Friday, April 24, 2009

Northern Rangers looking to maintain their 3-point lead at top of Northern ladder

Northern Rangers can maintain their 3-point lead at the top of the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League by beating second-last Launceston City at 8pm at the NTCA Ground on Saturday.

“This week’s game will be very tight and involve lots of running,” said Roslan Saad, the Rangers coach.

“I have always admired City’s fitness level and their effective, direct football.

“We need to be more patient and play our soccer smart and not get into playing their game.

“The boys have shown me that they are willing to work hard for each other.

“The teamwork has really impressed me and I believe that is a thing that was missing in Rangers in previous seasons.

“I can accept lack of skill, but not lack of effort.

“I believe we can win this game with the right amount of effort.”

Second-placed Prospect Knights travel to the Ulverstone Showgrounds to take on sixth-placed Ulverstone on Sunday.

The Knights are just 3 points adrift of leaders Northern Rangers and a win would put them back in equal first place if the Rangers do slip up.

Ulverstone will be without their captain, Adrian Beard, who is away at a 5-day running event interstate.

Callum Foote is unavailable, but everyone else should be raring to go.

“After last week, I don’t know how we’ll go,” said Ulverstone coach, Kim Rigby.

“We tend to match up against these guys reasonably okay over the last few years.

“Even though we’ve been struggling a bit, we’ve had some really good games against them.

“I’d give us a reasonable show. I hope I’m not being over confident.

“We’ve got them at home and we tend to play the ball around a bit better at home.”

Third-placed Burnie United entertain fourth-ranked Devonport City at Montello on Sunday.

Both sides have six points and identical ‘goals for’ and ‘goals against’ statistics, which indicates this may be a close game.

“Because it’s Anzac Day this weekend, half the team thought we were having the weekend off, so we’ll have a few players missing,” said Burnie United coach, Ray Parke.

“We’ll have to put in a couple of youngsters again, such as 15-year-old Brodie Knight at left-back.

“I think he’s in the Tasmanian under-15 squad.

“And there’s young Elliott Stewart, another 15-year-old fellow.

“We’re at home, so I’d like to think we can win the three points.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but Devonport are not as strong as they’ve been in the past couple of years, so there is a chance that we can win the three points at home.

“There’s a lot of rivalry between the Coastal clubs.

“The four teams have a definite rivalry and there’s a derby atmosphere between us.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Somerset or Ulverstone, or whoever, you just seem to have that Coastal rivalry.

“Obviously, with Devonport being on top for so many years, it’s always nice when you beat them.

“I think they’ve come back to the pack just a touch this year and we’re obviously looking to take the three points at home.”

With seventh-placed Riverside Olympic having the bye, the remaining match of the round is at Cardigan Street on Saturday, where fifth-placed Somerset host bottom-side Launceston United.

This could be one-way traffic for the home side, but the visitors will give it everything.

“It will be a tough game, although they’ve been travelling up and down,” said Launceston United coach, Brian Dracup. “There’s a little bit of inconsistency there.

“But, we’re playing up there and the weather forecast doesn’t sound real promising on the North-West Coast.

“It’s going to be an interesting struggle. Maybe the weather and the conditions up there might bring them back down to our level a little bit.

“Hopefully, we’ll give them a good run for their money down there.”

Launceston United will still be without brothers Greg and Mitch Duffy, who are at a Futsal tournament in Brazil.

Rowen Murray is unavailable and Robbie Murray is still out for another couple of weeks with a groin injury.

A win for Launceston United would put them level on 3 points with second-last Launceston City - providing they lose to Rangers - and third-last Riverside Olympic, who have the bye.

1 comment:

Beardy79 said...

Another great report Walter. We in the north appreciate your reports.