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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 April 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2016 27 SPORT South Melbourne FC secures 40 years at Lakeside Stadium South Melbourne FC and the Victorian government formally executed the club's new 40-year lease on its Lakeside Stadium exclusive areas earlier this week. The licence for the club's nonexclusive areas of Lakeside Stadium was also formally executed on Wednesday. SMFC president Leo Athanasakis described the executing of the documents as a historic moment, with the club finally able to commence building its new administrational offices, futsal court and bistro/social room in its exclusive areas. Mr Athanasakis thanked Mr Bill Papastergiadis and his legal team at Moray & Agnew Lawyers for finalising the legal documents. "Bill not only applied expert legal knowledge to the enormous difficulties faced by our club, he also utilised his significant connections with government to ensure that an excellent deal was achieved. There is no doubt that we would not have achieved this result without Bill's contribution. "This has come at significant L-R: Steve Dimopoulos (ALP MP); John Eren (Sports Minister); Vassilis Papastergiadis (president of the Greek Community and a member of the South Melbourne board); Leo Athanasakis (president of South Melbourne) and Martin Foley (Housing Minister, Equality Minister). PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. personal cost, with Moray & Agnew Lawyers not charging any legal fees while Bill was on the SMFC board of management, therefore saving the club more than $200,000 in fees. History will record that as a significant turning point for us and I am sure that the entire South Melbourne family is extremely grateful to both Bill and Moray & Agnew." Mr Papastergiadis thanked Mr Athanasakis and the SMFC board of management for their commitment in see- ing the agreement through. "Without Leo's dedication and his participation in all meetings, this great result would not have been possible," he said. Mr Papastergiadis also noted that the Greek Community of Melbourne is obliged to step in and assist any Greek entity in Victoria. "The Greek Community of Melbourne has to play a strong advocacy role for any Greek-based organisation. It became involved with the negotiations due to the rich contribution that SMFC has made to our Greek community for over fifty years and it wanted a positive result for the club." Elaborating on the new agreements he said: "These agreements executed this morning allow SMFC to invest towards securing the Club's ultimate goal of playing top tier football in Australia. The infrastructure offered by the new Lakeside Stadium agreements are essential towards securing the long-term support of Football Federation Australia." Mr Athanasakis also thanked State Labor Member for Albert Park, Mr Martin Foley MP. "Minister Foley's involvement was critical in achieving such a positive outcome for our club in the agreements that have been executed today." A very proud Mr Foley congratulated Mr Athanasakis, the SMFC board of management and Mr Papastergiadis. "South Melbourne FC's new 40-year lease gives the club the security and certainty that it needs to build for the future. SMFC has been a great club for many years and today's agreements now give it the opportunity to take its on-field and off-field activities to an even higher level. "As the local member for Albert Park, I want to congratulate SMFC in negotiating such an excellent deal that secures its future at Lakeside Stadium and I look forward to visiting and utilising the club's new facilities when they are completed." Socceroos progress to third stage of Asian World Cup qualifiers Coach Postecoglou not worried about next stage opponents Australia remains steadily on course for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after the Socceroos qualified for the third stage of the Asia FIFA World Cup qualifiers with an emphatic 5-1 win over Jordan in Sydney on Tuesday night, in a result which spelled the end of the Middle Eastern country's campaign. Goals to Tim Cahill (a brace) and midfielders Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Massimo Luongo, made light work of the Jordanians, dispelling fears that Jordan would prove a tricky opponent for the Socceroos. Australia's attacking, free scoring play yielded another bountiful goal haul, taking its tally to 12 goals in its last two matches. Despite these strong displays, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou still feels his team aren't receiving the respect and plaudits they deserve in their own country. "We talk ourselves down so I doubt other people will be pumping us up. As I said all along, we're growing as a team and 12 months ago everyone was saying who's going to score apart from Timmy (Cahill). “Well, Timmy's still scoring, yet we're getting multiple goal scorers from all over the place," Postecoglou said in his post-match comments. "People are really worried about rankings and seedings and who we're going to get. I mean, I don't get it, just watch what the team's doing. That should tell you enough. "We're not going to be worried about who we get in our group. We've had some tough groups in every competition that we've been in. We had a tough group in the World Cup. We had Korea in our group in the Asian Cup. We've had Jordan - who, don't forget, finished fifth in the last World Cup campaign in the play-off spot - in our group again and we've overcome all those things." Jordan's coach for last Tuesday's match against the Socceroos, Harry Redknapp, had no doubts that the Socceroos are a team which deserves respect. "It was as difficult as I expected it to be. There was a good gulf in class in all honesty and it showed. They looked much fitter. When you talk about the standard, that's how football is. "You play against Bangladesh and you look fantastic, because of the opposition, and then you go and play against a better team, and Australia looked great tonight." The Socceroos now progress into the third stage along with 11 other coun- tries. The countries in the third stage include: Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Japan, Thailand, Korea Republic, Uzbekistan, UAE, China, Syria and Iraq. The draw on 12 April will then divide these 12 countries into two groups of six, with each country to play the others twice. The top two teams from each group automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals, while the two third-placed teams from each group go into a playoff for the chance to qualify against CONCACAF's fourthplaced country. Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. PHOTO: DANIEL KALISZ Tim Cahill performs his sparring celebration with the corner flag after scoring one of his two goals against Jordan.
26 March 2016
9 April 2016