Tuesday, January 22, 2019

More pre-season games scheduled

There are two pre-season friendlies this week.

On Wednesday, Glenorchy Knights take on Clarence United at KGV Park at 7.30pm.

On Thursday, Hobart Zebras play Olympia Warriors at KGV Park at 7pm.

Olympia Warriors will visit Melbourne from 1-3 February and play Moreland City, of the Victorian NPL2 competition, and Boonerong Eagles, of the State League 2.

Former Olympia players Manuel Tsakiris and Zac Piesse play for Boonerang.

“We’re trying to start a relationship there to benefit both clubs,” said Olympia Warriors coach, Rob Clarke.

Olympia Warriors will play Keilor Park at Warrior Park on Saturday, 9 February 2019, at 3pm.

Keilor Park are coming to Hobart to play Glenorchy Knights.

South Hobart will host Pascoe Vale on 2 February.

South Hobart are also scheduled to take on Launceston City away in Launceston.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

North Sunshine Eagles beat Zebras by a single goal

Photo:  Zebras' Dwayne Walsh grapples with Eagles' Ardi Ahmeti as Zebras' Jordan Muller watches [PlessPix]

(Interstate Friendly, South Hobart Oval, Saturday, 19 January 2019)

Hobart Zebras 0
North Sunshine Eagles 1 (Simon Tolli 53’)

HT:  0-0   Att:  120   Ref:  N Coad

Hobart Zebras:  Sam Whatman  -  Dwayne Walsh, Luke Bighin, Jan Charuza, Riley Dillon  -  Daniel Lapolla, Jordan Muller, Jeyden Hey  -  Matthew Pace, Luke Huigsloot, Mathew Sanders  (Subs:  Nathan Reid, Lachie Burt, Jonny Jones, Jimmy Ackerley, Nicky Edwards, Ryan Backhouse, Adam McKeown)

North Sunshine Eagles:  Zaim Zeneli  -  Yoshitatsu Itano, Darren Lewis, Besnik Kutleshi, Edison Ponari  -  Ilir Pali, Shane Rexhepi, Simon Tolli, Adnan Jumeri  -  Ardi Ahmeti, Kazuki Okada  (Subs:  Nicholas Bilchardz, Robert Zadworny, Deillon Memishi, Durim Acura)

Photo:  The North Sunshine Eagles players get a feel for the South Hobart pitch before the game [PlessPix]

North Sunshine Eagles beat Hobart Zebras 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at South Hobart Oval on Saturday.

The first half was goalless, but the Victorian visitors could have been three goals in front by the time the half-time whistle went.

Kazuki Okada missed a good chance early on, as did Ardi Ahmeti, as the visitors put together some excellent passages of play utilising the width of the pitch and interchanging positions seamlessly.

On the half-hour, Yoshitatsu Itano, who was excellent in defence, ventured forward but blasted his shot high over the goal.

Photo:  Simon Tolli is congratulated by team-mates after scoring the decisive goal [PlessPix]

The breakthrough came 8 minutes after the resumption when an attack down the right by Itano cut open the Zebras defence.  The ball reached Simon Tolli and he netted from dead in front and 12 metres out past a static rearguard.

Zebras did not drop their heads, however, and they created at least three excellent chances of their own.

Matthew Pace was thwarted by Eagles keeper Zaim Zeneli when presented with a one-on-one situation in which a goal seemed inevitable.

Photo:  Zebras' Jayden Hey (left) in a tangle with North Sunshine Eagles' Adnan Jumeri [PlessPix]

Zebras substitute Lachie Burt had two great chances, but the youngster fired narrowly wide on both occasions.

Eagles had a fine chance late in the match to kill off the game when they beat the off-side trap, but the attacker was bundled over and was unable to get in a shot.  There were, however, no penalty appeals by the visitors and they seemed happy to settle for the 1-0 win.

PhotoKazuki Okada gets past Zebras' Victorian defender Riley Dillon [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras coach David Smith said:

“I was pretty happy, to be honest.  It was a really good workout to play against a team that attacked fairly well and took the game to us.

“We tried to play a 4-4-2 diamond in the first half, but probably got exploited a little bit because we just didn’t quite cover the width.  Their wingers hurt us a little bit and their fullbacks pushing on.  But, we’re trying this system and seeing what we can do and where we can go.

“I was pretty happy with the majority of it, but we didn’t get enough support in and we weren’t confident enough on the ball.

“Second half, I thought we came out and played a little bit better, backed ourselves a little more and went to a 4-3-3 and created a couple of chances.  They had a few more chances but the result was probably fair in the end.

“For us, there were lots of little positives.  I was really happy with Jayden [Hey].  That was his first game for the year.  Sammy [Whatman] played his first game in goal and I was pleased with that.  I thought it was the best I’ve seen Jan [Charuza] play since I’ve been here.  There were lots of little positives out of it.

“It’s great to play someone else, a team not from here and who want to play football. They’re an adult team.  We’re a young team.  They’re spending a fair amount of dollars trying to win the league this year and this is their big year, so they’ve got some good players and they’re men, and we don’t have the men to physically match them.”

Photo:  North Sunshine Eagles starting line-up against Hobart Zebras [PlessPix]

North Sunshine Eagles coach Arben Isai said:

“We were very happy.  A lot of us got off the plane three or four hours ago. It was a tough ask to come down here with not our entire squad.

“Especially the first half, in my opinion, we were quite good.  We created a lot of chances.  I said to the boys I would have taken two, potentially three, in that first half.  I was very happy,

“Second half, obviously, Hobart, to their credit, made some changes and went more attacking and they probably had the ascendancy, but we defended well.

“Zaim [Zeneli] had to save a couple of one-on-one chances, which he saved quite well.  You need that as it’s important to keepers.

“We’re very happy with that.  We ground out the last 15 minutes and probably could have snared a couple of the counter ourselves.  I’m very happy with the boys.”

Fascinating contests in pre-season triple-header yesterday

Photo:  North Sunshine Eagles squad before ysterday's game against Hobart Zebras [PlessPix]

A goal just after the interval by Simon Tolli gave the visiting North Sunshine Eagles a 1-0 win over Hobart Zebras in a pre-season friendly at South Hobart Oval yesterday.

Eagles were late in arriving in Tasmania and only got to the ground an hour before kick-off.

They had the better of the opening half and missed three good chances, through Kazuki Okada, Ardi Ahmeti and Yoshitatsu Itano.

Photo:  Simon Tolli hits the winner for North Sunshine Eagles [PlessPix]

In the 53rd minute, Eagles produced a fine attack down the right which cut through the Zebras rearguard and Tolli was left with an easy strike past Zebras keeper Sam Whatman to give the Victorians the lead.

Zebras rallied somewhat after that and Matthew Pace should have equalised when faced with only keeper Zaim Zeneli to beat, but he shot straight at the goalkeeper from close range.

Substitute Lachie Burt was then presented with two good chances but shot wide on both occasions.

Photo:  Sunshine's Darren Lewis (left) tries to block a shot from Zebras' fly-in from Melbourne, Mathew Sanders [PlessPix]

In the final minute, Eagles almost added a second goal when they broke free down the right, but a last-ditch tackle by Zebras saved the day.

In yesterday’s NPL Tasmania friendly, Jack Ryan, Olympia Warriors’ English import, scored all four goals as his side beat South Hobart 4-2.

Photo:  Jack Ryan is congratulated by his Olympia team-mates after scoring against South Hobart [PlessPix]

The English centre-forward produced a powerful, intelligent display, but he will need to show a little more discipline once the league campaign begins as he was sometimes in trouble with referee Charles White for arguing or for kicking the ball away.

Given this was a friendly, White merely spoke to Ryan and warned him.  Had it been a league match, he would surely have earned a yellow card, if not two.

Photo:  Referee Charles White speaks to Jack Ryan about unnecessarily kicking the ball away [PlessPix]

Olympia took the lead in the 24th minute when Ryan slotted home a penalty, awarded when Adam Gorrie brought down Joffrey N’Koso.

South Hobart equalised in the 36th minute.  Bradley Lakoseljac’s excellent header was turned against the crossbar by keeper Kyle McDonald, but before the Olympia defenders could react, Ben Hamlett smashed the loose ball home from close range.

Ryan restored Olympia’s lead in the 59th minute when he was fed down the inside-right channel and he finished with a low shot that beat keeper Kieran Brown and lodged inside the far left-hand post.

Photo:  Olympia keeper Kyle McDonald saves at the feet of South Hobart's Pajari Sculthorpe [PlessPix]

Poor defending by Olympia enabled Pajari Sculthorpe to equalise, stroking the ball home into an empty net from point-blank range after South Hobart had unlocked Olympia’s defence with an attack down the left flank.

Two clinical headers by Ryan in the 75th and 82nd minutes revealed South Hobart’s aerial frailties at the back and gave Olympia an unassailable 4-2 lead.

Sculthorpe should have ensured a closer finish, but he missed an absolute sitter 5 minytes from the end.

Photo:  Kasper Hallam, in obvious pain, is led from the field by South Hobart assistant coaches Daniel Brown and Brendon Lakoseljac [PlessPix]

South Hobart, apart from losing this match, were dealt another injury blow when promising young talent Kasper Hallam suffered a broken collarbone in a collision with an opponent.

He will not need to undergo surgery, but the injury will take 6 to 8 weeks to mend.

In an earlier pre-season friendly against Hobart Zebras at KGV Park, key South Hobart defender Connor Schmidt broke his leg.  He will miss the entire season.

Olympia appear a credible force on this display, but they will need to tighten up at the back.

South Hobart were without key midfielder Loic Feral, but central defender Oscar Thomas made an appearance for the first time this season.

Photo:  Zebras keeper Nathan Reid is beaten by a South Hobart penalty in the Challenge League game.  Reid had saved the penalty but the kick was ordered to be re-taken by the referee. [PlessPix]

The triple-header program was opened by a Challenge League game between South Hobart and Hobart Zebras.

South Hobart completely outclassed Zebras, scoring three times in each half to run out 6-0 winners.

Sam Tooze netted twice, while Sam Berezansky, Mason Atfield, Ned Goodsir and Samson Juju scored a goal apiece.

Former senior stalwart and captain Hugh Ludford played for South Hobart, which could be an indication of a senior comeback as coach Ken Morton tries to stiffen up his senior side’s defence, which is proving somewhat vulnerable.

Photo:  Action from the Challenge League game between South Hobart (in red) and Hobart Zebras [PlessPix]

Zebras were never in the hunt and will need to show dramatic improvement.

Adam McKeown played for Zebras and appears to have recovered well from a torn Achilles tendon injury which ended his season prematurely last year.

[Detailed match report later and more photos.  Click on photos to see large version.]

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Triple-header Saturday results - 19 January 2019

Photo:  Jack Ryan scored all four goals for Olympia today [PlessPix]

Challenge League (Friendly)

South Hobart 6 (Sam Tooze 2, Sam Berezansky, Mason Atfield, Ned Goosir, Kasper Hallam) beat Hobart Zebras 0

Photo:  South Hobart score against Zebras in today's Challenge League match [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania (Friendly)

South Hobart 2 (B Hamlett 36’, P Sculthorpe 71’) lost to Olympia Warriors 4 (J Ryan 24’ pen, 59’, 75’, 82’)

Photo:  Jack Ryan outjumps Jack Bowman to head home his and Olympia's fourth against South Hobart [PlessPix]

Interstate Friendly

Hobart Zebras 0 lost to North Sunshine Eagles 1 (S Tolli 53’)

Photo:  Simon Tolli scores for North Sunshine Eagles against Hobart Zebras to win the game [PlessPix] 

[Summary and match report later.  Click on photos to see large version.]