Friday, September 11, 2009

Knights and Clarence favourites to reach final

South Hobart will be without midfielder Gary Upton and defender James Pennicott when they face Glenorchy Knights in Saturday’s State-wide Top-four series semi-finals at KGV Park at 2.30pm.

But, midfielder Daniel Brown should be fit to resume.

“We’ve had some difficult games against Knights this year, but we’ve also played well against them at times,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“For me, it’s another game and one where we have to go and show our qualities.

“We’re well and truly aware of their strengths, but at the same time we’ve got to pick holes in their weaknesses.

“They’re a strong side, a forceful side, and they play the game in a good spirit and we’re well aware of their capabilities.”

Knights will be missing central defender Anthony Grundy, who injured his back in training last Sunday.

Corey Smith will be included after he returned from suspension in the win against Devonport City.

“We have an 18-man squad to choose from and I’ll have to narrow that down to 15,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“We’ve trained very hard for the last week or so and the dedication from the boys has been brilliant.”

The other semi-final is between Tilford Zebras and Clarence United at 12.30pm.

Zebras will be without defender Brayden Pace, who is unavailable, but the experienced Ryan Smith returns to the team.

“This will be our sixth stoush with them this year and, obviously, they’re on a high after beating Northern Rangers twice in their past two games,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla.

“We’ve got to be wary of them, but not worry about them too much.

“We’ve got to get our game plan and our counter-attacks right and we should be okay.

“We’ll treat them with respect because it won’t be an easy game.”

There is some doubt about the availability of Zebras striker Ben Crosswell as he may be in Melbourne.

Clarence should be at full strength but will need to improve their finishing to be sure of victory.

They have played some delightful soccer, but must take the chances that come their way.


Tom said...

I think south to beat knights 2-0 and zebras and clarence to be a great game. could go either way. tipping clarence 3-2.

croswell has had limited impact anyway, after collected his red card and being ineligible for the vic tuting his interest has been waning. hes only interested in individual glory not the team. thats why he'll probably leave zebras next year anyway.

should be a couple a great games tomorrow. hopefully clarence bring their large vocal support again. makes the games great to watch.

great write ups again walter! keep it up!

Tom said...

oh... and who are people tipping for the tuting now the season is over?

and the introduction of a statewide final series has been a great step introduced by fft. if only the northern teams could have progressed a little further.

players love final series and the "big games". yes the league is important but a statewide championship ending a large final is what every player and supporter wants to win.

Sir Mix a Lot said...

Nice work by FFT also having the advert on television last night,think it was Southern Cross.
Not sure if it was on Win also.
With a decent weather forecast at this stage should be a bumper crowd given its the 4 best and arguably biggest supported club in the South.
Both games appear to be fairly even also which makes for great contests and day.

Tom said...

sir mix a lot or walter- is the ad available on the net anywhere??? for those who haven't seen it?

ginger said...

Well apparently ladder positions count for nothing come finals time!!
South and Zebras clearly the 2 best sides over the course of the season yet knights and clarence favourites??

Agree both should be great games. hopefully KGV is in good nick after all the rain.

Tom, i disagree re the debarcle that has been the final 4 (which is actually a final 8!). We already have a statewide cup final, which has managed to run for a decade now without FFT messing with it. This is seen as our cup final.
We also in recent times have had a great playoff between the regional league champs, deciding a state premier. why this is gone is beyond me.
These two games are the games all players want to be involved in.
All this years 'finals' series is is a glorified statewide knockout cup version 2.
This may give my argument more weight- how can a team who have lost more games than they have won be in contention to be state premiers!!! seems a bit odd to me.

vic tuting should be wide open as was the league. no real standouts.

Tom said...

well ginger thats the beauty of finals ie a-league, nrl, afl take ur pick, the team that comes good at the right time of the season has the best chance to be state champions. players want to be playing in september, as a former player i can tell you that the current generation want to win and play in finals more than the league.

I'm glad FFT has realised this. format of finals should be changed to allow the top two from each league a second chance but the principal is good.

the cup final is totally different than the state championship.. FA cup.. champions league for one example.

if a state league is not viable then then a statewide final series is good idea.

good luck to knights and clarence. im sure if knights win then morton will say that the championship doesnt matter anyway and same the other way from kelly. but they all want to win it!

gary upton for vic tuting


Ginger the Northern clubs wanted some meaningful final series to keep the chasing pack interested. FFT came up with a model that got overall support from both North and south clubs.

Best of both worlds I would have thought First past the post in your respective comp and then a mini state league to end season.

What is the drama with this series players love final, Northern Rangers for one are not disappointed for missing a state championship game in place of this new final series.

I know for a fact that it created a lot of interest for the teams chasing 4th spot up here.

Obviously your respective league is the most important thing you play for each season, then this final series you play for the bragging rights.

Great concept I think


Tom I have teh ad if you want to send me your email address.

Sir Mix a Lot said...

Not sure Tom re the ad.
Great concept, from a southern point of view some teams like Clarence, Olympic and Eagles were close enough to relegation and also to make the finals and be State Champion so their season was well and truly alive up until the last few rounds.
Clarence for example finished the season well, had they gone the other way they could have been relegated to Division 1. Now they could be the Cup holder and State Champion. Brilliant.

Captain said...

Finals are the Austalian way. This concept wouldn't get a leg up in EPL.

As Rangers President says, the respective Premier League championship is most important to Clubs. The final 4s series provides some interest and competition in September. Best of both worlds.

AND if Clarence come from close 4th to win the State title then that's the romance you look for in a finals series.

Chris McKenna said...

Here's the link to the Finals series tv ad:

Tom said...

hahaha... nice work fft

good to see some main stream coverage at least! you do look so very intimidating chris :)

Captain Australia said...

I think the State Wide Championship is a great series, it has kept the season interesting until the very last league game for clubs like Ulverstone, Somerset, Riverside, Prospect in the north and Newtown, Kingborough, Clarence and Glenorchy in the south, it gives clubs something to play for and as had been said “finals are the Australian Way!”

I would change it slightly to go a little something like this

Tasmanian Champions League.

Going on this season’s results,

Top three from the north and the top three from the south qualify automatically for the following seasons Champions league, that would be from the south, South Hobart, Tilford Zebs and Glenorchy knights, with Northern Rangers, Devonport Strikers and Prospect Knights from the North.

4th and 5th from south and north would go into play offs at end of the year (Clarence United vs Kingborough Lions and Riverside Olympic vs Somerset Sharks) in a home and away round qualifying final with away goals counting.

At the end of each year you would have the 4 teams from north and 4 from the south, draw them into 2 random groups of four (done by FFT sometime), they would then play a home and away series (6 games in total) during the next year, we already play four games in the SWC anyway so you would be only finding an extra 2 weekends in the year for this.

Remainder of the clubs in the state will form the State Wide Vase (as in 2000 ) as a second tear comp. this gives the lower teams a greater chance of winning some silverware so it’s a win win

You would be left with the following in a State Wide Vase knock out Competition.
Hobart Olympic
Hobart Utd
Kingston Cannons
Kingborough Lions
Launceston United
Launceston City
Burnie United
Ulverstone Reds
Somerset Sharks (presuming Sharks and Lions get beaten by there higher ranked opponent)

So they have 4 knock out rounds from round of 16 to the vase final any way to play during the 6 weeks the TCL would be playing.

The TCL could start a week before the season proper starts to get things rolling and finish on the week after the last round of matches.

Then following that, the top two in each group of the Tas Champions League would cross over to play each other, 1st from group one to play 2nd from group two and 1st from group two would play 2nd from group one in a home and away leg with away goals counting, the winners to advance to the State wide Champions League one game only final at KGV regardless of who is there.

If you still had the need to play the winner of the Northern League v the winner of the southern league for the State Champions game you could, but I cant see the point if you went with the above plan.

So you would have available in 2011

A Southern Premiership
A Northern Premiership
A Tasmanian Champions League Champion
A State Wide Vase Winner
Possible State Cup game.
Teams would be bustling for State Wide Champions League Qualification for the following season, while the State Wide Champions League sides would be trying to get into the top two in their group to qualify for the Tasmanian Champions League Finals.

This should in theory eliminate the all four southern teams in the State wide championship, but it still could end up that way if the random draw comes out right!

You get a far more comprehensive State Wide League taste and I think any team in their right mind would be after the Tasmanian Champions League mantel. FFT should probably make the final prize money allocation atleast even with NPL and SPL Premiers as to TCL champions winners cheque.

That’s my idea, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Captain Aus.

Captain Australia said...

The above is not just my idea, but the thoughts of Rohan Pooley as well, we were tossing this around a couple of years ago, and I thought it would be worth while throwing out for discussion again.

Unknown said...

that's sounds like a really good idea there C.Australia. hopefully soccertas have something like that in mind.

Ril said...

Results according to WIN News:

Clarence d Zebras 5-4 (After extra-time, 2-2 at 90mins I think they said)

Sth Hobart d Knight 4-2 (After extra-time also, 2-2 at 90mins I assume)


Has merit

Marty Nidorfer said...

Captain Aus,
Your concept is fantastic, I mentioned something very similar a few months ago.
My only difference would be that the Plate winner gets automatic entry to the Champions League meaning every club in the state can achieve it, rather than only Premier League Clubs.
The season would change dramatically with the concept, and give a fairer way to decide a state champion.
It seems at the moment the Finals series doesnt hold a "prestige" as it is knockout.
No disrespect to the participants and good luck to South and Clarence this weekend.