Category: Frontpage News
Premier League Preview
All of the news ahead of the Premier League action at both ends of the state.
This week, all of the Southern Premier League action takes place on Saturday from 2:30PM across Hobart.
Nelson and Clarence clash in an eastern shore derby at North Warrane.
Clarence are second on the table but fell in a tight tussle to University last week.
Reds Coach Alan Jablonski saw the result as a key one in the title race.
“Obviously the boys are upset at the loss on the weekend, now the league title is out of our hands and we need another team to take points off University plus win all our games, so a big ask.”
Jablonski believes injuries have crippled United onfield.
“What hasn't helped is the amount of senior players who haven’t been available for selection. We still have Jeremy Price, Henry Lush and Dipendra Kunwa still unavailable because of injury. In saying that, they are all making good recoveries and hopefully our second half of the season we can come home with a wet sail,” said Jablonski.
The reds welcome back a key cog this week.
“Sam Karas will come back in, with Takayuki Mizuno impressing in the ressies and will most likely get a senior gig.
We are slowly building to full strength and on the rebound so I am confident the boys will be extremely hard to beat this Saturday.
“For this week’s game we travel to Nelson for the current Eastern Shore Derby. Olympia always had trouble beating us in the Derby before the Victory League came along, and hopefully we can keep our run over Nelson going this week with a victory.”
League leaders University host Taroona at Olinda Grove. The Students are unbeaten this season and face third placed Taroona.
“UNI had a hot encounter with Clarence last weekend. Nevertheless, I was happy with the outcome as we managed to get out of there with three points,” said Uni Coach Romilton Amaral.
Amaral was relieved to get the result given his side’s dominance.
“We controlled the game by creating a couple of opportunities but we could not finish it in the first half. One of their defenders managed to save a header from Huigsloot with his hand and the referees did not spot it.
“Then a of couple minutes later, justice was served when Ronald converted a cracker goal. He slammed it in the top corner, lifting up the net. It was great!”
Amaral is unsure what to expect from Taroona.
“Our next game is against Taroona and they are a kind of mystery team to me. They lost players to the mainland and World Cup in Brazil. But instead of dropping down, they keep performing well and getting a win after win.
“They are currently third on the ladder and a win could well place them second. This is a huge motivational factor for them and we need to take it into account,” Amaral said.
“Uni are training well and numbers have never been so good, the club has a very positive and disciplined environment and on top of that, we are fortunate enough to have quality players fighting for position. As a result, our three sides - Seniors, Reserves and U20s are all very competitive.
“We just had a meeting with our players to reflect and understand what is happening with us and clearly identify the positive points that put us in the right direction. Our players recognise the importance of their hard work, their commitment and dedication as building blocks to achieve success.”
Amaral said he is really enjoying working with the Students squad.
“Huigsloot and Ronald have been great assets for us. They have been very consistent in finishing scoring opportunities that George, Undy, Alex Buga, Kiwi, Solomon and Alex Bull have been creating.
“Our defence is very solid with Johnathan, Lindsay and Pete. We are also very pleased with both our fullbacks Eithan and Toby. They are doing a great job not only defending but also supporting the attack. This is a real plus as it is difficult to develop the confidence to do so.
“James Galloway our new converted goalkeepers has been brilliant this season keeping us in the game several times. I’m really grateful to work with this group.”
In the other game of the round, Beachside host the Eagles. Beach will look to return to form and topple the Eagles to ignite a table climb.
In the Southern Women’s Premier League (SWPL), Tilford Zebras take on League bolters University.
Uni propelled up the ladder last week into second place with a healthy win over Taroona. A win that impressed coach Patrick Watts.
“Last weekend’s game against Taroona was a great result for the team. We have continued to play good attacking football and I am really pleased with the progress the team has made so far this season.
Gear has been the SWPL star this year with blistering goal scoring form, scoring a whopping 18 goals to date.
“Obviously Kai Gear was a standout, scoring 5 goals. Her ability to finish in font of goal is very impressive and it was a joy to watch her play on Sunday. However it is a testament to our team that they are setting Kai up to get these goals.
This week’s match is a key one for both teams as they push for top two positions.
“This weekend’s match against Zebras will be a difficult game. They are a very strong team with lots of great players, so we will need to work hard if we want a good result.
“This weekend we will be missing a few key players with Thalia and Lucy unavailable and Emer Wood waiting on a fitness test,” said Watts.
Tilford Zebras are coming out of a disappointing outing versus Olympia.
“Tilford Zebra women played a strong and convincing first half against Olympia last round, however we were out played in the second half after losing key midfielders Alissa Bowden and Janey Archer due to injury and illness. The game was played in good spirit and Olympia were deserving of the win,” said Zebras Captain Kate Chambers.
Zebras know the threat Uni present.
“The Zebras look forward to the challenge posed by University this week, a team who have undoubtedly strengthened with each round of the competition, evidenced by a 6-2 win over Taroona last week.
“University always demonstrate good sportsmanship and talent on the park – with Kai Gear leading the way on both fronts,” said Chambers.
Chambers is calling for application from her side to restrict the power of Gear.
“Her 5 goal haul last week is nothing unusual and our girls must restrict her creativity in the middle of the park if we are to take home the win this week.
“University are by no means a one man show with talented players such as Lucy Macgregor and Eli Cropp also reputed for their speed and technical skills.
“We are confident in our defensive line with Lydia Toghill proving time and time again why she has been such a valuable injection into our team this year. Her composure and confidence has grown through the early rounds of the season.
“There is no doubt that the combination of experience and youth seen in Maddy O’Brien and Zoe Nichols has added strength to the Zebras midfield, however we will need to control the play this weekend and maintain composure for the entire 90 minutes if we are to smell success. Sarah Morris is finding form up front and will be confident coming into the game this week.”
The winner of the match will finish the round in second spot.
“We currently sit third on the ladder, one point behind University and are striving for a top two finish so this will be an important match for us this weekend.”
Taroona and Clarence lock horns as fourth meets fifth. Neither side is ticking along in top form but both are able to make assaults for the top four.
“We had a disappointing result last week against Uni that included a first-half knee injury to Lisa Bremner,” said Taroona Assistant John Meehan.
Meehan believes last week, Taroona didn’t get as much as they deserved from the game.
“We had the majority of the play in the second half, had Uni parked around their penalty area and deserved more from the game. The difference was Kai Gear who capitalised on three long-balls in the second half to keep us down.”
Clarence will be keen to return to the winners list after a shock loss to Glenorchy last week.
“Coming up against Clarence after their loss last week will be even more difficult than normal. We played well against them last time we met but didn't get a result and are hoping for more this week. The table remains tight so all results are important to keep in touch.
“Injuries have again forced some structural changes on the squad but we will have Rhi Hamilton back in and Tayla Thomas scored in her first game last week so there are some positives to build on.
“We are waiting on the results from a scan on Lisa's knee and are hopeful that it's not too serious, but she could be out for a number of weeks.”
Table toppers Olympia face Glenorchy, buoyed from their first win of season.
Olympia enter in top form after smashing Zebras last week.
“Zebras are always a tough opponent and the first half was fairly lively with plenty of pressure put on our players and a fair bit of player marking,” said Olympia Coach John Fiotakis.
“We came out in the second half and continued playing to our structure and started hitting the target with positive results.”
Fiotakis expects a red-hot Knights outfit.
“Knights have had their first win of the season and I am sure it will give them plenty of confidence for this weeks game.
“Knights position on the ladder does not show the full potential of their team. They have some very good players and we will not be taking this game lightly.
“Our girls will be focused and to their credit they work very hard on the training track and on our game structure. We make sure that we play the full 90 minutes keeping to our playing instructions and taking our opportunities.”
Warriors have received a boost with Milly Jones back on the track.
“Amelia (Milly) jones is back on the training track and will be playing reserves and Tess Macgregor has been out for two weeks and due back on the long weekend Statewide Final.
Southern Premier League – Round 9
Nelson vs Clarence 2:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (North Warrane)
University vs Taroona 2:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Olinda Grove 1)
Beachside vs New Town 2:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Sandown Park)
Southern Women’s Premier League – Round 8
Tilford Zebras vs University 12:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (KGV Football Park)
Taroona vs Clarence 2:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (Kelvedon Park)
Glenorchy Knights vs Olympia 4:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (KGV Football Park)
In the Northern Premier League, top of the table Riverside face Northern Rangers at their home, NTCA.
Rangers Coach Brendan Licthendonk believes the pressure will be on Riverside to keep their winning run going.
“Playing top of the table comes with its own set of pressure but there will be plenty of pressure on Riverside to maintain top spot now they are there, and no one would back us in to win this one, so we are happy to go in as under dogs.
Lichtendonk was gutted with last week’s performance and he is particularly disappointed with his sides lack of polish in the front third.
“Bitterly disappointed to get a touch up last week to Ulverstone but credit to them, they are a good side with an eye for goal, and we can’t hit a barn door with a beach ball at the moment.
“We have a young inexperienced forward line, they need some time to find their feet at this level, but we are confident these guys will serve us well in the future, so they will get the time they need, we are creating opportunities in every game, in fact more than enough, but when you miss open goals from 5 metres out, well its not too hard to see what we need to do better.
“We will take Gabe Tams out of the starting line up this week as he has not been able to train all week, Jack Harrison will start and he looked comfortable when he came on so I have confidence in him.
“Nearly everyone is claiming to be fit, but we will resist the urge to start players who have been out injured, for safety and for match practice reasons.
“Adam McIntyre, Dylan Headland, Gabe Tams and Ayden Demeijer are all recovering from injuries but will all play some part, but we wont go throwing on 4 guys returning from injury into one starting line up,” said Lichtendonk.
“With regards to Riverside, I have not seen them play, but we just have to fine tune our style of play, and if we can do that better this week, there is no reason why we cant give them an upset on our home turf on Sunday at the NTCA.
“Again, our line up will be finalised after we know who plays on Saturday in the Victory League, but there will be some changes from last week.”
Rangers form has been underwhelming and Olympic Coach Wayne Penfold believes that on their day they are a tough team to topple.
“The last game of the first round has us playing against Northern Rangers this Sunday. Their results so far this season haven’t been what they would have expected.
“Injuries and suspensions in their V-League team has meant they have had to allow players to move up. Not having a consistent line up has cost them, but they are starting to get some players back and their NPL squad looks very strong this week. Dylan Headland is a dangerous player and Collins is a promising young player. But they are just two to watch amongst a talented team who will be wanting to get back to winning ways.
“We are back to full strength this week, with no injuries and finally no suspensions affecting our squad, Nic Lunnon will make way for the returning Nick Meldrum this week. I'm sure this was a tough pill to swallow for Nic as his father Tim is the coach of the V-League side and he would have wanted to take on Rangers’ NPL team. To his credit though, he understood the decision and didn’t let his disappointment get the better of him at training.”
Riverside are undefeated and Penfold is determined to continue that way.
“Finishing off the first half of the season with a victory is crucial for us. We know that we will need to be at the top of our game to beat Rangers, but our confidence is high and we aren’t relying on any one individual to get our results. Every player is contributing and I expect that to continue on Sunday.”
Look below for this week’s other NPL fixtures.
In the Northern Women’s Premier League, Ulverstone take on Burnie.
The match will be part of a huge breast cancer awareness fundraiser for the McGrath foundation.
Burnie will don a pink strip as part of their support of the cause.
Ulverstone Coach Michael Foote is not taking the cellar dwellers lightly.
“We are up against Burnie United this week, they have obviously struggled in their return to the NWPL so far this season but I hear that numbers are slowly growing.”
A bonus for Burnie is that Ulverstone spearhead Georgia Foote is still out of action.
“We are down to a bare 11 ourselves this week with Georgia still out and looking very unlikely to play next weekend’s Cup final as well.
“We have also lost Susannah Beattie to a knee injury and have Danni Mitchell and Paige Spicer – our ‘keeper - out due to it being a Saturday game and them having to work.
“Jodie Wallace is also unavailable but Annika Coles returns this week.
“Sarah Glover is a very handy replacement goalkeeper but will be missed at left back where she has been performing well. We expect to take the points but don’t expect to repeat the hiding handed to Burnie by Prospect Knights in their match a few rounds ago. And, to be honest, while it was probably nice for the Knights to post a huge win, as they have received a few beltings themselves in recent seasons, I wouldn’t get any satisfaction at all from a 20 odd goal win. Goal difference is not our focus; winning all our games including beating Launceston City twice is our aim!
“Our game at Montello tomorrow is also part of a big day of raising funds for, and awareness of, breast cancer. Burnie United will be playing in pink and we will have sort of pink adornment as well and the club will make a donation to the cause.”
For details of the other Southern Women’s Premier League, please look below.
Northern Premier League - Round 9
Launceston City vs Prospect Knights 2:00PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Mitsubishi Park 1)
Launceston United vs Somerset 2:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Birch Avenue)
Burnie vs Ulverstone 2:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Montello)
Northern Rangers vs Riverside 2:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (NTCA 2)
Northern Women’s Premier League – Round 6
Burnie vs Ulverstone 12:30PM/Saturday 31 May 2014 (Montello 2)
Prospect vs Launceston City 10:30AM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (NTCA 3)
Launceston United vs Somerset 12:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (Birch Avenue)
Northern Rangers vs Riverside Olympic 12:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (NTCA 2)
Devonport vs Launceston City Allies 12:30PM/Sunday 1 June 2014 (Valley Road)