Saturday, February 28, 2009

Melbourne Victory win A-League grand final

Melbourne Victory won the A-League grand final 1-0 against Adelaide United before a crowd of 53,273 spectators - including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - at the Telstra Dome tonight.

Melbourne became the first team to win the A-League grand final for a second time.

The game was televised live to 85 million homes - overseas!

This is simply scandalous. Australian fans should have been able to watch the game on free-to-air TV, but it was only those with pay TV in this country who could watch it.

It was a match filled with drama and plenty of controversy.

Both sides had a player sent off - in controversial circumstances, referee Matthew Breeze having to consult his assistant on both occasions - and there was a second-half melee in the Adelaide goalmouth involving most of the players.

Adelaide had Cristiano sent off after just 10 minutes for an elbow on Roddy Vargas, which left the Victory player bloodied.

Adelaide were on the back foot then, but five minutes into the second half they suddenly threw everything at Melbourne and created two excellent scoring chances in the space of five minutes.

But, neither Scott Jamieson, from Matthew Mullen's cross, nor captain Travis Dodd, after an amazing dribble, was able to beat Melbourne keeper Michael Theoklitos.

Melbourne took the lead on the hour when Tom Pondeljak collected a back-heeler from Evan Berger and cut in from the left and beat Eugene Galekovic with a low drive from 25 metres.

The 33-year-old Pondeljak, playing in his third grand final, was later named the Joe Marston man-of-the-match.

Melbourne's Daniel Allsopp was sent off in the 64th minute for headbutting an opponent.

With both sides now reduced to ten players, Adelaide revived but were unable to find an equaliser.

Substitute Paul Agostino had two good chances for Adelaide in the dying minutes but could not connect with the first and fired wide with the second.

"Every one [grand final win] is great," said Victory coach, Ernie Merrick. "We've just had a great year and it just caps off two other fantastic trophies.

"Fifty odd thousand and the game has been beamed to 85 million households world-wide.

"That's just fantastic for Australian football.

"Every year it seems to get tougher.

"I thought Adelaide gave us a really tough fight all the way down to the wire. It could have gone either way.

"Eugene [Galekovic] saved them a couple of times, Michael [Theoklitos] saved us a couple of times.

"Overall, we just persevered and we got what I thought we deserved."

Adelaide captain, Travis Dodd, said: "You can't fault the boys tonight.

"It was a gutsy performance. Down to ten men, it was a very difficult game for us, but the amount of courage and heart the boys showed tonight to get through the game was fantastic."

Tilford Zebras produce miracle to qualify for Summer Cup Final

Clarence United will meet Hobart Zebras on 9 March in the final of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition after both sides won their last group-stage matches.

Clarence easily accounted for University 3-0 at KGV Park on Friday night, while Zebras produced their annual miracle by beating New Town Eagles 6-0 at South Hobart on Saturday.

Zebras earned their place in the final by virtue of having scored one goal more than South Hobart (8 as against 7), both sides having identical goal-differences (plus 6).

South Hobart’s downfall was their 0-0 draw with Hobart Olympic at KGV Park on Friday night and their subsequent 4-2 loss in the penalty shoot-out.

It was the second season in a row that Zebras have squeezed into the final in the most unlikely way.

Zebras squandered several good chances in the opening minutes and then survived two close calls by Eagles, who took the opportunity to launch dangerous counter-attacks.

Youngster Braydon Pace headed Zebras in front from Andrew Telega’s cross in the 10th minute, while Pace set up Ben Crosswell for the second in the 17th minute.

Thorpe rifled home the third midway through the second half, while a penalty by Crosswell two minutes from the end made it 4-0.

Needing to win by six goals, the Zebras’ hopes seemed dashed as the match entered stoppage time, but goals by Crosswell two minutes in, and Pace four minutes in, produced the required miracle.

After a goalless opening half, Clarence took advantage of atrocious defending by University to win 3-0 through goals by Luke Cripps, Julian McMahon and Ben Parker.

Penalties by Michael Bulis, Chris Tsakiris, Dmitri Nester and Danijel Djekanovic gave Olympic their penalty-shoot-out win over South Hobart, who could only convert through Bart Beecroft and Jonathon Ladic, Olympic’s Nester saving spot-kicks by Hugh Ludford and Greg Downes.

South’s Shae Hickey and Ludford had hit the Olympic woodwork in normal time.

A 21st-minute goal by captain Josh Fielding gave Glenorchy Knights a 1-0 win over Kingborough Lions United.

[Detailed match reports of Zebras v Eagles, and Knights v Lions, to follow later.]

Preliminary Results

Summer Cup (Premier League Section)

Glenorchy Knights 1-0 Kingborough Lions United
Tilford Zebras 6-0 New Town Eagles

[Clarence United to meet Tilford Zebras in the final on 9 March.]

Reserve Summer Cup

Kingborough Lions United 3-1 Glenorchy Knights
Clarence United 3-0 University
Tilford Zebras 2-0 New Town Eagles
South Hobart 1-2 Hobart Olympic

Division One Summer Cup

Taroona 1-1 Nelson
(Taroona won penalty shoot-out 4-2)

Beachside 2-1 New Town Eagles
Hobart United 0-2 DOSA Northern Suburbs
Christian United 0-4 Metro

North-West Summer Cup

Devonport City 3-1 Ulverstone
Somerset 5-2 Burnie United

South Hobart's fate hangs in the balance


[Hobart Olympic win penalty shoot-out 4-2.]

South Hobart have to await the outcome of Saturday’s match between Tilford Zebras and New Town Eagles before they know whether they are in this season’s Summer Cup final.

This 0-0 draw was not enough to ensure them of a place in the final, and when they lost the penalty shoot-out 4-2, the situation became even more precarious.

Zebras must beat Eagles by 6-0 to pip South Hobart for a place in the final, while for Eagles to make it, they would have to beat Zebras by a dozen goals.

Eagles will be without as many as seven players for the match, so a 6-0 scoreline is just about feasible. That is the margin by which South Hobart beat Eagles in the opening round of matches.

Zebras squeezed into last year’s final because of other results, so it is far from impossible that they will do so again.

If they do, they may win, just as they did last season.

South Hobart had Sam Kruijver in goal in place of mark Moncur, whom was unavailable.

They lost strikert lost Ricky Eaves through injury after just 12 minutes.

He was replaced by Julius Ross, while new signing from Greece, Kostas Kanakaris, played a part in the match but was unable to make an impression.

Olympic relied on counter-attacks and one of these, in the 16th minute, almost paid off. Jonathon Ladic lost the ball in midfield and Akuel Guot skipped past goalkeeper Sam Kruijver on the right of the box, but the angle was impossible for a shot.

Guot played the ball back for Chris Tsakiris, but his powerful shot was blocked.

In the 25th minute, Julius Ross was given a through-ball, but he drove his low shot straight at goalkeeper Dmitri Nester.

Midway through the second half, Greg Downes did very well to beat Chris Tsakiris on the left of the box and cut the ball back for Shae Hickey, but his shot came back off the crossbar.

In stoppage time at the end of the match, South Hobart were again unlucky as Hugh Ludford fired against the crossbar from 25 metres.

Nester proved Olympic’s hero in the penalty shoot-out, beating out spot-kicks by Ludford and Downes.

Only Bart Beecroft and Ladic netted for South Hobart.

Olympic’s four spot-kicks were flawless, with Michael Bulis, Chris Tsakiris, Nester and Daniejel Djekanovic all scoring.

  • South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“An entertaining game, and not much else.

“I thought we had good possession, good territorial advantage. They never threatened us. A couple of breakaways, that’s all.

“But, we have to turn our possession into goals, and we didn’t do that.

“But, as I’ve just said to the players, seven players, seven strikers - Ricky Eaves, Julius Ross not yet fit. Neither of them had a pre-season.

“You take Danny White, Billy Gasparinatos, Igor, Johnny Lo, Tommy Roach, all inside the last six months we’ve lost.

“But, as I just said to them, they’re good football players, they’re creating chances and they’ve got to turn them chances into goals to win matches.

“I was quite happy with the way we played, but we ran out of time. That’s the problem in these games, you know, to turn the screw a little bit.

“We live to fight again.”

  • Hobart Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw, said:

“It was a hard game. We did a lot of defending.

“I was very pleased with the way we defended.

“They had a couple of good shots at the end there which hit the crossbar from distance. So, they go in or they don’t go in from distance.

“I was very pleased with the defensive unit and the midfield. They worked their butts off.

“We’ve still got things to work on - passing, receiving the ball up front to try and create a few chances ourselves.

“I don’t think we created a real clear-cut chance, but that’s something to work on.

South Hobart: Kruijver - Cooper, Ludford, M Brown, Scott - Heerey, Hickey, Upton, Beecroft, Ladic - Eaves [Substitutes: Ross, Pennicott, Di Falco, Downes]

Hobart Olympic: Nester - Lebski, P Tsakiris, Mohamad, Tsimiklis - C Tsakiris, Larzabal, A Hedge, Richardson - Bulis, Guot [Substitutes: Djekanovic, Kaproulias, Assenheimer, Kanakaris]

Booked: Lebski 20, Richardson 57

Ref: C Phillips

Att: 200

Friday, February 27, 2009

Clarence United reach Summer Cup final

Clarence United Squad (bottom)

University Squad (top)


Clarence United qualified for their first-ever Summer Cup final when they beat University 3-0 in their Group A match in the Premier League section of the competition at KGV Park on Friday night.

Clarence dominated the match. They won 11 corners to University’s one, and had 19 shots at goal.

Michael Moschogianis, the Clarence goalkeeper, touched the ball just five times, and two of those were at goalkicks.

The Eastern Shore outfit should have been in front after just 5 minutes when Chris Hunt crossed from the byline on the left, but Luke Cripps steered an easy header wide of the target.

In the 13th minute, Cripps fired at goal on the turn from the left-hand corner of the box, but the ball flew high over the bar.

On the stroke of half-time, a great cross from the left by Julian McMahon found Matthew Chapman, but he headed over the University goal.

Cripps and Ben Hamlet were causing University all sorts of problems with their mobility and speed, but the Clarence finishing left much to be desired.

University were on the back foot most of the time and they invariably gave the ball away as soon as they cleared their lines and tried to attack.

University’s newcomer Edward Opira, a striker, showed some fine touches, but he had little support and the Clarence goal was never under threat.

Clarence finally turned their superiority into goals in the second half, but they were sloppy affairs, two of them coming from corners.

A minute after the resumption, Cripps chested Hamlett’s corner into the net as everyone stood and watched. Indeed, Cripps appeared more surprised than anyone as the ball entered the net at the near post.

Hamlett headed against a post four minutes later, while in the 41st minute of this one-hour contest, McMahon headed home Chapman’s high left-wing cross to make it 2-0.

Ben Parker added the third 10 minutes from the end following Ben Phillips’s corner.

  • Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“I expected the boys to continue improving as we’ve been working on a few things for a number of weeks now.

“We’re by no means the finished article and we have no ideas of grandeur.

“But, today, in perfect conditions, I was happy with our shape. I was happy with the commitment of the players, but still our composure was lacking.

“Against the better teams we may get murdered. We’ll see.

“But, today was a good day for us and it’s the first time in our history we’ve made the Summer Cup final and we’re thrilled.”

  • University coach, Scott Gallacher, said:

“We tried, but we’re just not good enough. It’s as simple as that.

“They’re a good side, Clarence.

“They changed their playing style and they’re playing a bit more like our play - zonal, 4-4-2.

“Yeah, they did it well. We tried, but we’re just not good enough.”

Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Lewis, Ling, J Huigsloot - McMahon, Cannamela, Parker, Hunt - Cripps, Hamlett [Substitutes: Chapman, L Huigsloot, Hamilton, Phillips]

Goals: Cripps 31, McMahon 41, Parker 50

University: Piesse - Merry, Procter, J Andrews, Wilkinson -- Besley, Griffiths, Venettacci, Temby - M Andrews, Opira [Substitutes: J Wilson, Teale, Gooch]

Booked: Wilkinson

Att: 200

Ref: S Collins

Finals positions up for grabs in northern Steve Hudson Cup competition

The ‘ladder qualifying’ round of matches is on this Sunday in the northern Steve Hudson Cup series.

This involves a merging of the two groups and the final standings of the eight participating clubs will be determined, the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.

South Hobart and Northern Rangers are in the box seat as they are level on 7 points, but South Hobart has the superior goal-difference.

South Hobart are playing in the southern Summer Cup on Friday and have a day of rest before taking on the Rangers at 3pm on Sunday.

The southerners are the holders of this trophy and should be good enough to beat a Rangers outfit that has yet to field its strongest line-up and which ahs yet to hit top form.

South Hobart slipped up the weekend before last when they were held to a goalless draw, but with coach Ken Morton calling the shots again with his presence this time, it’s difficult to envisage another hiccup.

Rangers’ reserves are playing a practice match on Saturday against Launceston City so that coach Roslan Saad can make up his mind about two vacancies in his line-up.

One of those who will be in action is Thataetsile Kakadumane, known in the south as ‘the Botswanan speedster’, and if he passes the test, he may make his first appearance in the tournament.

His place is not assured, however, as his rivals are Gabriel Tams, Rhys Prestidge and Mark Jefferson.

“We are approaching the match as just another pre-season preparation match.,” said Saad.

“The players were told that all positions are still open and only the best players that are able to play with the team system will be selected for the senior team this season.

“Individual skills come second to understanding the team system and playing as a team.

“South Hobart has always been one of the top clubs in Tasmania and I don’t think Northern Rangers as a club is anywhere near that.

“But, for a young club, we are definitely progressing and are heading to the right directions.

“It will be beneficial for us if we can play against good teams like South Hobart twice, as I believe the best way to learn is to ‘do it’ and to 'do it better' ”.

Taroona, in third place, meet Launceston City, who are a point behind the southerners, at 1pm.

“On Sunday, we play Launceston City in the Steve Hudson Cup, which is a game we desperately want to do well in as they absolutely smashed us last time we played them two seasons ago in the Statewide Cup,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“This will be a pretty different team to the one that played that day, but a few of the guys were around for it and will want to make amends.

“We didn’t play too badly against Northern Rangers last weekend when we lost 2-0, but we lacked a cutting edge and Chris Cox didn’t get much support up front.

“He has been in outstanding form so we need to make sure we get players forward quickly in support and, overall, we need to be a bit more aggressive in attack.

“We’ve also been guilty of conceding silly goals through concentration lapses throughout the tournament, so we’ll focus on eliminating those from our game..

“Alex Edwards will replace Hugo Luttmer, who strained his hamstring in the first half last week, and Jack Elliott is also unavailable so Cian Carey will move into midfield, and I will take his place in central defence.”

The Tasmanian Institute of Sport take on Prospect Knights at 11am.

At the AGM of FFT on Thursday, most clubs opposed the TIS representing University at under-19 level in the southern competitions and it will be interesting to see if this puts any psychological pressure on the youngsters or their coach.

It must be unsettling to know you are not wanted in a competition.

But, the TIS is good enough to win this game against a side that has yet to taste victory in the tournament.

Launceston United and Riverside Olympic meet at 2.30pm and nothing is riding on the outcome of this clash.

Launceston, the hosts of the tournament, will be keen to get something out of it.

Second-round of Division One Summer Cup will start to sort the teams

Beachside and New Town Eagles, the two top sides in Group A of the Division One Summer Cup competition, clash at Olinda Grove on Saturday at 5.30pm in a game which could decide one finalist.

Both sides have three points after one round of matches and the side that wins will have one foot in the final.

John Holliday, Bob Hadfield, and Steve Louden are unavailable for Eagles, but Adam Jones and Kim Wiggins return.

“It’s good to have a few experienced guys back this week as this squad has about as much depth as a Mills And Boon novel,” said Eagles coach, Marty Nidorfer.

“Beachside will be tough, as we have experienced in the past, so training this week has concentrated on one-touch play and rapid movement.

“We will miss Bob Hadfield, who continually performs. He’s a young man with an old head.”

Beachside is brimming with talent, however, and should be a little too good for Eagles.

Nelson and Taroona, the top teams in Group B, clash at 1pm and, again, the winner is almost assured of a place in the final.

Paul Gazzignato and Rowan Sakul are doubtful for Nelson, while Tristian Cripps is out because of an ankle injury.

Joe Van Derv Slink and Robert Brook will make their debuts, while Tom Gordon retains his place in the side.

“We haven't played Taroona for a while because they disappeared off to Premier League to avoid playing us,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“In any case, while this is Summer Cup and neither club will have its strongest squad, it will be interesting for us to see where we are in comparison to them at this stage of the season.”

Taroona are active in both the southern and northern pre-season competitions but are doing very well in both.

“We have another busy weekend, with a Summer Cup game against Nelson on Saturday and Launceston City on Sunday in the Steve Hudson Cup,” said Tarooan coach, Ben Horgan.

“I was really happy with the commitment shown against Metro last weekend and it was great to get a win.

“Our actual performance showed up some of the things we still need to work on, but we knew that would be the case.

“We weren’t able to keep a lot of possession and, as a result, we didn’t create too many chances, but on the positive side, we were very resilient defensively once we settled and the longer the game went the less I thought we looked like conceding.

“The form of Duncan Carey and Dan Palmer was also encouraging as they have both missed a fair bit of pre-season, and they will be better for the run.

“Sam Johnson was outstanding in defence and it was great to see him score the winner after he saved us by clearing a ball off our goal line in the first half.

“The team will be strengthened in midfield with last season’s best-and-fairest winner Jack Elliott included, but we will save Sam for the Steve Hudson Cup game on Sunday and, hopefully, Lucas Wyatt will be fit to take his place.

“We will also look at giving 16-year-old winger Liam McGuinness a debut as he has been really impressive over the pre-season and he will add some real pace out wide."

In other games, Hobart United, who have lost more players to Hobart Olympic during the week, face DOSA in a Group A match at 4pm, while Christian United take on Metro at 2.30pm in a Group B fixture.

“This week, after a poor performance from the team, we have seen some more senior players go, mainly to Olympic,” said Hobart United’s Pedro Ramirez.

“The challenge will be to get the full team together.

“Mark Broadbent has been working on shaping the team for a game that will tell how Hobart United will perform throughout the year.”

One cannot help but feel for United, who won the title last season and then lost the promotion/relegation play-off to New Town Eagles.

It really is a story of from riches to rags.

DOSA have much to prove as they step up a tier this season. They have always been great rivals of United and the shoe now appears to be on the other foot.

Metro should have few concerns about the game against Christian United.

“We will make a few changes to the team that played against Taroona in round 1,” said Metro coach, Darrin Chaffey.

“Last week was a good hit-out. We were reasonably pleased with most parts of our game.

“I think both teams were light on personnel, which will certainly change over the coming weeks.

“We had a good 75 per cent of the play, but lacked the finishing up front.

“The end result could’ve been very different had we capitalised on our many chances in the first half.

“However, we didn’t and Taroona had one real chance, which they made the most of.

“This week, on the training track, we’ve been working on ensuring we punish the opposition when giving us a look in.

“James Hope and Shane Leake are unavailable and goalkeeper Michael McKenna is likely to need another week.

“Wade Hawkins and Danny Cowen both had very good debuts and are likely to retain their spots at right back and left-midfield, respectively.

“Jim Brown is a likely starter after missing last week’s game due to work commitments.

“We also have a few new signings that may be available for some game time.”

Clarence versus South Hobart final on the cards

Clarence United and South Hobart should be the finalists in the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition.

Clarence need only a draw against University at 6.30pm in their Group A match on Friday at KGV Park, while South Hobart can ensure their second successive appearance in the final with a win against Hobart Olympic at 8pm in a Group B game.

“I am expecting the players to earn the result required to enable the club to reach its first Summer Cup final in Premier League,” said Clarence coach, Andrew Brown.

“I am expecting continued improvement from the players in our last summer cup game.

“I am expecting to see defensive concentration for 60 minutes, more cohesion from the midfield in transition and patience from the forwards.”

Substitute goalkeeper Sam Sweetten is out injured with a dislocated elbow and Steffan Hamilton will come into the Clarence squad.

University have had a poor tournament and nothing is expected to change in this match as far as they are concerned.

Aaron Hindmarsh and Bryn Griffiths may be available for the first time this year, but veteran Martin Piesse will continue in goal in the absence of Rory McCallum, who broke his nose before the tournament began and has been unable to play.

Julian Proud is still suspended and will not be available until the first league match.

University coach Scott Gallacher is adopting a nonchalant approach to this tournament given that he does not have his first-choice side available and anything but a Clarence victory is difficult to foresee.

South Hobart should beat a Hobart Olympic side that has not fulfilled its promise in this pre-season tournament and which went down to New Town Eagles last weekend - the side that South had thrashed 6-0.

South Hobart coach Ken Morton said that the Igor saga was finally over.

The Brazilian has signed with Queensland club Logan City Kings and will not play in Tasmania this season.

Morton may continue to rest striker David Abbott, who has a hamstring strain.

This means Ricky Eaves or Julius Ross will play in the lone striker role.

“We’ve only got one striker and not two,” said Morton, when explaining his side’s 4-5-1 formation.

Olympic will have Peter Otto available after he was cleared by Hobart United, while Carl Larzabal is available after recovering from an ankle injury.

Their new Greek midfielder has still not obtained his international clearance and supporters must be hoping that the wait will be worth it.

“This will be a huge challenge for us, even though we are playing only for our pride,” said Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw.

“It would be nice to give a good performance.”

If Olympic do win, it would pave the way for either Tilford Zebras or New Town Eagles to reach the final.

They clash at South Hobart at 2.30pm on Saturday.

If South Hobart have lost to Olympic, then a win for either Zebras or Eagles would put them in the final.

Zebras sneaked through the back door last year when the situation seemed hopeless and won the trophy, but this game should be of academic interest only as even a draw for South Hobart against Olympic would probably be enough for South to reach the final.

Zebras will miss Daniel Lapolla, who will be attending a wedding.

Coach Nick Lapolla is contemplating some positional changes and Ben Crosswell may play up front.

Henry Fagg missed a training session after clashing heads with Bart Beecroft in last week’s match against South Hobart and sustaining a bruised eye.

Eagles will be without seven players and coach George Krambousanos will promote players who have occupied the bench, such as Matthew Rybak, Barry Pope and Jamie Vernon.

Richard Delara and Chris Wass are suspended after being sent off against Olympic last weekend, while Cormac Collins, Ben Whitehall, Nathan Pitchford, Alex Leszczynski and Alex Gordon are injured.

Kingborough Lions United take on Glenorchy Knights in a Group A match at South Hobart at 1pm on Saturday.

The Knights could reach the final if Clarence somehow lose to University and if the Knights subsequently topple the Lions.

The Knights will be without Tom Sherman, who is in Melbourne, and Corey Smith, who is in Brisbane for Futsal commitments.

Smith would be unlikely to play anyway after differences of opinion between him and coach Eamonn Kelly.

Kelly is adamant that Smith has played his last senior game for the Knights.

“His antics won’t be tolerated,” said Kelly. “He won’t play senior football for the club.

“He is brilliant with the way he handles under-age players at the club and last week his frustration at having been out of the game for 12 months may have come to the fore.

“He can be a good player.

“But, I have ten other people on the park to think about.”

Defender Jade Clay is doubtful because of injury, but Cosmos Paite, who is from Launceston, will retain his place in the side after impressing on his debut last week after coming through the reserves.

Kingborough Lions will have Jason Voss back in goal in place of David Leamey, who was given his chance last week.

Both are only 18 years old and need more experience.

Charles White got through a training session during the week but may make his way back through the reserves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indigenous Tasmanian junior side in the pipeline

Football Federation Australia is embarking on a 10-year national program to involve Indigenous youngsters in the game of Association Football.

The initiative was announced in Hobart on Tuesday by John Moriarty, the first Aboriginal ever to be selected to play soccer for Australia in the early 1960s.

Moriarty, who is FFA’s Indigenous ambassador for football, is no stranger to Tasmania.

He played for South Australia against Tasmania at South Hobart in 1963 - the match resulted in a 0-0 draw - and his wife is from Devonport and they frequently holiday here.

Moriarty was in Hobart this week to talk to Football Federation Tasmania officials about forming a Tasmanian Indigenous football team to compete in a tournament scheduled for Townsville in July.

“FFA are keen to get Aboriginal soccer players involved on a national basis where it hasn’t been done before,” said Moriarty.

“Although it’s a 10-year program, we’re having a national Indigenous festival in Townsville from the 4th to the 10th of July and we’ll be having Aboriginal boys’ teams and girls’ teams.

“There’ll be 10 boys’ teams and six girls’ teams and we’ll have a Tasmanian boys’ team representing this State.

“We hope they’ll be able to mix, which I’m sure they will, and see the standards and the involvement of other kids from the Northern Territory, Western Australia, from all States, and particularly from the bush communities.

“We hope it will really throw the book wide open, where Aboriginal kids can have an opportunity to come to a national carnival and, hopefully, move on from there in a selection process that will involve them with clubs at the State level, but also to link with the A-League clubs for the future.’

The program and the festival are being funded by the FFA and the boys and girls involved with the Townsville festival will be aged between 13 and 16 years.

FFT will be directly involved in the program.

“We want to ensure that the Aboriginal kids have very close links to FFT and also with the clubs,” said Moriarty.

“Hopefully, there’ll be a natural process where they can get involved and move up the ladder to better themselves within the coaching systems that are here.

“Hopefully, they’ll become involved right to the ultimate and, maybe, we’ll have a couple of World Cup representatives coming out of Tasmania.”

FFT CEO Michael McIntyre said his organisation was extremely supportive of the initiative.

“It’s a great opportunity to increase participation amongst the Indigenous community within Tasmania and be involved with the first national carnival in Townsville in July this year,” McIntyre said.

“It’s a great program with a long-term horizon of about 10 years and I think what it will achieve in that period of time will be tremendous for the community.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Matilda star visits Hobart

Photo: Jo Burgess at South Hobart on Saturday

Matildas’ star striker Jo Burgess was in Hobart on the weekend to conduct futsal clinics and to visit schools.

Burgess, 29, also took in some of the action at the Summer Cup series at South Hobart.

She said the inaugural national W-League season had been a huge success and she was looking forward to playing in it when the second season starts in August.

Burgess missed out on last year’s Asian Championship because of a family bereavement, and she missed out on the W-League because of injury.

“I’ve been having a lot of hamstring problems and my coach told me to sit it out and get some rest,” Burgess said.

“I hope to get back on the field soon.

“We’ll be having regular camps for the national side until the W-League resumes in August and I’m looking forward to it.

“The W-League was unbelievable and people got to see young talented players they hadn’t seen before.

“We’re getting a lot of new girls now as a result of the TV exposure.”

Burgess said Australia’s two games against Italy had been disappointing [a draw and a loss], but the team had new players and had not been together for several months.

“We stepped down a bit against Italy,” she said. “We had a lot of players who weren’t in the World Cup side the previous year and players such as Cheryl Salisbury and Jo Peters were retiring.

“The conditions were difficult and the girls were struggling a bit.”

She said the pressure was on her now to retain her Matildas’ spot as many young, talented girls were appearing on the scene.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

University lose penalty shoot-out

Michael wells beats Martin Piesse for the winner


[Kingborough win penalty shoot-out 10-9.]

University almost took a 3rd-minute lead through Alexander Hoystead, but Marc Iseli cleared after goalkeeper David Leamey fumbled the ball.

In the 16th minute, Damian Pearce headed against the University post with keeper Martin Piesse beaten.

Kingborough were proving very dangerous at corners and Pearce, in particular, was finding the range with his headers.

But, it was University which took the lead against the run of play.

A terrible error in the 18th minute by Leamey gifted the Students a goal.

Michael Wells passed the ball back to Leamey, who, in attempting to clear, gave the ball to Matthew Besley, who couldn't believe his luck. He kept his head and stroked the ball home.

Kingborough might have been level in the 26th minute following yet another corner, but Marcus Bremner headed the ball down and it bounced over the bar.

On the stroke of half-time, Tom McDonald shot inches wide of the target as Kingborough continued to dominate play.

The equaliser came four minutes after the break, Bremner hammering a terrific shot into the roof of the net past an unsighted Piesse.

Piesse was finding himself busy and midway through the second half he did very well to turn Marcello Marchioli's effort wide.

Piesse was again in the action two minutes from the end when he parried Ross Hinkley's fierce shot.

And so, the game went to an extraordinary penalty shoot-out featuring 20 spot-kicks.

Michael Palmer, Marchioli, Joel Schuth, Bremner, Brett Andrews, Ryan Bevan, Iseli and McDonald all scored for the Lions, as did Oliver Venettacci, Andy Wilson, Besley, Brook Teale, James Wilkinson, Johnathon Merry, John Wilson, Joseph Summers and David Procter for University.

Mitch Gooch then shot over the bar for University and it was left to Michael Wells to score for the Lions and earn the bonus point.
  • University coach, Scott Gallacher, said:
"I don't really want to say much.

"Did we just play there?

"It just didn't happen for us today. We just weren't there.

"There's no structure at all.

"The penalty shoot-out was unbelievable. There were some great penalties taken."

  • Kingborough Lions United coach, Geoff Freeman, said:
"It was not really a good game, I think.

"The standard was certainly not very high.

"First half, we were very ordinary and we spoke about that a little bit at half-time that we probably rushed ourselves a little bit and didn't make the most of the space that we should have had.

"Second half, we used it a little bit better.

"We created some opportunities.

"It wasn't a great game but we're happy to sort of come away with at least playing better in the second half than the first.

"We had more chances than they did and we gave them a goal.

"If you don't take your chances you don't deserve to win.

"We may have been the better side, but not by much."

University: Piesse - A Wilson, Merry, Wilkinson, Procter - J Wilson, Venettacci, Teale, Summers - Besley, Hoystead [Substitutes: Weller, Andrews, Gooch]

Booked: J Wilson

Goals: Besley 18

Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - Palmer, Iseli, Pearce, Wells - Bevan, Marchioli, Andrews, Schuth - Bremner, McDonald [Substitutes: R Hinkley, Voss]

Goals: Bremner 34

Ref: S Collins

Att: 100

Clarence United on brink of cup final

Clarence's Luke Cripps heads home a corner



Clarence United have one foot in the Summer Cup final after this 2-1 win over Glenorchy Knights in Group A of the Premier League section of the competition.

Clarence have a good chance of finally winning something at this level.

They were young, fast and fit and did not allow the Knights to settle into a comfort zone.

Luke Cripps and Ben Hamlett worked hard in attack and always posed a threat to a Knights defence that unsuccessfully tried to play the off-side trap and which too readily gave the ball away in dangerous areas.

And yet, the Knights should have taken the lead in the 6th minute when the Clarence defence were at sixes and sevens, a cross from the right passing by several defenders before carrying to the unmarked Will Roberts on the left.

Roberts went for accuracy rather than power and his tame side-footer was easily caught by Michael Moschogianis.

Six minute later, Clarence hit the lead, Ben Hamlett crossing from the goal-line on the right and Jacob Huigsloot powering a header past Ben Peter.

Seven minutes after the break, Hamlett’s corner was headed home by Cripps to make it 2-0.

The Knights sometimes put together good passages of play. One such passage came two minutes from the end when Josh Fielding released Cosmos Paite down the right and his cross was headed powerfully into the net by Amadu Koroma.

  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:

“We should have won it in the first half. We missed four goals in the first half.

“The first bit of football we played all day, we scored a goal.

“But, you know, that’s football.

“We just go on to next week.”

  • Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“Any win’s a good win.

“It’s not actually what we came into the Summer Cup for, but we will take it.

“I thought we rode our luck early. We could have been two or three down.

“But, when you’re working on things that these guys haven’t experienced before, it’s going to take time to get it.

“We believe there are more positives than negatives.

“Again, a late goal, which is very disappointing, and it’s something that we worked very hard on. And so, we’ve failed miserably twice this year.

“That being said, I am happy with aspects of the performance again, but we have lots of things to work on.”


Glenorchy Knights: Peter - Wiggins, Djelalija, Clay - Vavoulas - Koroma, Fielding, Kamba, Roberts - Sherman, Smith

Booked: Smith

Goals: Koroma 58

Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Lewis, Ling, J Huigsloot - McMahon, Parker, Cannamela, Hunt - Cripps, Hamlett

Booked: Hamlett 58

Goals: J Huigsloot 12, Cripps 37

Ref: K Barker

Att: 200

Zebras lose a penalty shoot-out

Mark Moncur saves Daniel Lapolla's spot-kick


[South Hobart win penalty shoot-out 6-5]

South Hobart are one draw away from reaching the Summer Cup final in the Premier League section of the competition after drawing 1-1 with Tilford Zebras and then winning the penalty shoot-out and earning the bonus point.

There can be no repeat of last year's final, therefore, when Zebras beat South 3-2.

South need only a point against Hobart Olympic, the team at the bottom of Group B, when they meet next week, to qualify for the final.

They appeared to have suffered an early set-back against Zebras when goalkeeper Mark Moncur brought down Aaron Brazendale on the left of the box in the 3rd minute.

But, Josh Thorpe's spot kick was easily saved by Moncur.

The Zebras' Henry Fagg and South's Bart Beecroft clashed heads in the unlucky 13th minute and both required treatment.

Beecroft was bleeding form a head wound, while Fagg appeared groggy. Both had to be helped from the field but eventually returned to the fray.

South should have taken the lead in the 25th minute when Daniel Lapolla inexplicably gave the ball to Greg Downes, but the youngster advanced on goal and thumped a shot against the base of the far post instead of into the back of the net.

Three minutes later, South were again unlucky when Matthew Brown headed a corner against the post.

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, David Cooper fired straight at Zebras keeper Troy Kaden, while a minute later, Ricky Eaves shot narrowly wide as South searched for that elusive opening goal.

With 11 minutes of the match remaining, Downes put South ahead.

Casual play by Ryan Smith, making his first appearance for Zebras since returning from a year overseas, put the Zebras defender in trouble. He managed to extricate himself from the initial spot of bother, but the ball was not cleared and he was again confronted by Jonathon Ladic.

This time, Ladic found a way past Smith on the right and curled a teasing ball across the goalmouth. Kaden, caught in two minds, was unable to get to it and Downes stroked the ball home from the left side of the box.

Ricky Self came to the Zebras' rescue four minutes from the end when he powered home a magnificent equaliser from just outside the box.

In the penalty shoot-out, Ladic, Hugh Ludford, Downes, Liam Scott, Cooper and Josh Heerey netted for South Hobart, while Gary Upton, the most unlikely of players to miss, struck the crossbar with his effort.

Thorpe, Brazendale, Ben Crosswell, Fagg and Andrew Telega scored for Zebras, while Moncur denied Walsh and Lapolla to give South a 6-5 win in the shoot-out and the bonus point, which kept them top of Group B.

  • South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

"I thought we had enough possession, territorial advantage and chances to have won the game in the hour.

"We don't get a lot out of these games, but one thing we know is that Zebras will be there or thereabouts again.

"They're formidable up front. They've got some dangerous players and they'll always keep you on your mettle.

"Ricky Self had one chance today and it's in the back of the net.

"We've had a few chances and failed to take them."

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

"Given the quality of the two sides, I don't think games like these are going to be open games.

"They're always going to be tight contests and I think that was shown today.

"Yes, we missed a penalty. It probably would have opened up the game a bit more.

"But, overall, I was pretty happy with the boys. It was only the second game in."

South Hobart: Moncur - Cooper, Ludford, M Brown, Scott - Heerey, Upton, Beecroft, Ladic, Hickey - Eaves [Substitutes: D Brown, Downes, Kruijver, Ross]

Goals: Downes

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Telega, Smith, Connolly - Self, D Lapolla, Fagg, Crosswell, Brazendale - Walsh, Thorpe [Substitutes: Pace, K Engels]

Booked: Thorpe, Lapolla

Goals: Self

Ref: B Kopra

Att: 250

Latest results

Steve Hudson Cup

Launceston City 1 (Josh Duncan) b Riverside Olympic 0
Prospect Knights 1 (Jack Hudson) dw Launceston United 1 (Brad Reeves)
Northern Rangers 2 (Mark Ambrose, Todd Hingston) b Taroona 0
South Hobart 5 (Jonathon Ladic 2, Liam Scott 2, Greg Downes) b TIS 0

North-West Summer Cup

Ulverstone 1-7 Burnie United
Somerset 1-1 Devonport City

Reserve League Summer Cup

New Town Eagles 3-3 Hobart Olympic [Eagles won the penalty shoot-out]
Kingborough Lions United 5-0 University

Eagles hold off Olympic for important victory


New Town Eagles desperately needed to win this Group B match in the Premier League section of the Summer Cup to erase memories of last weekend's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of South Hobart.

And win they did, despite being down to nine men with 7 minutes remaining.

Coach George Krambousanos had tried to restore morale at training during the week and he worked on his defence and on a game plan to counter Olympic.

It worked - but just.

Olympic threw everything at Eagles, but their own inadequacies were only too evident and they were left ruing a missed opportunity and occupying the bottom rung of the Group B ladder with one round remaining.

After surviving early pressure, Eagles took the lead in the 23rd minute through a penalty.

Adam McKeown rattled the Olympic crossbar and, when the ball rebounded to the edge of the box, Youssef Mohamad, making his first appearance this season for Olympic, brought down Alexander Leszczynski in a clash of legs and torsos.

Mohamad required treatment and was off the pitch as Leszczynski rifled home the spot-kick.

Adam Hedge narrowly missed an equaliser a minute later as he failed to get to a low cross from the left.

With the first half drawing to a close, Olympic's Daniejel Djekanovic squandered a good chance by shooting over the bar from the left of the box.

Two minutes after the resumption, Leszczynski almost made it 2-0 after a corner, but his header at the far post was cleared off the line by Chris Tsakiris.

Chris Tsakiris then appeared at the other end as Olympic counter-attacked, but he shot over the bar.

Eagles' Richard DeLara was cautioned shortly after, which was to prove significant later in the match.

In the 38th minute, a powerful drive by Peter Tsakiris almost ensettled Eagles' goalkeeper, Andrew Savage, but he kept his head and the ball without conceded a goal or a corner.

Midway through the half, Djekanovic found a way down the left, but his shot-cum-cross drifted wide of the far post.

It was at this point that DeLara again spoke out of turn and Mr Colhoun brandished a yellow card and then a red.

Within three minutes, Eagles' captain and sweeper, Chris Wass, saw yellow as he almost cut Akuel Guot in two with a tackle.

Things were becoming desperate and Hedge was shown a yellow card for a late tackle 9 minutes from the end.

Two minutes later, Wass was shown a second yellow for a handball and headed for the dressing room.

Olympic failed to use the width of the pitch against their nine opponents and played into the hands of a desparate Eagles team.

Mohamad blazed over the bar from range in a forlorn attempt at goal, while former Eagles player, Robert Lebski, had an effort blocked by Andrew Savage.

Olympic's final chance came in the last minute when Ben Whitehall fouled Michael Bulis on the goal-line on the left, just outside the box.

Chris Tsakiris floated the free-kick into the goalmouth, but Lebski glanced his header wide of the target.

The result put Eagles in third place on the Group B ladder and with a faint chance of qualifying for the final.

Olympic, whose coach, Farrell Shaw, was in Melbourne on business, are out of contention.

Watching from the sidelines was Eagles' State representative goalkeeper, Nathan Pitchford, who could be out for months after sustaining a knee injury in a pre-season friendly.

He is being treated by a specialist but the full extent of the injury is yet to be determined.


  • Olympic's stand-in coach, Glenn McNeil, said:

"It was disappointing that they had two sendings-off and we couldn't capitalise at the last, really.

"That was the disappointing thing.

"We couldn't really buy a goal today. That's the way it goes, isn't it?

"It's still early days, so we're happy."

  • New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said:

"We trained well and we actually brought to the park what we did at training.

"All the boys were switched on, much better than last week.

"The best part about it was that they are fit lads and that showed in the last five or ten minutes when we had two men off and only nine men on the park.

"I'm very, very happy, but sad with the two cards.

"A little bit of indiscipline there, I suppose, but we can't do much about it."

Hobart Olympic: Nester - P Tsakiris - Mohamad, Tsimiklis - Lebski, Banks, C Tsakiris, Richardson, Djekanovic - Bulis, Assenheimer [Substitutes: Kaproulias, A Hedge, Guot, Plomaritis].

Booked: A Hedge

New Town Eagles: A Savage - Wass - Clark, W Savage, Page - Kavanagh, Malakoff, DeLara, Collins - Leszczynski, McKeown [Substitutes: Pope, Rybak, Whitehall, Vernon]

Booked: DeLara, Wass

Sent-off: DeLara, Wass

Goals: Leszczynski 23 pen

Ref: I Colhoun

Att: 200

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adelaide United in A-League grand final

Adelaide United showed a remarkable form reversal to beat Queensland Roar 1-0 tonight at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide and qualify for their second grand final.

Adelaide will meet Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome next Saturday in the grand final.

A 25-th minute bullet by Fabian Barbiero gave Adelaide victory.

A long clearance by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic was headed sideways by Queensland captain and defender Craig Moore and straight into the path of Barbiero, who drove an unstoppable shot past Liam Reddy from the edge of the box on the right and into the roof of the net.

Queensland pinned Adelaide into their own half for the last 20 minutes but could not score.

Sasa Ognenovski, who has decided to make himslf available for the Macedonian national team after not receiving a call-up from the Socceroos during the past two years, was brilliant at the back for Adelaide and thwarted quite a few opponents as they sought an equaliser.

Substitute Charlie Miller was excellent for Roar, but he was introduced much too late in the match. When he did come on, he went close on a couple of occasions and also fashioned chances for his team-mates.

Adelaide have also again qualified for Asia as a result of them making the grand final.

"It was important that we won tonight," said Adelaide United coach, Aurelio Vidmar.

"How we played tonight was how we played for the majority of the season.

"There was a real will and intent about our game tonight."

Queensland had only lost once in twelve outings before tonight's match.

"We lost to a wonder goal," said Roar coach, Frank Farina. "We had our chances.

"What really won Adelaide the game tonight was scoring first. If we'd scored first, it would have been different.

"They'll go into the grand final with no pressure."

Summary of Summer Cup (Premier League section)

Clarence United have one foot in the Premier League section Summer Cup final after beating Glenorchy Knights 2-1 in a Group A match at South Hobart this afternoon.

Clarence top the group with two wins from two outings and just need a draw against bottom side University next week to reach the final.

Strikers Luke Cripps and Ben Hamlett caused Knights headaches galore, while Knights’ attacks kept breaking down in the final third.

Jacob Huigsloot headed Clarence in front from Hamlett’s cross in the first half, while Cripps headed the second from Hamlett’s corner just after the break.

Amadu Koroma pulled a goal back for the Knights two minutes from the end with a powerful header after a great build-up involving Josh Fielding and Cosmos Paite.

In the other Group A match, Kingborough Lions United and University drew 1-1, but the Lions won the marathon penalty shoot-out 10-9 to earn the bonus point.

Matthew Besley gave University a 1-0 lead at the break, but a marvellous strike by Marcus Bremner made it 1-1.

The successful penalty takers for the Lions were: Michael Palmer, Marcello Marchioli, Joel Schuth, Bremner, Brett Andrews, Ryan Bevan, Damien Pearce, Marc Iseli, Tom McDonald and Michael Wells.

Oliver Venettacci, Andy Wilson, Matthew Besley, Brook Teale, James Wilkinson, Johnathon Merry, John Wilson, Joseph Summers and David Procter netted for University, but Mitch Gooch blazed the last spot-kick high over the bar.

South Hobart slipped up in Group B when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Hobart Zebras, but South won the penalty shoot-out 6-5.

Josh Thorpe had a first-half penalty saved by South’s Mark Moncur, while Greg Downes put South ahead midway through the second half.

A brilliant strike by Ricky Self made it 1-1, but South twice hit the woodwork before the end - through Matthew Brown and Downes.

In the penalty shoot-out, Jonathon Ladic, Hugh Ludford, Downes, Liam Scott, David Cooper and Josh Heerey all scored for South Hobart, while for Zebras, Thorpe, Aaron Brazendale, Ben Crosswell, Henry Fagg and Andrew Telega were on target.

South Hobart's Gary Upton hit the crossbar with his effort, but Moncur saved from Dwayne Walsh and Daniel Lapolla to give South Hobart victory and the bonus point.

A first-half penalty by Alexander Leszczynski gave New Town Eagles a 1-0 win over Hobart Olympic.

Eagles finished the game with just nine players after Richard DeLara and Chris Wass were both sent off after collecting second yellow cards.

[Detailed match reports to follow as soon as possible.]

Preliminary Results

Luke Cripps heads Clarence's second goal against the Knights (bottom)

Mitch Gooch of University places his spot-kick over the bar to give the Lions victory (top)

Southern Summer Cup (Premier League section)

New Town Eagles 1-0 Hobart Olympic
South Hobart 7-6 Tilford Zebras [1-1 at full-time; South Hobart won penalty shoot-out 6-5]
Glenorchy Knights 1-2 Clarence United
Kingborough Lions United 11-10 University [1-1 at full-time; Kingborough Lions won penalty shoot-out 10-9]

Southern Summer Cup (Division One)

Hobart United 1-5 Beachside
New Town Eagles 3-0 DOSA
Taroona 1-0 Metro

Friday, February 20, 2009

"The Mercury" Preview

This is the full text of the preview sent to "The Mercury", just so that you can see how it was cut by 50 per cent:

Summer Cup Soccer Preview [Premier League Section] for “The Mercury” of Friday, 20 February 2009

By Walter Pless

Summer Cup holder Hobart Zebras must win against last year’s losing finalist South Hobart when they meet at South Hobart at 12.30pm tomorrow [Saturday] if it is to reach this year’s final.

South Hobart can virtually assure itself of a place in the final from Group B by beating the Zebras.

Zebras will be strengthened by the return of central defender Ryan Smith from overseas after he missed all of last season.

South will have Ricky Eaves on view for the first time, but striker David Abbott may be rested because of a hamstring strain.

Hobart Olympic, third in Group B, meets last-placed New Town Eagles at 11am and must win to keep alive its hopes of a place in the final.

Olympic welcomes back striker Michael Bulis to partner new signing Akuel Guot in attack, while defender Youssef Mohamad is also back after holidays.

Ben Backhaus and Chris Tsimiklis will work their way back through the reserves, while the club is still awaiting a clearance from Greece for its new midfielder.

Eagles will add Wade Savage to its side after he impressed coach George Krambousanos in the reserves last weekend.

Krambousanos had a serious talk to his players at training during the week after last Saturday’s debacle against South Hobart - a 6-0 hiding - and has worked on strengthening the defence.

Glenorchy Knights and Clarence United, the two top sides in Group A, meet at 2pm in a game neither side can afford to lose as the winner will have one foot in the final.

Knights will have defenders Tony Dzelalija and Corey Smith back after they missed the opening-round 2-0 win over University.

Defender Nektar Vavoulas may be unavailable because of family reasons.

Midfielder Mynonge Kamba will be keen to impress against his former club.

Clarence may introduce key players Luke Cripps, Sam Cannamela and Julian McMahon after their return to the ranks.

The final game of the day at 3.30pm is between University and Kingborough Lions United.

University will be strengthened by the inclusion of Brook Teale, Damien Bones, Nigel Blundell and Julian Proud.

Taka Manaka and Aaron Hindmarsh are still away and will be sorely missed.

The Lions are still without injured midfielder Charles White, and Ross Hinkley may start on the bench again because of ankle problems.

Action continues in Launceston and begins on the Coast

The third round of matches in the Steve Hudson Cup in Launceston this Sunday features some intriguing matches.

The holders, South Hobart, take on fellow southerners the Tasmanian Institute of Sport at 1pm.

South Hobart are in action the day before against Tilford Zebras in the southern Summer Cup.

This will be a difficult game for South Hobart and the TIS may find their opponents tired and less effective than usual.

The TIS have a win and a draw from their two games to date, which is a credit to the youngsters.

TIS are second in Group A and South Hobart are first.

TIS will find South Hobart a handful and a draw is probably the best they can hope for.

Taroona, the third southern side in the competition, have done extremely well and have won both their games, which puts them on top in Group B.

They will have played in the Division One Summer Cup competition in the south the day before and this trip to Launceston to take on Northern Rangers, second in Group B, will test their resources and commitment.

Former Clarence United star Paul Bremner will make his debut for Northern Rangers. He has impressed at training.

Derek Schipper and goalkeeper Marshall Pooley will also make their debuts in this competition for Rangers.

Thataetsile Kakadumane is not yet match fit and will be given another week to get up to speed.

Andrew Nicholson returned last weekend after two years out of action and played extremely well.

Rangers are nowhere near full strength yet but should be worth at least a draw in this game.

The squad is: M Pooley, J Wilson, G Tams, R Prestidge, S Nugteren, P McBeath, O Aykiran, D Rieser, S Luck(captain), A Demeijer, M Bami, T Hingston, D Schipper, A Nicholson, P Bremner and M Ambrose.

“The team are shaping up well and the boys have been working very hard in training,” said Rangers coach, Roslan Saad.

“The healthy competition for a place in the team is most welcome by any coach.

“Competition are so tough that players that join in late usually will take at least two weeks before they can get close to the rest in terms of fitness and system of play.

“That explains why TT [Thataetsile Kakadumane] is not selected.

“We conceded two goals in the first game and one goal last week, so no goals conceded is the target for this week.

“I believe we can get a close win against a good team like Taroona if we compete for everything and try to win the individual battles and put them under pressure.”

Third-placed Launceston City take on last-placed Riverside Olympic in the other Group A game at 11am.

In Group B, third-placed Prospect Knights meet last-placed Launceston United at 2.30pm.

The North-West Coast Summer Cup competition begins on Saturday with two matches at Devonport’s Valley Road.

At 12.30pm, Ulverstone meet Burnie, while at 2.30pm, Somerset are up against Devonport City.

Both should be tight contests.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Relegated teams to do battle in Division One Summer Cup

Taroona and Metro, the two teams relegated from the Premier League last season, meet in the first round of the Division One Summer Cup competition at Olinda Grove at 5.30pm on Saturday.

Metro have lost Shane Kent and coach Ahmed Abdaltam. Darrin Chaffey is the new coach.

“This weekend, our squad will be stretched a bit more thinly as we have a Summer Cup game on Saturday against Metro and a Steve Hudson Cup game on Sunday against Northern Rangers,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“Two or three guys will play in both games, probably coming off the bench on the Sunday, but, apart from that we will have different line-ups.

“The team for the game against Metro will mainly be made up of guys who started pre-season a bit later and so haven’t reached an ideal level of fitness yet, but with Summer Cup games being only 60 minutes, it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Some of the likely starters include Daniel Palmer, Stefano Flonta, Duncan Carey and Lucas Wyatt, who I expect will all be important senior players for us this season.

“No doubt Metro will be contenders for the Division One title, so it is important that we start with a good performance against them.

“Darragh Carey, Jack Elliott and Hamish Macgregor will all be back into the starting line-up for our game against Northern Rangers after missing last weekend’s win, but I was very happy with the job the new boys did against Launceston United.

“Mark Gates played a big part in our first goal and Mike Haslewood did well with the limited time he had on the park, which was great for two guys making their senior debuts.

“Alex Edwards will keep his place on the bench after coming on and creating a lot of scoring opportunities against Launceston United with his strength and passing range in midfield.

“Our numbers at training have been really good and the players have shown a real willingness to work hard to make up for last season, so, hopefully, that will show in our performances this year.”

Last season’s Division One champions Hobart United take on a new-look Beachside at 2.30pm.

Beachside have signed Colin Shepherd from University, Luke Atkin and Colin Wain from South Hobart, Karl Mathieson from Melbourne University, Kurt De Jong, Jason Szoka and Alex Bigg from Taroona, and Damien Lowe from St Virgil’s.

The new player-coach is Nathan Robinson, from South Hobart.

“There are some existing Beachside players still involved,” said Robinson.

“And, Kurt, Alex and Jason all transferred from Beachside to Taroona when promoted in 2008.

“We are looking forward to playing the Division One champions from last season.”

Pedro Ramirez, of Hobart United, said: “This year we go in with a new squad as a few players have opted to play premier league.

“The squad is based on a mix of senior and reserve players, which will be a challenge for the boys, but one they are eager to have.

“Beachside have always provided a good game and they will come at us with everything they have.

“For Hobart United Football Club, the Summer Cup will be a selection criteria for the rostered season.

“Alex Bellini will be out for the Summer Cup, but Ian Walker will be in our defence.

“Nathan Grandin will be on the field and this gives Chris Cooper a try-out as goalkeeper.

“We will play a very defensive game and try to come out with an element of surprise.

“Hobart United Football Club is in high spirits and the team will play the best they can against a very respected team.”

DOSA meet New Town Eagles at 1pm.

“The Eagles squad is depleted with regular starters Damien Bones and Tom Fotak transferring to other clubs, Sam Calvert with a long-term injury, Matthew Fennell suspended, and David Page and Bob Hadfield unable to be contacted,” said Eagles coach, Marty Nidorfer.

“Keepers Damien Crowle, Allan Wisby and Brian Sutherland have hung up the boots, meaning we have recruited renowned shot stopper Liam Donohue from the Huon Valley.

“Captain Steve Louden is back after a broken wrist which ruled him out of most of last season, and the team will rely on a host of up-and-coming under 19s in this campaign.

“We have lost a lot of guys from last year, but I think the youth we will put out there against DOSA will bring a new dimension to the team.

“It has been hard to retain players due to the fact we have been relegated to Division Two.”

The remaining match is between Nelson Eastern Suburbs and Christian United at 4pm.

Summer Cup finalist could be decided after just two games

The finalist from Group B of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition may be decided after only the second round of matches at South Hobart on Saturday.

If South Hobart, the group leaders, beat second-placed Tilford Zebras in the day’s second match at 12.30pm, South Hobart could be in the final, depending on the outcome of the earlier game (11am) between third-placed Hobart Olympic and fourth-placed New Town Eagles.

This shows what a farce the competition has become now that there are just eight Premier League sides.

Two groups of four, with no semi-finals, makes a mockery of the competition as a team could be out of the running after just one defeat.

At least with two groups of five, the suspense went on a bit longer.

The fact that such prominent teams can be eliminated so early in a very short tournament lends weight to the argument for a revamp to a World Cup-style format of 16 teams - four groups of four, with quarterfinals and semifinals - and involving Division One teams [as outlined in an article published earlier this month].

South Hobart are not taking Zebras lightly as it was the Zebras who beat them in last season's final.

Tilford Zebras will have central defender Ryan Smith back after he returned from overseas just before Christmas.

He was in the UK last season and Zebras sorely missed him.

His return will bolster the defence.

Youngster Brayden Pace will make way so that Smith can resume his partnership with Henry Fagg and Michael Connolly.

“It’s always a good contest between the two clubs,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla. “But, it’s early in the season, so who knows what will happen?

“We beat them in the final last year when we weren’t expected to get there.

“But, it’s too early in the season to put bets on things at the moment.

“I was pleased with certain aspects of our game last week, but I don’t think we got out of second gear really.

“We need to work more on certain parts of our game. We lack a bit of match fitness as well.

“I was pleased with Dwayne Walsh’s first game. He played really well.

“He’s been looking very, very sharp at training and he seems to have a new lease on life. He’ll do well.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

South Hobart may rest striker David Abbott, who has a hamstring strain.

“After speaking to Jed Donohue, who took training on Tuesday, the senior players have been in good spirits and trained well,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, who attended an international coaching conference in Sydney earlier in the week.

Andrew Brown, Michael Edwards and Franco Previdi, all from Clarence, also attended, as did the TIS head coach, Dean May, Neil Connell, Mark Broadbent of Hobart United, and Mike Denton from the North-West Coast.

“We’ll go into the game with a full-strength squad,” said Morton. “Ricky Eaves will take part in this game, but we may give David Abbott a rest.

“We’re well aware of the Zebras’ ability.

“A forward line consisting of Aaron Brazendale, Ricky Self, Dwayne Walsh, Josh Thorpe and Ben Crosswell - it all depends on which one wants to push on - is as good as, if not better, than any in the league.

“Without a doubt, Ben Crosswell is not the footballer of the year for nothing.

“We’ll treat them with due respect.

“I still think it’s very important that we focus on our own game and how we play and to be prepared to take the game to them and to be confident in our own ability.”

Hobart Olympic will have Youssef Mohamad and Michael Bulis back for the showdown with Eagles, but Ben Backhaus and Chris Tsimiklis will make their return via the reserves.

Backhaus has been on holiday and Tsimiklis twisted an ankle in a practice match a few weeks ago.

“We’re looking to improve from last week,” said Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw.

“Hopefully, we can against an Eagles team that will be very tough.

“They’ll be a lot different to what they were against South Hobart.

“South Hobart are a very daunting team and they put the wind up most players.

“Eagles have got a few good players, such as that lad in the middle of the park [Richard Delara], who showed he could play a bit.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on him.

“Cormac Collins up front can do different things, as we’ve found out previously.

“A few of the lads we’re not familiar with, but we’ll keep an eye on them and, hopefully, we can perform well.

“Michael Bulis, after a run in the reserves, will turn out for the seniors.

“He and Akuel Guot will form a good partnership in attack.”

New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, will bring Wade Savage into the defence after watching his performance for the reserves last Sunday.

“We had a talk and a good session on Tuesday and we need to improve our defending,” said Krambousanos. “We worked on a few things at training.

“It’s hard when some of the players are in Launceston during the week studying and you haven’t got the whole squad to work with.

“We’ll look to doing better this week. It was hard playing the first game against a team of the quality of South Hobart, but we hope to bounce back this weekend.”

A loss for either side means curtains as far as appearing in the final is concerned.

Glenorchy Knights and Clarence United, the two top sides in Group A, meet at 2pm and a win for either will almost certainly mean a place in the final.

Knights will have Corey Smith and Tony Dzelalija in the line-up, but defender Nektar Vavoulas could be missing because of family reasons.

“The inclusion of Smith and Dzelalija will certainly boost morale,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“As far as last week’s game is concerned, a win is a win, but we won’t take too many glories out of it.

“There’s a long way to go.

“We played some good one- and two-touch football, which was good to see.

“We thought we might be without Jade Clay, but now we won’t be. He’s retired from cricket and we’ve got him for the rest of the season.

“I was very happy with Mynonge Kamba last week.

“He’s settled in well with the club and is training very hard.

“He’s personally got a point to prove this week against his old firm.

“Everyone’s looking forward to this game.”

Clarence may have Sam Cannamela, Julian McMahon and Luke Cripps back for this match.

The final game of the day, at 3.30pm, is between University and Kingborough Lions United, fourth and third in the group, respectively.

Having lost their opening games, the prospect of a place in the final is already looking slim for both clubs.

University hope to have Brook Teale, Damien Bones and Nigel Blundell available, which would make them a formidable outfit.

The possible return of Julian Proud from suspension would also be a positive factor.

Taka Manaka is currently in Malaysia, while Aaron Hindmarsh is still on holidays.

Kingborough will retain the same squad as last weekend, with Charles White ruled out for the Summer Cup series after jarring a knee in a practice match against Metro.

Ross Hinkley has ankle problems and coach Geoff Freeman said he may keep him on the bench again this weekend.

“He may get some game time and he may not,” said Freeman, who was critical of the rules of the competition, which he said restricted his choice of players.

“We are handicapped by the Summer Cup rules so I’ll probably get as much time as possible out of the guys who have already played.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

South Hobart struggles to beat Eagles in Reserves

South Hobart 1-0 New Town Eagles

A goal on the stroke of half-time by Simon Burret gave South Hobart a 1-0 win over New Town Eagles in their Premier Reserve League Summer Cup fixture at South Hobart today.

South had the better of the match, but poor finishing meant victory was not assured until the final whistle.

Felix Kang and Hugo Bladel went close for South Hobart in the opening quarter of an hour, while Eagles' only response was a free-kick by Andrew Hagger that flew over the crossbar.

In the 14th minute, South's Andy Brennan volleyed just wide after a corner, conceded by goalkeeper Andrew Savage, who saved bravely at the feet of Burrett.

With seconds of the first half remaining, Jesse Gasparinatos's dangerous shot from the right was punched out for a corner by Savage.

Gasparinatos floated the corner into the six-yard box and Burrett nodded the ball over the line to give South the lead at the interval.

Seven minutes after the resumption, Nathan Wardle was lucky to receive only a yellow card for a tackle on Wade Savage.

Ten minutes from the end, South's Daniel Phillips was put through on the right, but he blazed high and wide when well positioned.

Eagles had a good chance with eight minutes remaining, but Brian Zielinski was at full stretch and managed only to lob the ball harmlessly over the goal.

South Hobart: McGoldrick - Wardle, Clarke, Sattler, Veness - J Gasparinatos, Burrett, Bladel, F Kang - Franklin, Brennan [Substitutes: S Kang, Cuthbertson, Simpson, Phillips]

Booked: Wardle 37

Goals: Burrett 31

New Town Eagles: A Savage - Johnston, Wilson, Zielinski, Grabek - Hagger, A Shackcloth, W Savage, Anderson - Clamp, Marshall [Substitutes: Kelly, P Shackcloth]

Booked: W Savage 57

Ref: B Kopra

Att: 100

Latest results

Prospect Knights drew 1-1 with Northern Rangers in the Steve Hudson Cup competition in Launceston today.

After a goalless opening half, Reece Kinslow put Prospect ahead 10 minutes into the second half.

Amos Gbaise equalised in a goalmouth scramble about 15 minutes from the end.

In other results, Launceston City held South Hobart to a 0-0 draw, the TIS beat Riverside Olympic 3-2, and Taroona overcame Launceston United 3-1.

Hugh Foley netted twice and Declyn Foley once for the TIS against Riverside, while Chris Cox, with two goals, and Toby Dove, with one, were Taroona's scorers against Launceston United.

In the southern Summer Cup (Premier League Reserve section), Glenorchy Knights beat University 6-1 at South Hobart after leading 3-0 at the break.

Tony Dzelalija opened the scoring for the Knights, while Matt Nowicki scored the second.

Joe Minnucci netted twice, as did Cosmos Paite. One of Paite's goals was a penalty.

University grabbed their consolation goal near the end through Hugh Burgess.

Clarence United beat Kingborough Lions United 1-0.

Hobart Olympic beat Tilford Zebras 2-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time.

Michael Bulis and Emmanuel Tsakiris scored for Olympic, while Adrian Venettacci replied for the Zebras.

Tsakiris's goal came from a splendid over-head scissors kick, the ball zooming into the roof of the net and leaving the goalkeepr flat-footed.

A Simon Burrett goal on the stroke of half-time gave South Hobart a 1-0 win over New Town Eagles.

Jesse Gasparinatos's fierce shot aimed at the top near corner of the net was punched out by Andrew Savage for a corner.

Gasparinatos took the corner and Burrett nodded the ball into the net from close range for the only goal of the game.

Morton off to Sydney

South Hobart coach Ken Morton will be in Sydney until Wednesday attending a coaching conference.

TIS head coach Dean May will also attend this annual conference conducted by the FFA.

National coach Pim Verbeek will be one of the presenters.

Morton will also be meeting Francis Awaritefe with a view to strengthening contacts between Morton's Soccer Schools and the Johnny Warren Foundation and Academy.

* * * * *

The Igor saga continues.

Glenorchy Knights are in the dark about the Brazilian midfielder's plans.

South Hobart, on the other hand, claim he was down to play for them on Saturday against New Town Eagles in the Summer Cup but could not get a flight from Brisbane in time.

Officials said that he would be playing for South Hobart against Launceston City in today's Steve Hudson Cup match in Launceston.

Knights officials viewed this news with some consternation as he has an agreement with Vikings Futsal, who brought him here from Brazil, that he will play for the Knights.

* * * * *

The attendance at South Hobart yesterday was excellent for the opening day of the Summer Cup competition.

A minute's silence was observed before the start of the first match in memory of the victims of the Victorian bushfires.

The pitch was, unfortunately, not looking as good as it usually does.

The area in front of the old grandstand looked the worse for wear, with large patches of bare ground or ground with minimum grass cover.

Usually, at this time of the year. the South Hobart pitch is looking like the old Wembley.

And, a dispute about South Hobart as a home ground is looming.

Hobart Olympic are, apparently, scheduled to play some home games there, and South Hobart are not too impressed at having to share the facility with another club.

South Hobart again the team to beat

David Abbott congratulates Greg Downes on his goal


South Hobart strolled to an easy 6-0 win over New Town Eagles in Group B of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition at South Hobart on Saturday.

Three goals in each half did the trick and Eagles were never in the hunt.

South Hobart were missing Billy Gasparinatos, Hugh Ludford, Julius Ross and Igor, while Eagles had Andrew Savage in goal in place of the injured Nathan Pitchford.

South employed a 4-2-3-1 system, with David Abbott the lone striker up front.

Abbott weighed in with two goals - the first and the last.

Greg Downes, Liam Scott and Jonathon Ladic netted a goal apiece, while the remaining goal was an own-goal by Ben Whitehall.

Eagles were disappointing and coach George Krambousanos has a lot of work to do if the side is to avoid relegation.

They showed little imagination, poor technique and no tactical nous at all, despite the presence of all those young promising players from the end of last season when the team was beginning to click.

Cormac Collins was back after studying in the north, while new signing Jacob Kavanagh started in attack.

Alex Gordon, signed from South Hobart, was not fully fit and started on the bench, as did Jamie Vernon and Matthew Rybak.

South Hobart goalkeeper Marl Moncur had a very quiet afternoon and was never extended.

Abbott opened the scoring with a blistering volley from the edge of the box in the 6th minute.

On the quarter-hour, Gary Upton crossed from the right towards the far post. The ball was knocked back across goal and Whitehall, under pressure from a couple of South players, inadvertently forced the ball into his own net.

In the 31st minute, Downes attacked down the right and beat Savage with a low drive to make it 3-0 at the interval.

Ladic shot narrowly wide five minutes after the resumption as South continued to dominate the game.

Richard Delara showed some clever touches for Eagles and worked hard all over the pitch, but he could not influence the course of the match on his own.

Midway through the half, Scott made it 4-0, while eight minutes from the end, a neat build-up involving Scott and Shae Hickey allowed Ladic to volley home the fifth.

Three minutes from the end, Ladic played Abbott through and he lobbed the advancing goalkeeper to make it 6-0.

* * * * *

  • South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“We played well. Once we get the ball down and the passing going and the triangles and the movement, it’s good.

“And, we’re starting to get a lot more penetration this year than last year with people coming from behind.

“So, I’m quite happy with that performance.

“Six-nil to start with, in a one-hour game of 30-minute halves, is a good result for us.”

  • New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said:

“It shows that South are way ahead of probably any team in the State.

“They’ve only had about three weeks off since last year, so they’ve been working right through.

“It’s a long year and we’ve got a bit of work to do.

“It’s good to play a team in their category rather than an easier team and beat them and think that we are champions.”

* * * * *

South Hobart: Mocur, Abbott, Beecroft, D Brown, M Brown, Cooper, Downes, Hickey, Ladic, Scott, Upton [Substitutes: Kruijver, Pennicott, Di Falco]

Booked: Abbott

Goals: Abbott 6, 57, Whitehall 15 og, Downes 31, Scott 48, Ladic 52

New Town Eagles: A Savage, Clark, Collins, Delara, Kavanagh, A Leszczynski, Malakoff, McKeown, Page, Wass, Whitehall [Substitutes: Gordon, Pope, Rybak, Vernon]

Ref: K Barker

Att: 300

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Zebras beat Olympic in penalty shoot-out


[ZEBRAS win penalty shoot-out 4-3]

Akuel Guot almost scored on his debut for Olympic when an error by Michael Connolly in the 4th minute allowed him a clear run at goal. But, the striker panicked and shot early, straight at keeper Troy Kaden.

Kaden's opposite number, Dmitri Nester, saved his side a minute later when he denied Aaron Brazendale.

In the 8th minute, a fine pass from the right by Ricky Self found new signing Dwayne Walsh, who smashed the ball past Nester to make it 1-0 for Zebras.

Kaden did well to save from Guot in the 21st minute, following a corner by Chris Tsakiris.

Kaden almost made a horrible mistake in the very next minute when a sloppy clearance cannoned off Guot, but the ball went out for a throw-in.

Self should have added a second for Zebras in the 27th minute when a delightful ball by Walsh put him through on the right, but he fired into the side-netting with the goal beckoning.

Olympic drew level in the 37th minute when Daniel Lapolla conceded a penalty by fouling Adam Hedge. Paul Kaproulias netted with the spot-kick.

Zebras were unlucky before the end as both Josh Thorpe and Ben Crosswell hit the Olympic woodwork.

Three minutes from the end, Carl Larzabal played Fred Assenheimer through on the right, but he blasted his shot wide of the far post.

In the penalty shoot-out, Thorpe, Crosswell, Walsh and Henry Fagg netted for Zebras, but Nester saved against Brazendale and Kurt Engels.

Kaden proved to be the hero for Zebras as he saved from Kaproulias, Peter Tsakiris and Robert Lebski. Nester, Assenheim and Guot scored for Olympic.

* * * * *

  • Hobart Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw, said:

"At this time of the year, I think it's a pretty good hit-out.

"Both teams were very aggressive and it was end-to-end stuff.

"I think both teams are going to go away and think about defensive duties.

"It was a promising start for some of the new boys, Akuel Guot and Colin Banks.

"There are more players to come in, just like everyone else."

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

"That was our first game, our first hit-out, so it wasn't too bad.

"Penalties are a silly way to go, but we'll take the two points and look forward to next week."

* * * * *

Hobart Olympic: Nester, P Tsakiris, Lebski, C Tsakiris, Larzabal, Richardson, Djekanovic, Kaproulias, Assenheimer, A Hedge, Guot [Substitutes: Plomaritis, McNeill, Banks]

Goals: Kaproulias 37 pen

Booked: Kaproulias, Richardson

Tilford Zebras: Kaden, Pace, Fagg, Connolly, Telega, Brazendale, D Lapolla, Self, Walsh, Crosswell, Thorpe [Substitutes: F Lapolla, K Engels, Hall]

Goals: Walsh 8

Booked: Brazendale

Ref: I Jozeljic

Att: 300