Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Vasas SC is one of Hungary's major sports clubs. Most of its facilities are situated in Budapest's 13th district in the north of the town. Members of the Hungarian Union of Iron Workers founded the club as Vas-és Fémmunkások Sport Clubja, the "Sport Club of Iron and Metal Workers", on 16 March 1911; the club colours are blue. Vasas FC has won the Hungarian League six times. Vasas is known internationally for reaching the semi finals of the 1957–58 European Cup season and the quarter-finals in the 1967–68 European Cup season. Vasas first entered the Nemzeti Bajnokság I in the 1916-17 season. Since the club have managed to win seven titles; the club's most successful period has been between 1957 and 1966. During this period they won the Hungarian league five times. 1911: Vas-és Fémmunkások Sport Clubja 1943: Kinizsi Vasas Budapest 1944: Nemzeti Kinizsi Budapest 1945: Budapesti Vasas SC 1948: Budapesti Vasas SE 1957: Budapesti Vasas SC The following table shows in detail Vasas SC kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors by year: Vasas plays its home matches in the Illovszky Rudolf Stadion located in the 13th district of Budapest.
The stadium capacity is 9,000. Hungarian League Winners: 1957, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1965, 1966, 1976–77 Hungarian Cup Winners: 1954–55, 1972–73, 1980–81, 1985–86 Runners-up: 1979–80, 1999–00, 2005–06, 2016–17 Mitropa Cup Winners: 1956, 1957, 1962, 1965, 1970, 1983 UEFA European Cup Semi-finalists: 1957–58 As of 1 September 2018Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. On 4 January 2017 it was announced that János Jámbor bought 99% of the shares of the Vasas FC. On 18 May 2016 a cooperation was announced between Vasas Kubala Akadémia and Eredivisie club SBV Vitesse. According to the cooperation, the two club have a common showcase, take part in a common conference and education. Gerry Hamstra said that it is important for the Dutch club to initiate new cooperations in this region. SBV Vitesse János Kádár, HSWP First Secretary and Hungarian leader from 1956 until 1988, was a supporter of Vasas. A working-class man, Kádár had played in the team when young and was its president for a short period in the mid-1950s.
During the 1960s, it was not uncommon to see Kádár in the crowd during Vasas games. Unlike some of his Eastern Europe counterparts, though, Kádár did not use his position to favor his team, nor did he allow Hungarian officials to interfere in football as it was common in other bloc countries. Official website Official website Unofficial fan-site
BBC Sport is a department of the BBC North division providing national sports coverage for BBC Television and online. The BBC holds the television and radio UK broadcasting rights to several sports, broadcasting the sport live or alongside flagship analysis programmes such as Match of the Day, Test Match Special, Ski Sunday, Today at Wimbledon and Grandstand. Results and coverage is added to the BBC Sport Website and through the BBC Red Button interactive television service; the BBC has broadcast sport for several decades under individual programme names and coverage titles. Grandstand was one of the more notable Sport programmes, broadcasting sport since the programmes launch in 1958; the BBC first began to brand sport coverage as'BBC Sport' in 1988 for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, by introducing the programme with a short animation of a globe circumnavigated by four coloured rings. This practice continued throughout the next two decades. Upon the launch of the BBC News website in 1997, sport was included in the BBC's online presence for the first time.
In May 2007, the BBC Trust approved plans for several BBC departments, including BBC Sport, to be moved to a new development in Salford. The new development at MediaCityUK marks a major decentralisation of BBC departments from London and a key investment in the north of England where BBC spending in the region had been low; the department moved into Quay House, MediaCityUK in late 2011 and early 2012 with the first Sports bulletins being broadcast from the new BBC Sport Centre on 5 March 2012. In 2017, BBC Sport launched a new on-air identity, becoming the first BBC property to implement the broadcaster's new corporate typeface; the BBC shares the rights to the FIFA World Cup with ITV. A near equal split of group stage and knockout stage games are shown, including a semi-final and the final is shown on both networks; the BBC will broadcast all its matches from the 2018 World Cup in 4K UHD and VR to a limited number of viewers subject to bandwidth. The BBC shows highlights of the Premier League on Match of the Day, hosted by Gary Lineker since 1999.
Match of the Day 2 and Match of the Day 2 Extra, are presented by Mark Chapman. Dan Walker hosts Football Focus every Saturday lunchtime before Jason Mohammad presents Final Score every Saturday afternoon. Pundits for Match of the Day include Alan Shearer, Danny Murphy, Jermaine Jenas, Martin Keown and Ian Wright while commentators include Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower, Simon Brotherton, Alistair Mann, Martin Fisher, Mark Scott and John Roder; the BBC broadcasts live coverage of the FA Cup and will do so until 2021. BBC Sport holds the rights to broadcast the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Queen's Club Championships live on its television platforms; the Wimbledon contract has been held by the BBC since 1927 and the current contract lasts until 2024 making it the longest such contract in the world. The BBC produce over 900 hours of footage, distributed to broadcasters in 159 different countries. BBC Wimbledon coverage is presented by former British number one and 1976 French Open Champion Sue Barker.
Matches are broadcast live on BBC Two, the Red Button, or Online via the BBC Sport website. Highlights are shown on the long-running Today at Wimbledon, presented by Clare Balding, who replaced John Inverdale in 2015; the same year, the programme was renamed "Wimbledon 2day", with a new lighthearted magazine format, but after only one year, the format has been abandoned for 2016. Following on the trial which commenced with 2018 World Cup the BBC will broadcast all Centre Court matches from the 2018 Wimbledon Championships in 4K UHD via iPlayer. Commentators include Barry Davies, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, John Lloyd, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova, David Mercer, Nick Mullins, Jonathan Overend, Anne Keothavong, Virginia Wade, Sam Smith, Tracy Austin, Tim Henman, Andrew Castle, Lindsay Davenport, Pat Cash, John Inverdale, Chris Bradnam, Jamie Baker, Dan Lobb, Guy McCrea, Mark Petchey, Simon Reed, Matt Chilton, Peter Fleming, Elizabeth Smylie, Jo Durie, Louise Pleming, Andrew Cotter, Ronald McIntosh and Alison Mitchell.
Regular tournament weather updates are provided by Carol Kirkwood. The BBC broadcasts two traditional Grass warm up events in the fortnight before the Wimbledon Championships. First is the AEGON Championships from Queen's Club; the BBC has covered the tournament since 1979 and has a contract in place until 2024. Coverage is led by Sue Barker with commentary by Andrew Castle, Andrew Cotter, John Lloyd & Peter Fleming; the following week is the WTA AEGON International event from Eastbourne. In 2015, coverage was introduced by John Inverdale and Lee McKenzie with commentary from Andrew Cotter, Sam Smith, Chris Bradnam & Annabel Croft. Both events are shown on BBC Two; the BBC holds rights to show daily TV highlights from the Australian Open. Coverage is presented by Sue Barker with commentary from John Lloyd; the BBC has exclusive free to air TV rights for 8 singles matches from the ATP World Tour Finals which includes the semi final and the final. The BBC covered the event between 2009 and 2011, followed by an extension for 2012 and 2013.
This was extended again in 2013 through to 2015. It was extended again in 2016 for another 2 years before another deal was announced in 2017 and will run until 2020. With Sky Sports, showing one afternoon match per day including one semi-final and the final which are shown on BBC Two; the BBC has a joint deal with Eurosport to show all of Britain's Davis Cup matches for three years to 2017, with coverage predominately broadcast on BBC Two and the Red Button. BBC Radio covers the four Grand Slam tournaments - the A
Adelaide United FC
Adelaide United Football Club is a professional soccer club based in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. The club participates in the A-League under licence from Football Federation Australia; the club was founded in 2003 to fill the place vacated by Adelaide City and West Adelaide in the former National Soccer League, is now the sole team from the state of South Australia in the A-League. Adelaide United's home ground is Hindmarsh Stadium. Adelaide United were premiers in the inaugural 2005–06 A-League season, finishing 7 points clear of the rest of the competition, before finishing third in the finals, they were Premiers again in 2015/16 finishing just one point ahead of second place Western Sydney. Adelaide United holds the record for the largest win in an A-League game. Adelaide defeated North Queensland Fury 8–1 at Hindmarsh Stadium on 21 January 2011, it was the first time – and, to date, remains the only time – a team had two players score hat-tricks in a single match: one to Marcos Flores and the other to Sergio van Dijk.
In 2014, Adelaide United were the winners of the first FFA Cup, beating Perth Glory 1–0 in the final, in 2016 won their first A-League Grand Final, beating the Western Sydney Wanderers 3–1 with goals from Bruce Kamau, Isaías and Pablo Sanchez. In 2018, Adelaide United became the first team to win two FFA Cup titles after defeating Sydney FC in the 2018 FFA Cup Final. In August 2003, Adelaide City withdrew from the National Soccer League, leaving Adelaide with no NSL presence for the first time since the beginning of the league in 1977. West Adelaide had withdrawn from the NSL in 1999. In response, Adelaide United was created on 12 September 2003, with builder and property developer Gordon Pickard funding the new club and former Soccer Australia and FIFA executive Basil Scarsella as Chairman. On 13 September, former Brisbane Strikers and Newcastle Breakers manager John Kosmina was announced as the manager, within the frame of a few weeks time a team was cobbled together with the remnants of the Adelaide City squad to compete in the clubs inaugural season.
On 17 October 2003, Adelaide United won its first NSL match, against Brisbane Strikers 1–0 in front of a crowd in excess of 16,000 people. After an impressive home-and-away season, including a seven-match unbeaten streak during November and December 2003, Adelaide United reached the NSL preliminary final, losing to Perth Glory; the NSL came to an end at the completion of the 2003–04 season after 28 seasons with The Reds only competing in the final season as governing body Australian Soccer Association shut down the league in preparation for the launch of the professional A-League 12 months on 26 August 2005. Adelaide United were announced as one of eight teams to compete in the first season of the A-League, are, along with the Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets, one of only three teams to survive from the National Soccer League's last season. United began preparation earlier than most of the other clubs and had announced two thirds of the 20 man squad before February 2005; the club focused on bringing several Adelaide born players back to South Australia, such as Angelo Costanzo, Travis Dodd and Lucas Pantelis, who had played for Adelaide City SC in the NSL.
Shengqing Qu was signed from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua as the clubs "marquee" signing in March 2005. Aurelio Vidmar announced his retirement before the A-League had started, he was replaced before the fifth round by striker Fernando from Brazil, a former'player of the year' in the old NSL. By moving to Adelaide, he was reunited with former coach John Kosmina who introduced him to Australian audiences at the Brisbane Strikers. Adelaide United Director Mel Patzwald established links with American club Miami FC, setting up a'sister club' relationship, with whom they played a number of friendlies and leading to signing Diego from them; the team signed Brazilian legend Romário for a 5-game guest stint in November/December 2006. Furthermore, through Mel's connections established a sister club relationship with Chinese club and reigning Asian champions at the time Shandong Luneng. Continuing their good form from the final season of the NSL, Adelaide United finished as Premiers in the inaugural season of the Hyundai A-League.
The Reds were bundled out of the finals race in straight sets losing to Sydney FC in the two leg semi final and Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the preliminary final at Hindmarsh. Adelaide United started the season well by winning the A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup, beating reigning champions Central Coast Mariners 5–4 on penalties after 1–1 at the end of extra time. In the premiership season, The Reds finished runners up to Melbourne Victory. After a successful finals campaign, The Reds advanced to the 2006–07 Grand Final after winning 4–3 on penalties against the Newcastle Jets. Adelaide United played Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome in the Grand Final on 18 February 2007 losing 6–0. Coach John Kosmina was sacked the following week-however not only because of the grand final disaster but for alleged abuse of 2 Channel 10 reporters; the 2006–07 season saw Brazilian international Romário join the club for a four-game guest player stint. Adelaide United were selected, along with Sydney FC, as the first Australian representatives to play in the 2007 AFC Champions League.
They received their Asian berth as A-League premiers. Adelaide was drawn into Group G with Chinese champion Shandong Luneng Taishan, Korean champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Vietnamese league and Super Cup champions Gach Dong Tam Long An. Adelaide finished 3rd in its group; the Reds launched into the season by winning the A-League P
Airdrieonians Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football team based in Airdrie who are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and play in Scottish League One. They were formed in 2002 as Airdrie United Football Club following the liquidation of the original club; the club's official name was changed in 2013 with the approval of the SFA to the traditional name of Airdrieonians. As with the earlier team of the same name, this is colloquially shortened to "Airdrie"; the club have won two trophies in their short history – the Scottish Second Division in 2003–04 and the Challenge Cup in 2008–09. Once described as "the luckiest team in the Scottish League", the club have benefited in league division placements due to other club's misfortunes on three occasions; the club was formed in 2002 as Airdrie United, following the bankruptcy of the original Airdrieonians. Airdrieonians had finished runners-up in the Scottish First Division in the 2001–02 season but went out of business with debts approaching £3 million.
The collapse of "The Diamonds", as they were known due to their distinctive kits, created a vacancy in the Scottish Football League. Accountant and Airdrieonians fan Jim Ballantyne attempted, with the help of others, to gain entry with a club called "Airdrie United" who were to be a reincarnation of Airdrieonians, their application however was rejected as the English Northern Premier League side Gretna were preferred by league members over the new Airdrie United. Airdrie United went on to complete a buy-out of the ailing Second Division side Clydebank and with SFL approval the club was relocated to Airdrie, the strips were transformed to resemble that of Airdrieonians, the name was changed to Airdrie United. While this means that the club is therefore a continuation of Clydebank it is universally accepted as a reincarnation of Airdrieonians, with Clydebank having been reformed by supporters' groups and entering into the West Region Junior League. Managed by Sandy Stewart, Airdrie United's first match took place at New Broomfield against Forfar Athletic in August 2002, with captain Stephen Docherty scoring the only goal of the game with Airdrie United winning 1–0.
Their debut season saw the club only narrowly fail to achieve promotion by one point due to a late injury-time goal from Brechin City which saw them promoted instead. The club reached the second round of the Challenge Cup, the third round of the Scottish Cup and the third round of the Scottish League Cup having beaten Premier League side Kilmarnock in the second round. During the rest of Stewart's tenure the club reached the final of the Challenge Cup in 2003, won the Second Division title in 2003–04 season. Having started poorly Airdrie went on a run that saw them unbeaten in the last 18 games of that season, including the final game of the league campaign which saw a crowd of over 5,700 at New Broomfield to watch Airdrie defeat Morton 2–0 and lift the League Championship trophy, the club having been confirmed champions the previous week following their 1–0 victory away to Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. In November 2006, Stewart was sacked and replaced by former Airdrieonians player and Airdrie United coach Kenny Black, his first management post.
Under Kenny Black the club suffered four successive play-off defeats: In the 2006–07 season as relegation play-off finalists. In the 2007–08 season as promotion play-off finalists; however the enforced relegation of Gretna to the Third Division, after being put into administration, prompted a restructuring of the leagues, Airdrie were promoted to the First Division as the losing play-off finalists. In the 2008–09 season as relegation play-off finalists. Again Airdrie were given a reprieve as the continued uncertainty over the future of Livingston meant that the West Lothian club were relegated to the Third division, so Airdrie were reinstated to the First Division as losing play-off finalists. In the 2009–10 season as relegation play-off semi-finalists. Unlike the previous two seasons there was no reprieve; the club won the Challenge Cup in 2008, defeating Ross County 3–2 on penalties after a 2–2 draw, after this success manager Kenny Black signed a long term contract. After big financial cutbacks saw all players released in May 2010, it was announced the club would be operating on a part-time basis.
In June manager Kenny Black was relieved with Jimmy Boyle appointed interim manager. Boyle was appointed manager on a permanent basis in September 2010, with the contract running until the end of season 2011–2012, extended for 2 years from 2012; the club's decision to focus on developing youth was vindicated in January 2011, as Celtic signed teenager Tony Watt for a sum of £80,000 plus add-ons. The first league game between Airdrie United and local rivals Albion Rovers took place at New Broomfield on 10 September 2011, with Airdrie winning 4–0. After another play-off defeat by 6–2 on aggregate to Dumbarton in the promotion play-off final at the end of 2011–12 season Airdrie were lucky again as the liquidation of Scottish Premier League side Rangers and the decision by Scottish Football League clubs that Rangers should play in the Scottish Third Division, meant that an additional team from each tier of Scottish football was promoted for the 2012–13 season; as Airdrie were runners up in the previous season's Second Division promotion play-offs, they were promoted to the Scottish First Division.
A season in the First Division came to an end in May 2013, with the club finishing
Melbourne Victory FC
Melbourne Victory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in city centre of Melbourne, Victoria. Competing in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia, Victory entered the competition in the inaugural season as the only Victorian-based club in the newly revamped domestic Australian league. Recognised as the most supported and the most successful club in the league to date, Victory has won four A-League Championships, three A-League Premierships, one Pre-Season Challenge Cup and one FFA Cup, the only club to have won all four domestic trophies in the modern era of Australian soccer, they have previously competed in the AFC Champions League on six occasions with the 2019 campaign confirmed to be the seventh occasion. Their furthest placement in the tournament was the 2016 campaign, where they were knocked out in the Round of 16. Although Victory are supported across the whole Melbourne metropolitan area, as well as regional cities in the state, it is based in the city centre.
The club's home ground is the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, playing a majority of home matches at the venue, with the larger Docklands Stadium utilised for matches such as derbies and finals. As well as this, the club has an agreement to play a single match at Kardinia Park in Geelong every season; the club operates two other football departments, with youth & reserves team competing in the National Youth League and National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 and a women's team competing in the W-League. The NYL/NPL, W-League home matches are played at various locations across Melbourne, including Lakeside Stadium, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex as well as the senior team's various venues. Melbourne Victory's club colours are navy blue and silver, which encompass the traditional state sporting colours of Victoria; the home kit consists of a navy blue shirt with a chevron which fades from white at the bottom to navy blue at the top, paired with navy blue shorts and socks. The away kit is all white, with the shirt featuring a yoke consisting of a design reminiscent of the clubs home ground AAMI Park, set inside an off-centre chevron.
In the Victory's inaugural A-League season, only the club badge displayed a chevron, known colloquially as the "Big V", a symbol traditionally used by the Victoria Australian rules football team. From the 2006–07 season the away strip was changed to a grey shirt with a white chevron on the front; this was an immediate hit with the club's supporters, from the 2007–08 season onwards Melbourne's home shirt sported the white chevron on the front. A new kit was introduced for the 2008 AFC Champions League due to AFC rules requiring kits to have player numbers on the front of the uniform as well as the back, which would not fit well with the'V' on the Victory's regular kit. For the 2009–10 season, Melbourne changed their away shirt to be a reverse of their home shirt. In 2010, Melbourne wore the TAC'seatbelt' shirt against Perth Glory in a charity event to raise awareness for the necessary use of seat belts in cars. Adidas were announced as the club's official kit manufacturer for five years beginning in the 2011–12 season, after the initial deal for Reebok to supply all A-League clubs had expired.
The new kits were announced via the club's YouTube channel, featured a controversial change to a fluoro yellow away shirt. For their 2013–14 kits, Melbourne Victory received backlash from supporters, as the away kits featured a much lighter blue, bearing a large resemblance to fierce rivals Sydney FC. A number of different songs have become synonymous with Melbourne Victory, being both sung by supporters and played over the PA at different moments before and after games. "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King; this is sung as the team enters the pitch prior to kick-off, with fans holding their scarves above their heads throughout. "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. The chorus melody is chanted as a goal celebration, with fans waving their scarves in the air as they sing, it has been adapted as a player chant for striker Besart Berisha. "Victory The Brave", a rearrangement of Scotland The Brave, penned by Jim Keays of The Masters Apprentices. This has long been played after every home win, but has been criticised by fans for sounding too much like a song for an AFL team, rather than something more traditionally seen in football.
"The Horses" by Daryl Braithwaite. Beginning in the 2015–16 season, members of the South End started singing The Horses after a win, as an alternative to Victory The Brave. Although something of a joke, it has gained traction with some supporters, is now played over the PA system at the conclusion of Victory The Brave. Melbourne Victory plays the majority of its home games at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, known as AAMI Park. Games considered to be "blockbusters", which include derbies and finals matches, are played at the larger Docklands Stadium, known as Marvel Stadium; the club currently plays one league match a season at Kardinia Park in the neighbouring city of Geelong. The football club was based at the 50-year-old Olympic Park Stadium, where they played all home matches during the 2005–06 A-League season; this stadium had seated areas only on the wings, with standing-room sandy terraces on the north and south ends. The average crowd during the first year was 14,158, 77% of its capacity of 18'500.
As a result, the match-day atmosphere would prove to be a marketing asset not just for Melbourne Victory, but for the rest of the league. It proved to be a major factor in the club's decision to relocate home games to Docklands Stadium known as'Telstra Dome', from the 2006–07 season onwards, for both safety reasons, and
South Melbourne FC
South Melbourne Football Club is an Australian semi-professional soccer club based in suburb of Albert Park, in Melbourne, Victoria. The club competes in the National Premier Leagues Victoria, with matches played at Lakeside Stadium. Founded in 1959 as South Melbourne Hellas, with a basis in the Greek community, South Melbourne were once considered the most successful soccer club in Australia; the club has won four national championships, a string of Victorian State League titles, represented Oceania in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship. Along with the Marconi Stallions, they were one of two clubs to compete in every season of the National Soccer League; the club was chosen by the IFFHS as the Oceania team of the 20th century. South Melbourne was formed in 1959 with the amalgamation of three struggling Melbourne soccer clubs—South Melbourne United, the oldest of the three clubs with a history dating back to the early 1900s—the Greek-backed Yarra Park Aias, Hellenic. Theo Marmaras, initiator of the merger proposal and president of Hellenic, became the first president of the new club.
In recognition of the large Greek Australian support base of Hellenic and Yarra Park, which were the best-supported of the three clubs, the new club was named South Melbourne Hellas, the name by which it was to be known for the majority of its 50 years. The first emblem reflected the colour scheme of the Greek national flag; the first uniform consisted of jersey of white with a red'V' around the collar, the was that of South Melbourne United, as well as blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks. On they would adopt predominantly blue and white strips, with various designs throughout the seasons, with the most common being a predominantly royal blue strip. South Melbourne won the Victorian First Division championship of 1960, the club's inaugural year of competition; the club was promoted to the Victorian State League First Division the following year, where it finished fifth in its first year. With a number of astute signings—Scottish journeyman Tommy Anderson, Ernie Ackerley, Leo Damianakos, Jim Pyrgolios and Andreas Roussis of Panathinaikos and Apollon Athens—the club won the division championship in 1962, 1964, 1965.
In 1965, South Melbourne secured the services of 35-year-old former AEK Athens F. C. star Kostas Nestoridis as player-coach. The result was a significant increase in crowd attendances and a fourth league title in 1966. Eager to repeat its success, the club recruited a number of Greek and local footballers, but they failed to make any impact. By 1969, the import experiment was considered a failure and most of the Greek players returned to their homeland. In 1970, the club focused its attention on recruiting local soccer players, it soon signed two players that would become South Melbourne's greatest players, Steve Walker and striker Jim Armstrong. South Melbourne missed out on the title by a point in the 1971 season, edged out by Footscray JUST, but with Armstrong scoring goals aplenty, South Melbourne went on to win the championship in 1972; the season saw coach Bill Curran consolidate the first team's strength by signing midfielder Peter Bourne and promoting skilled youngsters Giovanni Batticiotto, Fethon Ileris and Bill Hasapis.
The club continued its successful run with the 1974 title, second place in 1975, with star recruits Jimmy Mackay, Peter Ollerton and Duncan Cummings, capped off its final year in the Victorian State League by winning the 1976 championship. South Melbourne joined Mooroolbark, Heidelberg United, Footscray JUST as Melbourne's participants in the newly formed National Soccer League in 1977. A mass exodus of its best players, saw the team slump to 11th place in its inaugural year, but a recruiting drive by coach Dave Maclaren gave the club a respectable third in 1978, it wasn't to last. South Melbourne finished at the bottom of the league table in 1979; the recruitment of Alan Davidson, George Campbell, Steve Blair, Branko Buljevic, Alun Evans, Charlie Egan, helped South Melbourne climb the NSL ladder in the early part of the decade, with South becoming runners up in the NSL in 1981, their best NSL placing at the time. They won the Ampol Cup in 1982; some solid player signings such as gave the club some respectability, but a combination of committee problems and a string of coaches, never allowed the team to settle and gain consistency.
South Melbourne finished first on the league ladder in 1984, but in a newly restructured NSL competition, it had to win the finals series to win the title. The club powered past local rivals Heidelberg United in the Southern Division play-offs, edged out Sydney Olympic in the Grand Final to win the 1984 national championship. After the departure of George Campbell to rivals Preston Makedonia in 1983/84, Branko Buljevic to Footscray Just in 1985 and others, South Melbourne could not repeat the success of the previous year. Despite finishing in first place, it was knocked out of the finals series by local rivals Brunswick Juventus and Preston. A major overhaul by coach Brian Garvey saw a number of new signings being made, including youngsters Paul Trimboli, David Healy, Kimon Taliadoros and Harry Micheil; the young team put in some memorable performances as the decade came to a close, finishing in the top half of the league table, but failed to win another championship. The club appointed Ferenc Puskás as coach for the 1989/90 season, helping South win the NSL Cup tournament for that season, as well backing up their 1988 Dockerty Cup win with victory in the 1989 tournament.
On 28 November 1981, South Melbourne Hellas and Melb