Friday, June 4, 2010

Top-four and relegation battles are on this weekend

Photos (Top to Bottom): South Hobart's Daniel Brown (centre) is a doubtful starter against Taroona; Zebras' Ricky Self (No.3) a key player for Zebras against Knights; Only a couple of these Zebras players will be missing against Knights; Ben Phillips will start for Olympia against Kingborough; A dejected Eagles keeper Nathan Pitchford will be hoping he doesn't make any more errors; Blayne Hudson is a new member of Eagles' midfield [PlessPix]

With South Hobart virtually assured of the title at the half-way mark of the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League season, the focus of attention this weekend is the fight for top-four places and the battle to avoid relegation.

Second-placed Tilford Zebras entertain third-ranked Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park on Friday night and Zebras will start as the favourites.

The Knights have not won in five outings and will miss midfielder Tony Dzelalija, who has probably played his last senior game for the club.

He injured a calf in the 1-0 loss to Kingborough Lions United last Friday and will miss this game and is unlikely to be fit before leaving for overseas shortly.

His replacement in the squad will be Juma Barabara.

“They’ve been scoring goals, but they’ve also been conceding,” said Knights coach, Nick Harrison.

“Going forward, they look good, and Ladic had an excellent game last week.

“But, we’ve got our strengths and we think we know their weaknesses, if they’ve got any, and we’ll try and exploit their weaknesses.

“It could quite easily be a 6-4 game, but then again, it could be nil-nil.

“They’re a great side going forward with their pace, but so are we, and that’s part of the reason we’ve brought Juma [Barabara] back into the squad. Juma and Jade Clay scored against them earlier in the season.

“They’re going to be a strong side this week, but our confidence is good and I wouldn’t bet against us winning.

“If we get beaten again, then it’s a banana skin and you can see Olympia winning a game sooner or later and we’ve got them next week.

“We’ll go out and give it our best shot and see what happens. Hopefully, it’ll be a good game and it’ll go our way.”

Zebras coach Romeo Frediani will make no changes to the side that beat Clarence United 5-3 last Saturday.

“Everybody has trained really well and everybody is fit and ready to go,” said Frediani.

“We’re absolutely confident. I think, after the last few weeks, the team is starting to gel.

“I can’t see why we can’t beat Knights.”

Striker Kostas Kanakaris is a doubtful starter for league-leaders South Hobart when they face second-last Taroona away at Kelvedon Park on Saturday. He has a back injury.

Defender Daniel Brown is also doubtful. He has an exam scheduled and may be unavailable.

Taroona will be without Garry Hamilton and Hamish Macgregor as both have university exams, but Marcus Atkinson will return to the starting line-up after impressing for the half-an-hour he played against New Town Eagles last weekend.

“We’ll need to make sure we maintain our concentration for the whole 90 minutes and it will be a real challenge for us because there is still so much difference between our best football and our worst,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“But, if we’re switched on, we are capable of playing good football, even against a side as good as South.”

Sixth-placed Clarence United host fifth-ranked New Town Eagles at Wentworth Park at 6.30pm on Saturday.

Both sides are level on 13 points and have scored 21 goals, but Eagles have conceded only 19, compared with Clarence’s 22 goals.

Eagles will be without Mark Page, Jamie Vernon and Chris Wass. The latter broke down at training and Page did not last a full half against the TIS in the reserve match on Wednesday night.

Joshua Quan will get a start for Eagles, but Alex Leszczynski is also doubtful through injury and Ethan Menzie may miss because of exams.

“It’ll be a hard, a very hard game, especially since it’s being played at Clarence,” said Eagles coach, George Krambousanos.

“I’m very disappointed that we’ve got so many players out. Three of those players have been out for a long time anyway, so it’s not really that we haven’t got on with the job.

“It’s a very important game for both clubs as anything can happen with some of the clubs above us as there’s only 7 points separating us from the second-placed side.

“We need to win, and Clarence need to win, and we’ll be all out to win it.”

Bottom-side Olympia Warriors take on fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United at South Hobart on Sunday.

Entry will be free as the match is sponsored by Farmers’ Union Iced Coffee.

The Lions will miss midfielder Ryan Bevan, who is overseas, and he will be replaced by Trent Pearce.

Midfielder Brett Andrews has a shoulder injury and must pass a fitness test before he can play.

“Other than that, it’s a fairly settled line-up,” said Kingborough’s assistant coach, Tim Dale.

“We were happy with the three points against Knights, but we’re certainly not going to underestimate Olympia.

“They were pretty competitive against South Hobart and it would be folly for us to underestimate them.”

Dale was in charge of the Lions against Knights last week and has been conducting training, but coach Geoff Freeman returns from interstate on the morning of the match.

Olympia’s squad will be: Dmitri Nester - Jayden Hey, Youssef Mohamad, Adam Hedge, Mark Wakefield - Fletcher Tracy, Lee Mason, Ben Phillips, Brady Cronk - Kosta Grillas, Alex Nandan (Substitutes: Hugh Richardson, Jake Undy, Owyn Howell, Robert Kay).

“We’ve trained three times this week,” said Olympia coach, Chris Hey.

“I’m confident we can pick up some points in the next four games. I think we can get a win.

“We need to move the ball a lot quicker. There’s no doubt about that. We need to take our chances a lot better and tighten up at the back.

“I think it’s a winnable game for us and, at the end of the day, it’s a game we have to win.

“It’s going to be a huge eight-day period for us. If we can get nothing out of the next eight days, we’re in big strife.”

Hey said the side was really missing the injured Chris Kumpulainen, Nick Meredith and Warren Wadawu.


Anonymous said...

South 4-1
Zebras 3-1
Eagles 3-2
Olympic 2-1

Anonymous said...

South (or course)
Clarence (depleted but 2 well coached for a "boof it" Eagles outfit)

Anonymous said...

Why are kingborough so under the radar?? its the same every year. never get any positive or negative comments.

Eagles should win comfortably against a clarence side that hasnt gelled all year.

south will win again as per usual and zebras to put the final nail in the knights coffin.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm. Kingborough are a bit boring - middle of road side, middle of road players (no Charlie White), seemingly tight knit and no obvious controversy ...

... AND they will lose to Olympia on Sunday because Olympia are going to WIN!

Everyone needs to get to WWP tomorrow night because it will be a fiery encounter in which Clarence will prevail. The team has too much quality and will be top4.

Zebras are top2 side and only team that can worry SH. They will rip Knights apart tonite - 6-0!

Anonymous said...

King are under he radar because they always finish in the bottom half, pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

South 5-2
Zebras 2-0
Clarence 2-0
Olympia 1-0

Anonymous said...

final nail in the knights coffin... yep they will be dead and buried in THIRD place if they lose! Terrible position to be in!

Anonymous said...

I see on the olympic website that its free entry for all patrons, thanks to a sponsor deal.

Anonymous said...

anon (9.22)....eagles 'boof it'?? u obviously dont watch their senior team play....they played taroona off the park last w/e in terrible conditions they hit feet and moved the ball well... cant judge their senior team by the way their reserves played in 1 game....

Anonymous said...

The final nail in the Knights coffin? For what, 3rd place? Haha

Anonymous said...

i wish the knights supporters would just admit that the wheels have well and truly fallen off.

maybe after they get done Olympia in a couple of weeks they will.

Eagles will be too big and strong for clarence 3-1. Clarnce are apparently missing a heap of players?? you wouldnt know though. no pre match info really lets the clarence supporters down.

watching the wheels rolling down the road to clare st said...

eagles are the worst football playing side in the competition and boot the ball long at every opportunity and how can people state wheels falling off at knights after losing one league match they were expected to win? south was a loss and always would be and the two draws were away at wwp where they got robbed and at clare st after the eamonn saga? zebras are a good side and should beat knights on current form but knights really should be focusing on their top 4 ambitions still and are in a better position than many!

Anonymous said...

a bit rough on pitchy walter? surely his form has been better than 1 non-result affecting error?

i'm tipping him for a big performance this week

Walter said...

I don't think I've been too hard on Nathan. I think Nathan would be disappointed in himself at the two errors. He's a perfectionist and an excellent goalkeeper and one of those errors cost his side a win.

His professional approach will make him work harder to ensure it doesn't happen again. He will take that sort of comment and use it to strive to do better.

The problem for keepers is that one mistake can cost their side a match. For an out-field player they can often get away with mistakes.

Anonymous said...

How Can everyone honestly pick Olympia to win this week against the boro? they havent won a game all year and boro put away the knights last week with a solid performance.

South 3-0
Zebras 5-3
Clarence 2-1
Lions 2-0

Anonymous said...

It is about time Olympia had a win it is getting beyond ridiculous, they are talking it up to so lets hope they come thorugh with some sort of point(s). Kingborough arent a much better side so this is a good chance for them. If the seniors lose again the club would be officially at rock bottom, especially considering the club as a whole 19's, res and seniors still only combined total of 12 points!

Anonymous said...

fair call Walter. Pitchy getting booked for kicking the ball away in anger demonstrated exactly what you are talking about. He hates making mistakes and it will drive him to continually improve.

Anonymous said...

anon 1.23....ur kidding right....ur obviously a knights supporter...... all i see googsy do when watching knights play as swing his boot at it.... eagles have one of the best strikers in the state in mckeown so why not try and play the ball in behind the defense's of their opponents which are often slow so he can run onto it.... they dont just boot it long

The General said...

Haro,Juma Barabara is a very good player but isn't it about time you gave Matthew Nowicki a regular start in the seniors? Having less of the 'yellow card brigade' will be an advantage to the team.

Anonymous said...

jackson marsh will need to prove to harrison tonight he is capable of playing seniors as he was told at training its his last chance to prove himself or he will be going back to nelson, goodluck jackson

Anonymous said...

So. Reading all these comments. Its quite clear to me that the nails were not put on Knights coffin, and that they did not lose 6 nil. This blog contains so much crap.

Anonymous said...

... certainly a final nail in any title hopes. did anyone say they would lose 6-0? Rather than get all sad after the midnight hour - just go to bed.

Anonymous said...

4 comments down, can't you read?