2 September 2019

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Southern United dumped by FV SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie FOOTBALL Victoria dealt local women’s soccer a bodyblow by revoking Southern United’s senior NPLW licence last week. Southern told FV of its plans for 2020 as player-coach Melissa Maizels had been negotiating with a number of players with a view to strengthening the senior squad but FV wouldn’t budge. The findings of a six-month review of the women’s game in Victoria were delivered to the FV board some months ago and many believe that the federation waited till near season’s end before swinging the axe. FV also dumped Geelong Galaxy United and with the two clubs that boast the largest catchment areas booted out of the elite league next season’s NPLW will become an eightteam competition exclusively for Melbourne metropolitan clubs. FV has offered both Southern and Geelong junior NPL licences meaning that the clubs can continue to compete at an elite level in under-12s, under14s and under-16s, an offer Southern has accepted. Southern’s seniors and under-19s have accepted an offer to play in State 1 South-East and it is expected that FV will call for expressions of interest for the 2021 NPL season some time next year. Southern will no longer be a co-tenant with Frankston Pines at Monterey Reserve and is hoping to become a tenant of Casey council.

Last hurrah: Southern United pictured before its final home match at Monterey Reserve last week. Picture: Darryl Kennedy

Frankston council was hopeful that Southern would become a tenant at the new multi-million dollar Wedge Road sports facility in Carrum Downs which is near completion and includes a FIFA-standard synthetic pitch while Monterey Reserve had been ear-

marked for a $3.9 million makeover. The plan was for Southern to continue to use Monterey Reserve for home games while using Wedge Road as a training and administrative base. Southern’s expected tenancy at both venues played a pivotal role in funding

for these projects but neither Monterey Reserve nor Wedge Road is compliant with NPLW facilities requirements and if Southern is to regain a senior NPLW licence then a switch of venues is essential. No player race, no dugouts, im-

proper changerooms for players and referees, and no spectator seating are just some of the non-compliant issues Southern faced at Wedge Road and it claims that council would not address these issues despite being made aware of them. Southern also was stunned by Frankston council’s planned hourly charge of $32.50 for use of the facility on top of a $50,000 tenancy fee. Last Thursday night Southern played its last match at Monterey Reserve in a catch-up fixture going down 4-0 in a competitive performance against a Heidelberg team chasing a finals berth. It signed off on its senior NPLW involvement on Sunday with a 4-0 loss away to Box Hill United with the under-19s also losing 4-0. Southern’s under-14s defeated Box Hill 3-2 with goals from Rhiannon Kelleher, Chiara Renzeme and Madina Ali while a Rhys McKenna hattrick and a Shanece Dias goal gave the under-16s a 4-0 success.

Where to now for Group-winning Pippie? HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou THE John and Chris Meagher-trained mare, Pippie, landed the biggest win of her six-start career with an emphatic victory in the Group Three Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday 31 August. Under the guidance of jockey Ben Melham, Pippie took up the lead and controlled the race before being asked for her ultimate effort to kick away from her rivals and claim the $160,000 Group Three by oneand-a-half lengths. The victory was Pippie’s third straight win this preparation having previously won at Doomben and Caulfield, and her fourth win in her short career. The Mornington-trained mare has always been touted as a potential talent since her debut five-length victory just over a year ago, but Saturday demonstrated that an aim towards a Group One contest isn’t outside of her reach. “I remember telling Ben [Melham] ‘I don’t know how much is under the hood’ but we are starting to find out,” trainer Chris Meagher said. “We like to think that she could get to the big Group Ones in time but in three weeks’ time we’ll be back here for the How Now (Stakes) which is also 1200m.” Pippie ticked off the first step of a near identical path that her Group One winning stablemate Savanna Amour followed on the way to claiming the Cockram/ How Now Stakes double in 2017. Meagher said a three-week break leading into the Group Three How Now Stakes at Caulfield would do Pippie “the world of good”. “We don’t have to do much with her in between races,” he said. “She can become light quite quickly but in saying that she is 15 kgs up from what she was last year so she has definitely matured.” Pippie will stick to the sprinting distances and make best use of her blistering speed until Meagher starts to think otherwise. “We would love to in time [step out over further distance] but at this stage while she’s just showing sheer speed we’ll leave her at that and when she tells us that she wants to go a bit further we can certainly do that,” he said. Pippie has now earnt more than $230,000 in prizemoney.

Speed Queen: The John and Chris Meagher-trained mare, Pippie, makes it three straight victories this preparation. Picture: Supplied Frankston Times

3 September 2019


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