Tuesday, December 4, 2018

2019 NPL Tasmania fixture list released today

Photo:  FFT CEO Matt Bulkeley at North Hobart today [PlessPix]
The 2019 NPL Tasmania roster was officially released today by Football Federation Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley at a media conference held at the North Hobart Oval.

“We have more football than ever before next season and we’re really excited about that,” Bulkeley said.

“We’re delighted to be expanding the competition to nine teams and we welcome back Glenorchy Knights, a club with a rich football history, as well as Riverside Olympic, who are being promoted to the NPL Tasmania competition for the very first time.

“One of our aims has been to maximise the amount of football being played, which we believe will be invaluable for players, coaches, match officials and, indeed, our spectators.

“We believe that spreading the matches over the course of a week and also over a weekend will allow greater opportunity for people to access our matches both in person and via live streaming.

“On that note, in 2018 we had a 270% increase in our Facebook live viewership and we’re confident we can build on that in 2019.”

Photo:  Matt Bulkeley at today's media conference at North Hobart Oval [PlessPix]

Bulkeley said there would be two big days of football at North Hobart Oval in 2019.

Hobart Zebras would play Olympia Warriors in March and there would be a double-header on Anzac Day featuring Hobart Zebras versus South Hobart and Glenorchy Knights up against Olympia Warriors.

“We’re also working on some initiatives around that will build the crowds and we’re confident we can do that,” Bulkeley said.

“We’ll be announcing those [initiatives] in the new year.

“It’s shaping up to be a great season.”

Bulkeley said that after winning the double last season, there was no doubt that Devonport Strikers will be the team that everyone wants to beat.

Tasmania would again have entrants in the FFA Cup and the NPL finals series and Bulkeley said he was confident that the design of the 2019 fixture list would ensure that Tasmania’s entrants in these competitions would be competitive in these interstate contests.

Bulkeley said football had its own intrinsic worth and he was not contemplating adding the razzmatazz of, for example, Big Bash Cricket.

“I like to think that, in our game, what happens on the field is the most important thing,” Bulkeley said.

This season will see some games played on Friday nights, Tuesday nights, Thursday nights and on weekends.

Two mid-week rounds are scheduled for March.

“By spreading the games across the week, and across the weekend as well, it will give people the opportunity to see more games,” he said.

“It will also give people who play on Saturdays the opportunity to watch other games.”

The season will be played across 27 rounds, running from 1 March to 7 September.

Each team will play 24 games, 12 each home and away, with three byes.

The opening game is on a Friday night, when Olympia Warriors will host South Hobart at Warrior Park.

The following day, there will be a triple-header at KGV Park featuring Clarence United versus Riverside Olympia at noon, Hobart Zebras against Devonport City at 2.15pm, and Kingborough Lions United versus Launceston City at 4.30pm.

Glenorchy Knights will be the first team to have a bye.

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