Friday, February 6, 2009

Sanders doing well in Victoria

[This is the complete version of the story published in today's "The Mercury" and which was cut by 50 per cent.]

Mathew Sanders, the 23-year-old striker-cum-midfielder playing for Victorian top-flight club Green Gully, believes Tasmania should apply to host one of the Socceroos’ forthcoming Asian Championship matches.

Australia plays Oman in November this year and Indonesia in March 2010 and venues for these two games have yet to be decided by Football Federation Australia.

“I think it would be great for Tassie to host an Australia game,” said Sanders, during a brief visit to Hobart.

“It would be a good indicator of the support we have down here and would, hopefully, show that Tassie could get enough support for an A-League team one day."

Australia drew 0-0 with Indonesia in Jakarta last week and the return match would be a huge attraction for Tasmanian soccer fans, as would a game against Oman, with possible qualification for the Championship finals resting on it.

Sanders was in Melbourne for Tasmanian champion South Hobart’s matches against Oakleigh Cannons and South Melbourne last weekend, teams that he faces each season.

“I actually went and watched the game versus South Melbourne and the result was a bit disappointing,” said Sanders, who made a name for himself with Metro and Glenorchy Knights before moving interstate.

“But, given the heat and the fact that South Hobart had played Oakleigh the night before didn’t help South’s cause.

“Obviously, there’s a pretty big gap between Victoria and Tasmania, especially in terms of the pace and the physical nature of the game.

“But, to South Hobart’s credit, they did a great job to come over and give Tasmania some exposure.”

Sanders’s career with Green Gully is going well and he is often used in midfield and as a wing-back these days.

“We are a month away from the start of our season and we have pretty much the same squad as last season, when we finished top, but unfortunately lost on penalties in the first semi-final to Melbourne Knights,” Sanders said.

“Things are looking pretty positive for this season, though, and we have a new coach who will freshen things up and, hopefully, we can go the next step this year.”

Sanders has been joined this season by South Hobart’s Daniel White, who made a name for himself by scoring the winner for Tasmania against Queensland Roar Youth at North Hobart late last year.

“Daniel is settling in well with the boys and he’s done well in a couple of practice games we’ve played,” said Sanders, who is in his fourth year with Green Gully.

“As for myself, I’m hoping to keep my spot, have a good year, and hopefully win the Victorian title this season.

“I’d love to have a crack at the A-League and, if Tasmania play any more representative games at the end of the season, I’d make myself available for those.

“I miss my family and mates in Tassie, but to be able to play the sport I love and get paid good money for it here in Victoria is fantastic.”


Anonymous said...

I heard he is training under his new fitness coach Mick Morley and its helping him alot.

Anonymous said...

Good on Matt, a very worthy export.

Anonymous said...

hey tommy,nice to see you.hipe you are playing this year