Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tasmanian Institute of Sport side a joy to watch

Photos (Top to Bottom): Match officials (L-R) Don Ambler, referee Michael Thain, Zaini Zanal; TIS kick off against Tilford Zebras; Mr Thain books Zebras' Sam Hall and awards a free-kick to the TIS; The teams troop off after the final whistle [PlessPix]

Premier League Reserves (KGV Park, Wednesday, 12 May 2010)


Tasmanian Institute of Sport 2 (J Curran 23, H Foley 75)

Tilford Zebras 0

HT: 1-0 Att: 43 Ref: M Thain

Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Prendergast - Luttmer, Hill, Abbott, Mearns (McClung 60) - D Foley, Curran (Ince 90), De Smit - Green, H Foley, Hamilton [Substitutes not used: Kenyi, Devine] [Coach: Dean May]

Tilford Zebras: Voss - Macgregor (Jarvie 87), Cox, S Hall, Fisher - Bird (Laird 60), Thorpe, M Hall, M Cairns (Luttrell 45+1) - Young, L Engels [Substitute not used: Smith] [Coach: Rodney Bones]


This was one of the finest games of football I have seen all year. I went home after a cold, drizzly evening feeling warm. I felt optimistic about the future of the game. I felt inspired because I had seen young players who were technically good, who had tactical understanding, and who knew what team-work is all about. I saw a side that could keep its shape but was flexible according to the requirements of the game at any given moment.

It was easy to see that the Tasmanian Institute of Sport players were well coached. They are a credit to senior coach Dean May and to his assistant Scott Gallagher.

Their training regimen is paying dividends and I urge all those football supporters who love the game to come and watch this TIS side in action on Wednesday evenings against Premier League reserve sides. They can more than hold their own in terms of the physical aspects of the game, and the quality of their football is admirable and shows great maturity.

Playing a 4-3-3 system, the TIS were both efficient and entertaining. The latter quality is so important in this day if we are to attract fans.

The goalkeeper, Tristan Prendergast, is a very capable player. He is agile, brave, and a good distributor of the ball, both by kicking and throwing. He made a brilliant save in the first half, but he toyed with the opposing forwards once too often in the second half and was injured as a frustrated opponent slid in to try and win the ball. He had started to delay picking up the ball and invited opponents to try and win it before picking it up just in the nick of time. He should probably desist from this behaviour in future.

The back-four of Eli Luttmer, Will Abbott, Lucas Hill and Nicholas Mearns were a very effective unit. Not only did they defend well, but the way in which they inter-passed and worked the ball out of defence was a lesson to all local teams. They have an understanding that comes from training regularly as a unit.

The midfield trio of Jamie De Smit, Declan Foley and Jesse Curran worked well together and proved expert at bringing the wide players, Nicholas Green and Sam Hamilton, into play. De Smit and Declan Foley are powerful, skilful players and were always ready to shoot at goal or provide opportunities for team-mates. They were also very good at helping out their defence by adopting the role of holding midfielders when the side was under pressure.

De Smit is a delight to watch when he is full flight. He switches the ball instantly from foot to foot when on the move and about to be tackled. In this way, he is able to evade tackles that would halt a lesser player.

Green and Hamilton hugged the touch-line and always provided width and passing options, and their crosses were usually dangerous.

Hugh Foley was a class striker. His first touch was excellent, his shooting powerful, and he often dropped deep and allowed Curran to move forward, a ploy that frequently caught out the Zebras defence.

In fact, that is how the TIS scored their first goal in the 23rd minute. Hugh Foley suddenly disappeared and Curran materialised as the spearhead. While the Zebras defenders were adjusting to this new threat, Hugh Foley threaded a pass through to the 13-year-old Curran, who turned and shot low past Jason Voss to put the TIS in front.

The second goal, 15 minutes from the end, came from Green’s cross from the right. Hugh Foley moved in like lightning and beat Voss to the ball and clipped it home to complete the victory.

Not everything came out smelling of roses as far as the TIS were concerned, though. They sometimes lived dangerously. Zebras had two early chances, but Adam Young fired into the side-netting after rounding the advancing Prendergast on the right of the box, and the same player then shot wide after a flick-on by Luke Engels.

It was the turn of the TIS after that, and Hugh Foley should have done better from De Smit’s pass through the middle in the 19th minute, while Declan Foley’s low cross into the goalmouth from the right in the 21st minute was just begging to be prodded home, but two TIS players were unable to get a touch.

De Smit forced a fine save from Voss in the 26th minute, the keeper conceding a fruitless corner. Curran also brought out a fine save from Voss in the 35th minute.

Hamilton’s low cross four minutes after the resumption gave Declan Foley a chance, but he lifted his shot over the bar when he should have worked the keeper. A minute later, Voss got down to Curran’s low shot and saved comfortably.

On the hour mark, the tide turned slightly as Zebras imposed their authority for a 10-minute period as the TIS seemed to tire. Josh Thorpe blazed over the bar from the edge of the box after Luke Engels’s left-wing cross in the 65th minute, while three minutes later, Young fired just wide of Prendergast’s right-hand post.

Thorpe had a go from range in the 69th minute, but it was more of a token effort than a genuine threat. Within seconds, however, Thorpe fed Matt Hall, but he fired wide.

The TIS recovered their composure after that and Hugh Foley killed off the game with his side’s second goal in the 75th minute.

It was an absolute pleasure to watch this well-drilled and talented side play wonderful football. Their first touch was masterful, and they knew when to play one-touch and when to retain possession and carry the ball or dribble. They found their team-mates with accurate passing and their vision and reading of the game was precocious.

It was no disgrace for the Zebras to lose this match. The sides drew 2-2 in the first round and the TIS have improved considerably since then.

I, for one, can hardly wait to see The TIS in action again.


· Tilford Zebras coach, Rodney Bones, said:

“We knocked the ball around a bit better this week. I believe that the kids are playing a man’s game, but the ref was probably a bit soft towards their way. They’re playing in a men’s competition and they’ve got to be able to take it like a man.

“But, to their credit, they knocked the ball around really well. We had them under pressure in the first half. It was a disappointing result, two nil. We should probably have had goals ourselves.

“But, credit to the young lads. I took some of them when they were twelve. They’ve come a long way, but it disappoints you when they get a few favours. It’s a man’s game. To play against boys is not fair to our blokes."


The General said...

Rodney, what a p*** poor excuse for loosing!...I quote Walter,"They can more than hold their own in terms of the physical aspects of the game." It's not a 'man's game' as you put it. It is a 'players game' sounds like you were outplayed!!!
At least the Knights players were 'man' enough to admit it. the Knights matched it with the TIS very well & managed to get the ball in the net 1 more time than the TIS to win the game. Your team 'blazed over the top' and 'wide of the post.'
It's always someone else's fault when you don't win!!!

Anonymous said...


I noticed that Jeremy Walker was not involved in this match. Did he eventually make the Final 15 for Football Superstar? If so, that is a terrific achievement and would give Tasmania a good boost.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments by Rodney. I think sometimes at the senior level Refs don't blow their whistles enough and let too much physical stuff go, which in turn negates the skills part of the game. If the refs are paying favours to the TIS team which allows them to express their skills, then maybe a similar approach should be taken in PL games to allow more skill being expressed and taking out the physical AFL type mentally out of the game. I'm not trying to Bag the Refs, but I think hard physical football has been a part of the culture of our game in Tas for some time, to it's detriment. I have seen a number of skillful and technically gifted kids that have come through the state programs and when they start to play PL are forced to change their game to adapt to the physical style

Anonymous said...

It’s a man’s game. To play against boys is not fair to our blokes.
What does he mean by this exactly? I understand TIS get some (maybe too many) refereeing decisions, but the blokes still didn't score against the boys!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand??? "It’s a man’s game. To play against boys is not fair to our blokes." It sounds like those 'boys' played your 'men' off the park

Anonymous said...

When those talented youngsters and their parents get over their delusions they will find when they join the 'mens' game it can be very tough and many an afternoon dealing with sprains and bruises.My son having gone through these state and developmental programs is just starting at 18 to cope with being upended by some boofhead out on a mission.

Anonymous said...

Having played them I can see where Rodney is coming from, not trying to take anything away from the skills of these kids, but football is a contact sport, and in all the matches these kids are awarded free kicks at any sign of contact with them, but not so much the other way.
It does them no favours other than maybe results in the reserves, which i imagine is not really what the TIS squad is for.
When they hit the mainland they'll get plenty harder than they do here, but unlike the soft referees here shoulder to shoulder contact is play on over there!

Spectator said...

anon 9:21

from what i have heard he has made it to the final 15, which as you say is a great boost to tasmanian football. lets hope he can go far in the comp

Anonymous said...

Anon @9.22am

You're kidding right? It's the complete opposite, soft refs/decisions have made some PL games like netball. If you compare decisions made here to those that are made at EPL/International level, the two games are barely the same other than the ground layout. Just look at how badly the 'handball' law has been applied in the past.

I fail to see how pulling up fouls constantly allows players "to express their skills" - it makes for a shocking game to watch when it's stop/start. If they were as skillful and technically gifted as you say, they'd be able to avoid being tackled in the first place anyway... or not even playing in the SPL!

Anonymous said...

i agree with rodney. the ref's do tend to give away very very soft calls to them. is it because they are "" TIS "" or what? if they are playing reserve level, the ref's should treat it was if the boys were of 18 years old or whatever the average reserve age is.

Anonymous said...

What's not to Understand??? There not playing in an U15 Comp. So treat the game as if it were Knights V Zebras Reserves. Very Clear things were pulled up that would not have if it wasnt an U15 side.

Stop trying to Make a Monsoon out of a Sun Shower.

If Zebras finished those Half chances its a different story, but thats Football People.

That Said Take Nothing away from the TIS Side, obviously very well coached/Managed and that was reflected in this game.

taxpayer said...

All credit to the TIS who are holding their own in the SPL Reserves and playing good football doing it, but I wonder if your review was a bit over the top Walter or maybe you need to get to more of South Hobart's reserves games to see that other young players are capable of playing exceptional' football.

Glad to see my tax dollars are actually used to achieve something- I wouldnt expect anything else!

Anonymous said...

I did not see game last night so cannot comment directly on the comments from Rodney Boones except to say that I have chosen to watch TIS games due to the great skill levels they display and do not think they are given a soft ride by refs. In the 4 or 5 games I have watched they certainly do not play like boys, they are quick and skillful but they tackle hard when they have to. I must note that I have never seen any of their players make a dive or try to milk a free kick. When they are up ended they do not complain they just dust themselves off and get on with the game. This professional approach is a credit to them. I trust the views of Walter and I will make the effort to go more often.

Anonymous said...

Poor old Walter - only a few weeks ago someone complained that he dedicates to much time to South Hobart. Now the taxpayer is criticising Walter for daring to give credit to the TIS. No doubt there are some good young players who play for SH but they are older and unfortunately may have missed their chance to make it to the A League. Let’s support the young TIS boys and hope they are the core of a future Tasmanian A League team.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:36 - TIS had a player carded for diving against NTE!

Unfortunately only one, but it was a start I guess. I was hoping the refs were waking up to it, clearly not after this weeks game.

God help them when they come up against country nsw or qld for example!

the_floater said...

Anon 12.36 - we have played the TIS twice for two wins and to be frank they are the most skillful team we have played and we looking forward to another hard game next round. They do not dive they are good sports. I think we should stop calling them boys - they play like men - lets get off their back.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with the comments that the TIS seem to be receiving favourable decisions from the ref. However, I still take nothing away from the players - it is not their fault. They have some very good skills. It would be frustrating from an opposition point of view to be pulled up frequently for very minor things, that would be let go in other games.

Anonymous said...

Don't suppose anyone stopped to consider that the fouls given were legit?

...oh wait - surely not. The refs MUST have a hidden agenda.

Some people on here (and apparently some out there coaching) have a terrible attitude.

There is nothing in the Laws of the Game (as far as I can see) that says that the foul count has to be about equal for both sides. If one side fouls more - well get a bit more disciplined. Don't start thinking it is your right to commit fouls! IT ISN'T! You are breaking the Laws of the Game.

If you don't commit the fouls - the refs can't call it! Unless of course you people are suggesting they make up fouls? Which would be an even more disgraceful attitude to have. It doesn't matter if they are 'soft' - A foul is a foul and they have every right to call it as they see it.

Anonymous said...

it's my understanding that many of the TIS are actually from country QLD! thats where our tax payers
dollars are going

Anonymous said...

There are many players playing PL Seniors that are younger than some of these TIS boys and yes May has accommodated some Qld boys down here at our expense and the expense of some Tassie boys that might have been otherwise chosen. What exactly is the purpose of the Tis?

Anonymous said...

Do we know how many Qld guys or non-Tas kids who play in the TIS squad? I am all for the TIS side and think it's great they are playing in the local league against older sides but not sure it's fair to fund kids from other states. I suppose it depends if they moved down here with their family for other reasons or if it was just as they couldnt get in the Qld side and saw an easy option.

Anonymous said...

OK all you TIS parents and supporters. I for one dont agree with hot rod having a whinge after they got beat. BUT his point, and many other people playing against the TIS team is this. We dont mind the free kicks given AGAINST us for fouls, its the ones not given FOR us that is the problem. The referees simply dont pay fouls against them as often as for them for exactly the same foul as the mind set is "there only small the men can put up with it" even a couple of the TIS "boys" have said to me they cant believe what they are able to get away with. If the refs dont even up the ledger then some of the TIS lads wont be finishing games as the other eight LEGITIMATE teams in that competition have had enough and will start making them earn their free kicks. ALSO, does anyone else, other than TIS people think its bloody rediculous that the TIS can enter the Laka cup? they arent a CLUB, they are funded by tax payers dollars and given much greater advantages. And why is it that on some places they are called FFT?

Anonymous said...

If the TIS has imports from the mainland this raises some questions?

Does the QLD govt not have an Institute of Sport?

Could someone please confirm that TIS is for Tasmania players or not

You're dreamin' said...

furphy - there was one lad who moved down from QLD but he's since left the TIS and is playing SPL.

as for TIS providing core of a Tassie A- League side, DREAM ON - not one of them is good enough to be a professional footballer FULL STOP.

This is another case of the 'Liam Scott syndrome' all over again

Anonymous said...

agree TIS should not be in Laka cup, fft did not put other teams in any other cup comps in youth rosters, so why would they let the TIS in this comp. If this is true about qld players in the TIS programe and we are paying for this, It is a disgrace,
how dare they offer it to players from another state,and they say they are developing tas youngsters ??????

Anonymous said...

I see the TIS as an evolving programme in its infancy at present.
It is more about establishing and developing a consitent and recognised pathway to higher honours for our future juniors than necessarily about the success or otherwise of the current members.
Everything has to start somewhere and 2 or 3 years isnt long in this game.
Stick with the program.

Anonymous said...

where's the goalie from?

Anonymous said...

I watched the TIS play Olympia reserves last night.

The quality of football played by the TIS was of a standard unmatched by any other Tasmanian team I've seen. This includes teams in the SPL. Admittedly, I've seen South Hobart play only about four times, but they were comparatively mediocre, albeit on poor quality pitches.

The TIS were excellent in the defensive and offensive transitions. This was similar to Heidelberg when they played Tasmania in October a few years ago. There were passing lanes created the instant the TIS had the ball. When they lost it they full-pressed or squeezed Olympia. They usually coughed the ball up under sustained pressure, when the TIS disturbed their build -ups.

There was less physical contact than the norm in the SPL. This occurred because the ball was not in a state of transition for so much of the time. A team actually had possession of the ball.

I concur with Walter. The first touches were usually very good by the TIS. As a corollary, there were innumerable superb one and two touch, 4-5 pass sequences played by them.

Olympia also executed one excellent 4 pass sequence of their own - the best I saw them execute in the match. An Olympia striker should have converted. He shot over the crossbar.

I've heard too much complaining about referees when teams lose in local leagues. It might be prudent for teams/coaches to evaluate why Dean May and Scott Gallagher have a team playing as well as the TIS are.

My only concern was the formation. I thought it was mandated by FFA TD, Han Berger, that elite teams in particular, and teams in general, should play the 4-3-3 formation. It looked like a 4-4-2 in defence and a 4-2-4 in attack ( if indeed it changed). I found it difficult to discern a midfield triangle, whether the shape was ostensibly a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1.

We need a more elite competition for the TIS graduates, who don't play in the A League, to aim for when they leave the TIS. Otherwise they are heading to a league playing a decidedly lower standard of football. Some footballers and coaches treat the SPL as a social league. This is not ideal for spectators.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

I should say from an appreciative football viewer, thanks to the TIS coaches, May and Gallagher, for producing some quality football for spectators.

This has provided me with the belief that we can produce quality footballers in Tasmania, with a degree of technique.

Well done, TIS........!!!

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

Agree there should be a pathway after players leave the T.I.S, maybe FFT should look into making an U/19 team for past and present T.I.S/ State players who they believe have potential to be identified into a higher level. they could play in the SPL and periodically have home and away games against high level Victorian teams? this may create another pathway for players?
Just an idea?