Thursday, September 9, 2010

South Hobart go for unbeaten record and fifth piece of silverware for the year

Photos (Top to Bottom): South Hobart coach Ken Morton respects Northern Rangers; South Hobart midfielder Shae Hickey is one of the most skilful players in Tasmania; Liam Scott will need to be at his best in defence for South Hobart; Tom Roach can shoot from range and is good in the air and will pose a huge threat to Northern Rangers [PlessPix]

The stage is set for a magnificent State-wide Top-Four Grand Final at KGV Park at 4pm on Saturday with the two best teams in Tasmania ready to lock horns.

The unbeaten South Hobart, who are going for their fifth piece of silverware this season in this match, are up against Northern Premier League champions Northern Rangers, who have lost only one league match this season.

South Hobart did beat Rangers in an early round of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy and this may give the southerners a psychological advantage.

But, South Hobart have tended to create numerous chances in recent games without converting many and this could lead to their downfall against the eager and direct northerners.

Both teams should be at full strength, which makes for a classic confrontation.

South Hobart will field the same side as in recent weeks and the only change is likely to be on the substitutes’ bench, where David Cooper, who is unavailable because of work commitments, will make way for either goalkeeper Mark Moncur or youngster Cameron Williams.

Both coaches are confident, but are expecting a tough game.

“We expect a hard game,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton. “We played them earlier in the Lakoseljac Cup at Birch Avenue on a very tight ground with long grass and it was a difficult game.

“But, I think it was difficult for them as well because they tried to play some football.

“They’re a very tactical side. They can fill in spaces and play on the counter-attack and then look to get forward in the last 15 to 20 minutes with a more direct aerial approach.

“It’ll be interesting to see how they come out and play, and we need to be ready for them.

“They’ve had a hell of a good year themselves and we need to continue our way.

“We’re playing good football, but we’ve got to turn our chances into goals and finish teams off as well.

“We had a look tonight at some development play out of midfield to get the ball wide and to cross and to attack the ball.

“But, sometimes, it’s confidence rather than anything else with players.

“Like young Andy Brennan, for example. He’s very young and very inexperienced, but when he goes direct for goal and hits things early, they go in for him.

“We’ll just want to play our game the way we’ve been playing, featuring patience, yet fast.

“I think we’re a much better side when we keep moving the ball quickly. When we take too many touches and delay the decision making, then I think we’re ordinary.

“As long as our decision making is good and the ball is going forward quickly, or back quickly and then forward again, I think we’re a good side.”

Northern Rangers coach, Adam Whitemore, said a couple of his players had a touch of the ‘flu, but they should recover in time.

“I’ve one position to finalise and I’ll think about that overnight,” said Whitemore.

“I fancy our chances, I have to say.

“I think we’re understandably underdogs, but then no-one expected us to finish in the top four in our league, and we won it, in style, I think, really.

“In a game where two teams are playing, your odds are pretty good, I think.

“Realistically, I’m a big South Hobart fan. I like their style of play, but we’ll go in and deal with it.

“We’ve played positively and attacking football all season and they’re the only side to have beaten us in a live game.

“Devonport beat us in a dead rubber in the last game of the season and we lost our unbeaten record, but we’re looking forward to it.

“South Hobart beat us 2-0, and comfortably, I thought, in the Milan Lakoseljac Trophy, but we weren’t playing half as well as we did towards the end of the season.”


Anon said...

Go team South and good luck Ken, what a great finish to a fantastic 100th year.

Anonymous said...

Should be a great game of football. south have no weak links but it will be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure of going through the season undefeated as a lot has been spoken about it in recent weeks. still they should be good enough if they play well although they could quite easily have been beaten last week by a far inferior team than what rangers are. I have seen both of these sides play throughout the season and if anyone can beat south it will be rangers as they are very well organised and have five or six quality players that are capable of being match winners.

Anonymous said...

“I think we’re understandably underdogs, but then no-one expected us to finish in the top four in our league, and we won it, in style, I think, really.

Who? Rangers won the league last year and kept near the same squad, who would think they would not finish top 4?? Bit of an exageration i think...

Good luck to rangers though, should be a cracking game

Captain Australia said...

Anon 8:27, Rangers lost the following weekly players from 09 side, Defenders - Sam Nugteren, Brad Langerak (Club record games holder) Chris Gaskin.
Midfielders - Mark Ambrose
Strikers - Luke Connors, TT Kakadumane
Utilities and Bench - , Rhys Prestige.

So 7 and three of the back line is a big hole to fill, players that had massive hand in this years success didnt or barely played seniors last year such as Stefan Jago, Luke Tuma, Ayden Demeijer, Patty Lanau-Atkinson, Declan Cuscheiri, Issa Dumbuya and Gabriel Tams All of these guys played near every game with the exception of Pattty who was a late bloomer. So WHiteys comments not too far from the truth

Anonymous said...

Captain Australia.

Was not arguing that you lost some players, I said kept majority... TT and Ambrose were obviously big losses (although TT did not play alot of games last year in seniors), but im well aware that patty is a quality young player as i was the one who talked his mum into bringing the guys down to Riverside training last year... as well as your other quality young players

You cant really say you guys were expecting to finish outside the top 4? You still have quality players and will for a few years to come with your youth league

Anyways... I was just saying, so as i said, good luck to you guys and i hope you guys beat South and bring the trophy up north