Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mathew Sanders ready for a big VPL season in 2011

Photos (Top to Bottom): Mathew Sanders of Green Gully Cavaliers; It's an uphill climb for Sanders as he heads for home; Sanders keeps up a very good pace; Now it's a real hill climb; He's keeping up a good pace; Sanders conquers the last hill in style [PlessPix]

Green Gully Cavaliers striker Mathew Sanders is back in Tasmania for 10 days and enjoying visiting family and friends.

But, the 24-year-old is keeping fit with daily long-distance runs.

He knows competition for places with the reigning champions will be fierce for the 2011 Victorian Premier League season and a daily fitness regimen is essential, even while on holiday.

I caught up with Sanders on New Year’s Day and asked him about his life as a footballer.

Walter Pless: You’re keeping fit, even while on holiday?

Mathew Sanders: I’ve been training for about six weeks, but I missed the last couple of weeks over in Melbourne because I had a mole cut out.

WP: What sort of running are you doing while you’re home in Tasmania?

MS: Just long distance mainly, to get some kilometres into the legs. We’re straight into games next week. We’ve got six practice games and then the season starts on 18 February.

WP: What’s it like to be home?

MS: It’s good. I’ve caught up with a few people, but I’ve had to keep fit so I think I’ve only had six drinks for the whole time I’ve been back. A lot has changed. I’ve got two children now so it’s all good.

WP: You had a very successful season last year with Green Gully.

MS: Yes, it was good to win the title and to score in the grand final. You dream about playing at AAMI Park and it was fantastic.

WP: What does the 2011 season hold for you?

MS: We haven’t got any new players yet, but I’m sure we’ll get a couple from overseas. We retained all the squad apart from three players and I think we should be up in the top two or three, hopefully, again. In the finals series, anything can happen again.

WP: Are you impressed with AAMI Park?

MS: Yes, I am. It’s quality. The facilities, the change-rooms the size of a house, plasma screens everywhere inside the change-rooms, the playing surface just like a carpet means it’s quality. And, with 2,000 there in a 30,000 capacity stadium, the atmosphere was still great. It’s fantastic.

WP: What about some of the other Tasmanians in Victoria?

MS: Chris Sanita was at Bentleigh but he’s going to a Division One side to get more game time, I think. Goran Jozeljic is at St Alban’s and will be in the VPL this season, and Billy Gasparinatos is at Oakleigh Cannons. They're all doing well.

WP: What’s your advice to Tasmanian youngsters hoping to make the grade to a higher level interstate?

MS: You’ve just got to stick at it. I had two or three years where I was coming off the bench all the time, but in the last two and half years I’ve started nearly every game, apart from when I’ve had injuries. You’ve just got to stick at it and get through the first six months living away from home. Basically, you’ve just got to stick it out.

I'm working for Craig Jones and his son is also there, so it's great to be surrounded by Tasmanians. That sort of thing helps. Once you find work and settle into the lifestyle and daily routine, it becomes easier. You have to stick with it.

I should have left Tasmania earlier. By the time you're 18, it could be too late.

WP: Do you think a Tasmanian State team could mix it in the VPL?

MS: I think it could if you got the best players from all of Tasmania. I think they could do pretty well in the VPL. Maybe it's something for Football Federation Tasmania to think about.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Great to see Matty's fitness program with his Uncle Mick has been paying off.

Roberto said...

A Tasmanian team in the VPL would be a fantastic initiative.

However, the standard in Tassie is about midd table Victorian Division 1, at best.

Anonymous said...

I think a team in the vpl is the best we can hope for at the moment, I think if we picked a team with all the best players in the state and added the tasmanians from interstate we could do well, heres a squad with mainly southern players as I dont know many northern players gk nathan pitchford rb henry fagg cb will abbott cb alex holmes lb liam scott rm aaron brazendale cm tom roach cm bart beecroft lm jon lo st mathew sanders st ben crosswell subs jono ladic, goran jozilic, james sherman, ricky self, billy gasprinatos

Anonymous said...

A team in the VPL is a more realistic option, in the short term, than a State League where most seem opposed or the ultimate pipedream, at Tassie team in the A-league. It would still give our youngesters something quality to aim for and expose them to even further options. Would need to secure a naming right sponsor though. Maybe the State Govt. would help. Having the Tasmania logo on a team called Tasmania seemed more logical than having 'Tasmania' on a team called Hawthorn.

Anonymous said...

maybe south hobart should join the VPL?. A tassie side is never going to happen if left up to FFT.

Anonymous said...

team in VPL from tassie be it south knight or even a state team will never happen to much money involved to allow other teams in ,politics and its a closed shop, Fact!

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't tassie play in this competition as I have seen teams from AIS ans VIS play in recent years. All comes down to costs and how badly we actually want a side in the comp. As we all know its not the FFT really holding us back but ourselves as individual clubs who continually only look after number one.
Clubs need to be united and as actual stakeholder in the game tell the FFT and the board where football in this state needs to be not just sit back and except whats delivered.
Then its up to the players and coaches to delivery the required comittment.
More than happy to discuss,assist or be bagged by all.

Rod Sanders

Anonymous said...

Leadership is essential Rocket. Wonder how well we'd do and the ongoing opportunities that would arise if FFT/State Govt put its $200KPA + effort into such a team rather than run the TIS kiddies team.

BYW your boy looks a bit chunkier than his dad.

Anonymous said...

750 g for a vpl license. Alot of cash, but surely more chance of getting the govt involved than with an a-league bid. The best 7 or 8 tassie players, current and ex-pat, combined with some outsiders would be competitive. The only way forward for tassie soccer. will not happen under TFT tho, so it will take a club to do it off there own back.

Anonymous said...

There are no Tasmanian players who could be considered good enough to hold down a regular A-League team spot. However, there are a few up and coming lads if placed in the right environment that could prove themselves. A Tasmanian A-League team with Tasmanian players is just a pipe dream.

Anonymous said...

name one A League team that is made up of entirely local players. Of course any Tassie A League team would need imports - and not just from mainland states.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say the team should be made up entirely of Tasmanians. I said there were NO Tasmanian players good enough to hold down a regular team position. Therefore a team with ANY Tasmanian players was a pipe this stage, but there are a couple who could make the grade given the right exposure and development pathway.