Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three cup finals and nothing on Sunday

Saturday is a huge day for Clarence United as they will be represented in all three cup finals at KGV Park.

Clarence play Hobart Zebras in the under-19 cup final beginning at 12.30pm, and Clarence’s Premier League women’s side meet Hobart Olympic in the State-wide women’s final at 2.45pm, while Clarence’s Premier League men’s side take on northern league champions Northern Rangers in the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy final at 5pm.

“It’s unprecedented when you have a youth team, a women’s Premier and a men’s Premier team all in the finals, and all on the same day,” said Clarence’s senior men’s coach, Andrew Brown.

“It’s something we’ve been working at for the past seven years to make sure we’re a whole club, not just a men’s or a women’s club.

“If you want to judge Saturday on whether we’ve been successful, I’d say yes.”

The Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy final should be a close affair and Clarence will need to keep an eye on one of their former stars, Paul Bremner, who has been playing with Rangers this season.

Bremner has scored 15 goals for Rangers this season and is the competition’s third-ranked marksman.

If anyone knows how to exploit Clarence’s weaknesses, it is Bremner.

“I know Paul Bremner, who has been three times best-and-fairest with Clarence,” said Brown.

“I’ve seen MarkAmbrose play in the National Youth League games, and I know Derek Schipper has won the George Dale Medal a number of times, and I know Todd Hingston is a really good quality player.

“They’re the only players I know, but the team must be quality to have won the northern premiership over Devonport.

“We feel very confident if we play to our ability.

“We’ll ask some questions of Northern Rangers, and whether they answer them is up to them.”

Clarence have injury clouds over David Hoppitt and Joseph Stevens, the former not having trained and the latter having trained only lightly on Tuesday.

Rangers will be full of confidence after winning the league last weekend.

They have another southerner in Thataetsile Kakadumane in their squad and he will also be familiar with Clarence.

But, Clarence’s Chris Hunt has trained many times with Northern Rangers this season and he will be a useful source of information for the southerners.

Rangers will have a few senior player out of the final and will be relying on the younger players to replace them and to do their best, according to coach, Roslan Saad.

“Some of the senior players will have to go through late fitness testing to see if they are one hundred per cent fit,” said Saad.

“This is the first time in 2009 we will be travelling down south.

“We know what Clarence have achieved along the way to be in the finals.

“They have beaten strong team from the north and south.

“I believe with that record, and the fact that we are playing at Hobart, Clarence should be the favourites for the day.

“Rangers have shown that they can achieve anything if they are hungry enough, and we will be hungry to win the cup.

“It will also be a good opportunity for the younger players to experience the big game.”

The sides will meet again next weekend in the State-wide top-four series.

* * * * *

In another unbelievable bit of rostering, FTT have scheduled all three Division One games on Saturday.

Don’t they know this will clash with the three finals at KGV Park?

What are they trying to achieve?

Surely, they should be trying to promote the game. At the moment it looks as if they trying to divide and conquer.

One of those Saturday Division One games is in the evening, when Hobart United play Christian United at Pontville at 7.30pm.

I can just see the throng on the highway heading north to Pontville to watch this bottom-of-the-table clash, including those who have just sat through three cup finals that afternoon and early evening at KGV.

It is an important game because it may decide the woodenspoon.

So, why not play it on Sunday?

The other two games, scheduled for 2.30pm, are Taroona versus Beachside and Metro v Nelson Eastern Suburbs.

These are both interesting matches, yet soccer fans and the media won’t be able to watch them.

Why couldn’t they have been scheduled for Sunday?

I am sure some of the Division One players and supporters would have liked to have seen the cup finals, particularly the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy final.

But, once again, FFT have divided the supporters of the game.

I know I speak from a biased perspective as a media person, but I am trying to promote the game, and yet, FFT always throw a spanner in the works.

I can guarantee you that I’ll only get space for one story in The Sunday Tasmanian.

That means I will have to try and cover six games in 14 sentences. You try it.

It’s impossible.

You either have to deal with one main game and devote half the column to it, thus virtually ignoring the other five games, or give each game about two sentences.

Try it.

And there'll be no local soccer story in Monday's paper because there aren't any games on Sunday. In this case, it's the Division One clubs that will suffer.

It does justice to none of the games. You might as well just list the results.

There won’t be a photographer from the paper in attendance, either. They won’t send a photographer to a game starting at 5pm. The light is too poor is one argument they use.

When I approached FFT about this, their answer was: Why don’t they take photos of one of the earlier games.

The answer to this is that they won’t, and with all due respect to the under-19s and the women, I can understand why.

The Milan Lakoseljac Trophy final is the main feature, the showpiece of the game for the day, so why should they have a photo of a lesser game.

That’s like saying to the British media that they should photograph a junior curtain-raiser on FA Cup Final day and ignore the FA Cup Final.

I know I exaggerate, here, in terms of standards, but the principle is applicable.

And it happens to be a game involving a southern and a northern team, something that excites the media and supporters.

I am just fed up with the way the rostering has been done this season.

Again, we don’t have any football on Sunday.

The solution would have been so easy and fair to everyone, players and supporters alike.

Are we trying to promote this wonderful game of ours, the world game, or are we trying to divide the support and destroy it?

To use the jargon of the day, I’d love to know what the stakeholders think.


Unknown said...

Walter you are spot on with your comments, sadly those who run things have a long way to go with promotion of the world game in this little corner of Australia. The more debate and open frank discussion the better, well done.

Hugo said...

Agree with you Walter, I am very keen to get along and watch the cup final. Luckily We play at 2:30 so if I shower quickly I still can, means I'll miss drinks at the 'Bowlo'. I would be very dissappointed if I was playing the late game at Pontville.

Marty Nidorfer said...

Walter, well said.
If you are so miffed I invite you to Clare St Saturday for the the vital Div 2 league match between Eagles Red and White. A real local Derby.
You will be guaranteed "entertainment" to the fullest.


john said...

hi walter
great blogging..
will you be putting up the match reports for eagles vs uni & olympic vs kingborough?

observer said...

How right you are about FFT and it's lack of promotion of the game.
Walter you are the best person to make this perceived lack of interest public via the Mercury.Maybe you should write an article in it for all to see.I wonder what FFT will think then ?Maybe it is what is required in order for most of them ,not all,to realise how pathetic they really are .

Walter said...

John, I will be putting up match reports of Eagles v Uni and Lions v Olympic. I've been a bit pressed for time, but they will be up. Thanks for your comments and interest.

Walter said...

Observer, I am reluctant to write about FFT in The Mercury because I never know what part of the story they are likely to cut. They can destroy an argument by leaving out vital sentences and that can make one look stupid.

A perfect example was in today's paper when I quoted Andrew Brown, the Clarence coach. They cut out the last part of one particular sentence and it didn't make sense (about Clarence asking Rangers questions and seeing what answers they would come up with). It made Brownie and me look a bit stupid.

In another recent match report, some sub-editor took it upon himself or herself to alter some punctuation and they made it incorrect. As a former English teacher, I think I can write acceptable English and I don't know why anyone would change the punctuation I use. They obviously didn't know the rules about apostrophes of possession and they changed the correct usage to incorrect usage.

That's the sort of thing I have had to put up with and so past experience has taught me never to try and write an article for The Mercury that requires a sequential, logical argument because it may not end up that way in print.

I've had my moan and I'll put away the keyboard for now.