Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Zebras president happy with fixture list and has no sympathy for Devonport's travel woes

 Photo:  Hobart Zebras president Nick Di Giovanni (right) at today's press conference at North Hobart Oval [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras president Nick Di Giovanni is happy with the 2019 NPL Tasmania fixture list which was released today.

And, amid rumours that NPL Tasmania champions Devonport City are unhappy about the amount of travel that is expected of them, Di Giovanni said he had no sympathy.

“It all evens itself [the travelling] out, so I’m quite happy with the roster," Di Giovanni said.

Devonport City have apparently complained to Football Federation Tasmania about the travelling they are required to do, but Di Giovanni said he didn’t feel sorry for them.

Zebras will play Devonport twice in the south and once away, while Zebras travel away to Launceston City twice and entertain their northern sister club once in the south.

“That’s part of being in an NPL competition,” Di Giovanni said in regard to Devonport’s supposed woes.

“To play in the best league, if you have to travel, you have to travel.

“In the end, if it were to become six northern teams and two southern teams, you’ve got to do it.

“If you’re in the competition, then that’s the way it’s got to be.  I don’t feel sorry for them.”

Photo:  Nick Di Giovanni (second from right) fielding questions from WIN TV's Brent Costelloe (third from right) and the ABC's Chris Rowbottom (right) [PlessPix]

Di Giovanni said ‘Devonport don’t struggle much’ and they won the double last year and two years ago they also won entry to the FFA Cup.

“They’re obviously a strong team and it’s good to see them travelling down here,” he said.

“We’ll be happy to play them twice down here in Hobart.”

Di Giovanni said the extra games in a nine-team competition put pressure on clubs in terms of expense and work required of volunteers.

He was delighted that his club would again play two games at North Hobart Oval as the venue had been a success for the club last season.

He said he would relish the chance to make North Hobart the Zebras’ home ground, but that would be a complex matter and would necessitate negotiations with the Hobart City Council and North Hobart Football Club.

Di Giovanni said his club would have Tuesday and Thursday games, which would enable more supporters to come and watch.

The club was in negotiations with sponsors and was also drumming up support from volunteers to assist the club.
Photo:  Today's media conference at North Hobart Oval [PlessPix]

“I think we play South Hobart on a Tuesday night and Clarence on a Thursday night so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.

Di Giovanni said new coach David Smith had started pre-season training and things were shaping up well.

There were lots of youngsters attending and this augured well for the coming season.

Former Northern Rangers goalkeeper Sam Whatman is reported to be training with Zebras, while import Iskander Van Doorne has left the club.

There are rumours he will play with South Hobart this coming season.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Devonport pull out of the last state league due to travel etc and if I recall properly launnie city was the only team left. from the north.
I have also heard on the grapevine that the southern champ and youth rosters are also out. apparently south east are in the Champ and haven't heard about any consultation with any club about them joining.
I have also heard that Champ clubs aren't happy about the 16 game roster to the NPL 24 games

Idea said...

Hard to be Devonport with the distance issues.

This will never happen but could it work ?

1) NPL becomes 2 Conferences North & South

North = Devonport, Rangers, Launceston City, Riverside, Somerset, (Either) Burnie, Launie Eagles, Launcestn Utd or Ulverstone = 6 teams

South = Sth Hbt, Zebras, Kingbourgh, Clarence, Knights, Olympia = 6 teams

In their conference they play each other three times therefore 15 games.

After the 15 games the top 4 from each conference play a home and away against the other conference eg: 1 from nth conference vs 4 from sth. etc.

Keep it as a home and away with champions league away goal rule etc, the 8 become 4 , then 2 then 1

The bottom two teams from each conference then do the same but for relegation.

Min 17 games Max 21

add in the Laka cup and maybe a summer cup in north and south = long enough season..