once again have a top quality side and probably have the best chance to take it out again this year. And that it really is a great shame that Shaun Evans ruined what could have been a cracking match after we got the scores back to 2-1 through a stunning Cvitkovic finish.

Stick to bricklaying my friend
Not sure what option he has taken, but it seems that Mr Evans has some sort of lease to officiate at least our games at Kingston Heath every year. And every year he does something to fuck us up. I even had a bit of an angry laugh at one stage, when after awarding us a free kick he pointed in Bentleighs direction. So one sided was his officiating that his arm would just automatically go that way. And to top it off he has a bit of a fudking chuckle to himself, like it's all just fucking funny to him. I don't have a problem with yellow cards for bad tackles, and I certainly don't have a problem with them leading to red cards if they are both indeed yellow cards. But I do have a problem with NOT SHOWING ANY FUCKING CONSISTENCY WHATSOEVER. How does a handball for Knights earn a yellow card, but not for Bentleigh? How does the weakest shittiest foul earn a yellow card for Knights, but a tackle 10 times worse does not for Bentleigh? GET YOUR FUCKING HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS MY FRIEND! I am contemplating contacting Knights TV to purchase all footage of our matches at Kingston Heath to do a best of Shaun Evans collection, I just hope YouTube doesn't have any time constraints. On behalf of probably a very large number of people, I ask Shaun Evans to do himself and everyone else in the footballing world a favour and give it up. You are the worst referee in the world. No second worst, after Bruno (but not by much). 

The only positive to come out of Friday night was the taste of the souvlaki I had just before half time. But not positive enough to mask the $12 price tag. Cut your fucking player wages and give us some reasonably priced food for fucks sake. I'm definitely not touching another souv this season.

Tonight we take on Oakleigh before taking them on again this Tuesday in the FFA Cup. If I had to pick one I'd rather win Tuesdays game and sacrifice this one, but I think we take both.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

How many corners does it take to win a match?

How many corners does it take to win a match? 0! Our first test to see where we are at this season and we have passed with flying colours. Man have we come a long way since our reality check at Heidelberg a month ago.

I learnt from our last game not to offer lifts to people who are likely to get you there well after kick off. I did give a lift to two people this week and still managed to get to the club an hour early. Was a little shocked at how full the car park was so early on, but it seemed to be a case of more cars than people. 

Constantly delivery the goods
Once again Knights News produced some top quality content, which I will have the pleasure of publishing on here in the coming days/weeks. A big congratulations must go out not only to Andrew Marth for reaching his 150th game milestone but also to the club for not sticking with the tradition of changing coach's every 5 minutes. 

For some reason I was quite confident heading into this match. And when asked how we would go a few minutes before kick off, without hesitation I said we were going to take all three points. And I was right.
The match opened up with Hume on top for the first 5 to 10 minutes, but once we found our feet I was certain we weren't going to stop until we found the back of the net. I started to get that bad feeling that we were going to be cheaply punished for not making the most of our chances. But surely enough we broke the deadlock through Stipo Andrijasevic after an impressive quick break spearheaded by non other than (not good enough for South Melbourne) Jason Hicks.

What happened in the second half and for the remainder of the match is irrelevant. We might have been under the pump until the final whistle but at the end of the day we contained the pressure and took all three points. Some might argue that Hume had 19 corners compared to our 0 but none of that matters if you can't find the back of the net. And while they might have had that many corners, I don't recall them having any shots on target. Whether we scored in the first minute or the last, I believe we would have been in control for the majority of the match until we were able to open the scoring.

All in all it was a very well deserved win for a relatively young side, against one of the so called stronger sides this season. Not to mention not quite being at full strength yet with some players still on the sidelines. I must admit that Nick Glavan has been impressing me more and more each week, and I'm still trying to figure out why South Melbourne didn't do more to keep Jason Hicks. The win takes us up to equal third place, being only a point behind second placed Bentleigh Greens who we face this Friday night. 
I did manage to have a delicious gyro down there over 5 years ago now, and if it doesn't live up to it's reputation then I am sorry Greek backed clubs but I will boycotting your food until further notice.

Keeping it nice and short this week mainly because I am brain dead and waiting until I am not brain dead will see me miss my Tuesday publishing deadline. And finally, Happy 63rd Birthday to the best club in the world and Happy 10th of April to all the good folk out there celebrating this glorious day in history.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Better late than never..

Man the week has gone by quick. I did plan on writing this no later than Sunday but there just isn't enough time in life.

1-1 with Richmond last Friday in a pretty even match. I was really looking forward to getting there nice and early for a feed and few beers before kick off, especially after seeing something about Hofbrauhaus the week before. As if the couple of years I had to wait to return wasn't enough, the person I was kind enough to offer a lift to the match decided to make me wait in their driveway for 20 minutes before they got home. I was already fairly pissed off because I was running late myself and wouldn't get there until kick off, so you could imagine how I felt when they pulled up 5 minutes before kick off and get into my car. To top it off after finally heading out, we had to turn back because someone forgot to bring their jumper. Now 3 minutes before kick off and even more pissed off, I was informed I had to stop at the servo for an ATM withdrawal and some cigarettes.

With pissed off no longer being a true way of describing how I was feeling, I mentioned that we are going to miss an early goal, cause that's just what happens when you're late. So it didn't come as too much of a surprise a few minutes later when I heard the phone go off and was told we were 1 nil down. Going a goal down that early didn't really get to me because I wasn't there to see it, so it doesn't hurt as much. And with the mental state I was in I don't think anything could have got to me at that point.


Were the costumes necessary?
After getting there quicker than anticipated and only being about 15 or so minutes late, we grabbed a token German beer from the bar where we were served by some lovely German ladies. Whether they were actually German or paid to be German I'm not exactly sure. For a club with not so many Germans, they seem to push the German theme a lot. Kind of feels like walking into an Irish themed pub but all the workers and patrons are true blue.
Anyway within a few minutes of wetting my moustache we came back with a scrappy equaliser that seemed to take everyone a good 10 seconds to realise that we had actually scored. Can't say that I celebrated the goal at all, guess I still hadn't quite calmed down just yet.

As half time approached I headed into the club to beat the rush (lol) for a cheese kransky. I can safely say that the instant my tastebuds were able to process what was happening in my mouth, I instantly went from being pissed off to pretty damn happy, and also for my second serving. Can safely say it's the tastiest piece of meat I have had in the league, and definitely shits on all the Greek clubs charging you $10 for a shitty souvlaki with hardly any meat.

The second half saw both sides have enough chances to take all three points. Jacob Colosimo was dragged down in the box, while Richmond were denied a handball in the area. Don't think this is normally the case with us but for some reason we had made all three subs by the 70th minute. This bit us in the ass pretty hard when 10 minutes later Chris Talajic went down with yet another dislocated shoulder, the first after having surgery. I really feel for him as he is a top kid who at his young age has endured more injuries than some people do in their life time, and has never given up. I wish him a very speedy full recovery and hope to see him back on the park again soon.

And the boys will be back on the park tomorrow night against Hume City as we start our run against some of the tougher opponents. I think the next few games will give us a clear indication of where we are at this season.

PS. Sorry to the person who expects something no later than Tuesday.