Sunday, September 28, 2014

North Hobart has a long history as a soccer venue

North Hobart, the venue for today’s double-header featuring Tasmania against Melbourne Victory Youth at 12.15pm, followed by the A-League pre-season clash between heavyweights Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at 3pm, is no stranger to soccer.
Back in 1923, it was the scene of China’s 2-1 win over Tasmania.
Two years later, Tasmania lost to South Australia there 4-3.
South Hobart Oval then became the preferred venue for quite a few years.
It was back to North Hobart in 1951, when England beat Tasmania 11-0 before a crowd of 5,742.
England also played at York Park in Launceston on that tour, where they won 17-0.
Hong Kong were the next visiting side to play at North Hobart and they beat Tasmania 6-4.
Hong Kong played there again in 1955, winning 11-2 against Tasmania.
In 1957, the Hungarian side, Ferencvaros, played an Australian XI, containing five Tasmanians, at North Hobart.
It was 2-2 at half-time, but Ferencvaros scraped home 3-2.  There were just over 3,000 in attendance.
The referee was Norm Evans, who was killed when hit by a cricket ball in a game at South Hobart Oval some years later.Scottish club Heart of Midlothian, generally known as Hearts, beat Tasmania 10-0 at North Hobart in 1959.
Chelsea toured Australia in 1965 and they thrashed Tasmania 12-0 at North Hobart that year.
An English FA XI were the next visitors to play at North Hobart and they beat Tasmania 8-0, with the pitch marked out from the Ryde Street end towards Ridges Hotel, which in those days, was the Blind and Deaf Institute.  Generally, the pitch ran from the Argyle Street end to the Letitia Street end, as it will be today.
Apart from North Hobart, visiting sides have also played at South Hobart Oval, Queenborough, the TCA Ground, Grove Road (now KGV Park), the Showgrounds, York Park and the Elphin Showgrounds.
The last big game at North Hobart was in 1993, when Gary Lineker’s Nagoya Grampus Eight beat Tasmania 3-0.
In more recent times, the Tasmanian under-21s have played A-League youth sides at North Hobart.
In 2008, Tasmania Under-21s beat Melbourne Victory Youth 1-0 before 1,500, the goal coming from Mark Ambrose.
Milos Lujic, who played for South Melbourne Hellas against South Hobart last weekend, was in that Melbourne Victory Youth side.  Hugh Ludford was in the Tasmanian side and last weekend was the second time they had confronted each other.
Also in 2008 at North Hobart, Tasmania’s Under-21s beat Brisbane Roar Youth 1-0 through a goal by Danny White before a crowd of 900.
Today’s double-header offers a top-notch programme and anything less than 10,000 would be disappointing at this notable venue.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Melbourne Victory Youth emphasise player development before winning

Photo:  Darren Davies, the Melbourne Victory Youth coach, works with up to 20 young players, some of whom are under contract and others who are not [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory Youth will come to Hobart on Sunday to face Tasmania on the heels of two wins against FC Bulleen Lions during the past week.
Melbourne Victory won both those games, so look out Tasmania!
Winning is not the purpose of the visit to Hobart, however, and player development is the first priority.
The squad has only been together for a week, but Davies liked what he saw in the two games against Bulleen.
"It's a particularly young group, however, our philosophy as a club is to get the youngsters in and to hopefully become the next batch who progress from this youth team into the seniors,” said Melbourne Victory Youth coach, Darren Davies.  “That’s always our goal.
"Every single player we have at Melbourne Victory we have because we believe they can be a first-team player.
“We are really committed to working with those boys.
"When we train, we all train together.  We are looking to implement the same structures as the first team.  This is done ultimately because our job is to get our next batch into the first team.
"Anybody who knows me and knows this football club knows our goal is purely to get players into the first team.  That is what we are about and is our ultimate goal, and our only goal.
“Winning games is part of their learning, but it is not at the expense of their development.
"Our goal is to get boys into the first team.  Over the course of the last three years we are up to nine boys now who have been involved in the first team.
“Our goal is to better that and if we can get more boys into the first team then it’s been a successful season.
 "It [the games against Bulleen] was a really great exercise and I want to put on record our thanks to Bulleen as well.
“We came out here, it’s a nice surface to play on, and they have supported us very well."
Sunday’s game against Tasmania represents their next phase in preparing for the Hyundai Youth League.

Tasmania's Aimee Medwin gains national selection

Photo:  Aimee Medwin (circled) with the Tasmanian NTC Women's squad which will be going on a tour of China soon [PlessPix]

Talented Tasmanian female footballer Aimee Medwin has been selected to represent Australia in Malaysia at the Asian Football Confederation Under-16 Women’s Championships qualifying tournament.
Medwin, a product of Football Federation Tasmania’s successful National Training Centre Women’s Football Program, was one of just 23 players named yesterday by Australia’s head coach, Ante Juric.
The squad has been selected following three selection camps throughout September at the AIS in Canberra.
The tournament will be held in Melaka, Malaysia, from 4-8 October, with the team departing Sydney on Monday, 29 September.
"This is a magnificent achievement and is very significant for women’s football in Tasmania,” said FFT technical director, Spencer Prior. 
Photo:  Aimee Medwin has earned Australian representation [PlessPix]
Medwin is a very talented left-sided player for the NTC but has shown her value as a utility, capable of performing on both sides of the park and in either attacking or defending positions, an attribute that has caught the eye of national selectors after strong performances at the selection camps.
“For Aimee, this is just the beginning of, hopefully, a long journey in international football,” said Prior.
“She deserves this as she is not only a talented footballer but a great kid.
"Michael Edwards’s contribution towards her development shouldn’t go unnoticed as he has played a significant role in guiding her on this journey.
"With the development of women’s football high on FFT’s strategic plan, the appointment of Rani Cavarretta and the restructuring of the technical department around women’s football, it shows that there are opportunities for female footballers to be identified on the national stage if they apply themselves to their game the same way Aimee has.”

Tasmanian squad cut to 16 ahead of Sunday's game against Melbourne Victory Youth

Photo:  Hugh Undy (left) and Callum Moore are the players to miss out [PlessPix]

South Hobart’s Hugh Undy and Devonport City’s Callum Moore have been cut from the Tasmanian squad to face Melbourne Victory Youth at 12.15pm on Sunday at North Hobart.
“The tough decision naming the final 16 has been completed,” said Tasmania joint coach, Glen McNeill.
“Unfortunately Callum Moore and Hugh Undy miss out.
“It was a tough decision as they are both quality players.
"However, we go into the Victory match with what we believe is a squad that will be competitive against a quality team.”
The squad will train together for the final time on Saturday.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Next generation of Knights hone their skills in SAP

Photo:  Glenorchy Knights technical director Matthew Rhodes (left), Michael Furjanic (centre, back) and Knights goalkeeper Alex Woodham pose with the latest batch of Glenorchy Knights youngsters [PlessPix]

Glenorchy Knights stalwart Michael Furjanic was on hand at Prince of Wales Bay on Sunday to watch his grandson play in the Skills Acquisition Programme festival.
His daughter, Anita Furjanic, is currently on the Knights committee and was happy to see her father watch her son, Nicholas Bonnitcha, play.
Photo:  Michael Furjanic stands behind his grandson, Nicholas Bonnitcha, and Marina Brkic shown with her sons, Thomas and Mathew [PlessPix]

Joe Brkic, a Croatia Glenorchy player in the 1960s was there with his son, Robin, and daughter-in-law Marina to see his grandsons, Thomas and Mathew, in action.
Tom Huigsloot’s son, Harrison, was also in the thick of the action, so it seems as if a new generation of Knights players is on the rise.
Photo:  Michael Furjanic and daughter Anita Furjanic with Anita's son, Nicholas Bonnitcha [PlessPix]
Photo:  Goalmouth action in the SAP festival [PlessPix]
Photo:  Action from a SAP game on the weekend [PlessPix]
Photo:  A player tackles in a SAP game on Sunday [PlessPix]
Photo:  An attacker breaks clear and heads for goal [PlessPix]
Photo:  An attacker races for goal [PlessPix]