Sunday, March 24, 2019

Clarence are proving to be the whipping boys of the NPL


Photo:  Clarence defender Paul Palmer watches as his goalkeeper, Jake French, gathers the ball.  French prevented even more goals with some fine goalkeeping. [PlessPix]

It was truly awful to watch.

Clarence United are way out of their depth, and that was clearly evident yesterday when they were thumped 13-0 by South Hobart at KGV Park in what was dubbed a Clarence home game as Wentworth Park is not yet open to football.

This game should really have been played behind closed doors.

South Hobart could have played with nine players and still won convincingly.

It wasn’t even a training run for South Hobart, who did their goal-difference a world of good, something that could prove useful at the end of the season.

Darcy Hall is back from Victoria and he weighed in with five goals for South Hobart, while Frenchman Loic Feral, a midfielder, netted twice.

Photo:  Clarence's Paul Palmer seems to be in two minds as to whether to clear or to leave it for team-mate Cade Smith to clear [PlessPix]

Feral had a teaching mate and budding novelist with him at the game.  Stephen Brown, whom I coached at Metro many moons ago and with whom I taught at Cosgrove High off and on, came along to watch the game and Feral turned it on.

Once Tobias Herweynen and Hall had put South Hobart 2-0 up after 8 minutes  -  they scored within a minute of each other  -  it was curtains for Clarence, who trailed 8-0 at half-time.

Before the game, Nick Di Giovanni, the president of Hobart Zebras, had asked me what I thought the score would be.  I said 8-0 and he said 12-0.  At half-time I knew I had guessed wrong and that Nick would be closer to the mark.

Photo:  South's Adam Gorrie and Clarence's Sam Randall go for the ball [PlessPix]

South Hobart made changes at the interval, bringing on Ben Hamlett and Declan Foley, and late in the match, Alex Leszczynski.

South Hobart scored five more goals in the second half against an unfit and stunned Clarence.

What should be done?  This will go on week after week and, as morale plummets, so might Clarence’s meagre playing stocks.

It’s too late to exclude them.  There must surely have been evidence before the season started of what was going to happen.  When Northern Rangers withdrew, it may have been wise to exclude Clarence and have an 8-team competition.

Devonport City are sending out a strong message that they aim to retain their title.

They are top on 12 points after beating newcomers Riverside Olympic 2-0 away at Winsor Park through goals by Max Fitzgerald and Brody Denehey.

Glenorchy Knights were again shown that life in the top flight can be a challenge when they drew 2-2 away to Launceston City, who are on the precipice after a fine season last year.

Jarrod Linger scored both goals for City, while goals by Nick Naden and Declan Brown saved the Knights’ bacon.

Photo:  Kingborough's Phil Kantzos controls the ball while under pressure from Zebras' Dwayne Walsh [PlessPix]

Kingborough Lions United barely raised a roar when they succumbed 3-0 to Hobart Zebras at home at Lightwood Park.

Zebras took the lead at one of the best times to score  -  a minute before half-time.  Riley Dillon’s precise cross from the left was hammered home by the exciting Matthew Pace.

Pace made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute, while Mathew Sanders hit the third in stoppage time.

Kingborough still haven’t received a clearance for their American import, Cameron Steele, so he was made match manager, complete with appropriate coloured bib.

Photo:  Zebras' Mathew Sanders eyes the ball [PlessPix]

I wonder what he thought of the game?  His compatriot, Horacio Gutierrez Jr, fought hard in midfield and produced a display that was skilful, combative and physical and served as an example to his team-mates.

But, the Lions are also on the edge.  They must click soon or it could be another disappointing season of unfulfilled potential.

NPL Tasmania (As at 23 March 2019)

TEAM
P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Devonport City
4
4
0
0
9
1
12
South Hobart
5
3
1
1
22
5
10
Hobart Zebras
4
2
2
0
15
3
8
Glenorchy Knights
5
2
1
2
13
10
7
Olympia Warriors
4
2
1
1
7
5
7
Kingborough Lions
4
2
0
2
11
6
6
Riverside Olympic
4
1
0
3
4
10
3
Launceston City
4
0
1
3
5
11
1
Clarence United
4
0
0
4
0
35
0

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can go and watch the NPL anymore it's just rubbish. Spectators want to see an exciting game or the under dog putting in a stern performance. Congrats FT for making such a great competition.
I would say that the Southern Championship will be a close contested competition this year with any one of five teams could win it.
Hobart United beach and Uni and I think the Dark horse could be New Town as they have recruited some quality players and if they gel quick enough they could be the ones to watch.

Going down said...

South title favorites to much attacking ability.clarence well everyone New apart from FFT.they drew with beach lost to uni by a goal in preseason championship side

Alan shearer said...

Lions Greg got lots of players now.but hasn't recognized he needs a quality goalscorer.the one's he's got are not

Anonymous said...

Been that way for years.

Aslan said...

I feel for the Clarence boys, I really do. It is going to be a long hard season for them, but the guys who are out there every week need to be encouraged to keep going no matter what.

It is easy for clubs and their supporters to sit back and have a good laugh at how rubbish Clarence are, but I wonder if the real problem lies closer to home?

I suspect that there are any number of players at other NPL clubs who are languishing in the Challenge league (not to mention Southern Championship clubs) who will never be near the NPL squads of their illustrious clubs this year who could easily walk into the Clarence first team and make them more competitive.

I guess that hard work and determination is just too much for these other players who would just rather wait on the sidelines and snipe, until they are brought into a ready made NPL giant. The stockpiling of resources, that will never be used, is what is killing our game.

How about clubs be up front and honest with their players and let them go to a smaller NPL club for a year or two and get some real first team experience and therby strengthen the overall competition, and players show some grit and determination and fight for what they want instead of waiting to receive it on some silver platter (which might never come). You cannot convince me that there are not enough quality players around to make a 9,or even 10 team league work.

So come on Clarence, hold your heads high, and play on to the best of your ability.
Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.

(Aslan, Boro supporter)

Anonymous said...

If I were the Boro president I would be embarrassed particularly after the way the coaching selections and appointments were made. Borio have lost some decent people as a result. What may have worked 10 years ago when the standard was much worse and the league more social will not necessarily work today. And tst seems to be occurring right now. It appears it’s another year wasted already. And another year where the club was not able to attract decent players who would improve their results. The teams slide down the ladder begins again as they begin to play the better teams. Kingborough similar to Clarence in many ways.

Anonymous said...

They are giving it their best !

Anonymous said...

Accep mediocrity accept failure

Anonymous said...

Aslan whoever you are what a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

"What may have worked 10 years ago when the standard was much worse and the league more social will not necessarily work today"

I hate to break it to you mate,

But the Olympia, South, Zebras, Knights and even Kingborough and Clarence of 2000-2007 would be wipping a lot of the teams on display today.


South Hobart of 2007-2009 would be demolishing today's teams.

There were no easy beats back then and some of the best players in the league now like Sanders were in their prime back then.

The standard in the South has not improved from 10 years ago, not at all.

Aslan said...

To Anonymous

so you don't think

1. That clubs stockpile players that they won't use in their NPL squads this year

2. That there are currently no Challenge league players that could improve Clarence's first team?

There is definitely crap in this thread but it 'aint coming from me.

Anonymous said...

What you fail to understand Aslan is that none of these players WANT to play for clarence. Why would they, I don't even understand why the current clarence players want to play for them.
Let's look at what their week looks like.
Go to training and discuss what went wrong in the last game. Work on fitness for a full 3 minutes. Do some static passing drills with some exciting 1-2's mixed in. Quick pep talk before the next game and pray for one goal before everyone heads home.
Go to game with no expectation of success, be exhausted before half time and get pumped by a large number of goals and question why their prayers were not answered.
They will have to put bouncers at the gate at wentworth park to stop the hoards of new players trying to get some of that.

Anonymous said...

You have no clue.

1. NPL squads turn over 30 - 35 players per year for many reasons injury work lack of form holidays to name some.

2. The big clubs are all developing their own and adding to their stocks with imports to actually try and win the league. Tell me why is Clarence exempt from having to do this.

3. Why would any player with a brain go to Clarence at this point of time? The challenge league and coaching is a a much better option rather than Clarence seniors at any of the so called top 4 clubs...

4. If you still believe you crap perhaps you can put forward an idea of how you would compensate clubs that develop players for Clarence.

Anonymous said...

Walter, I love our honest opinions. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Guessing you attend Clarence training then? Obviously have no idea what goes on. If you look at the Clarence team the age of players is a big factor with either 17-20 year olds or 28+ and with the mid week games the older players can't play due to their physical condition. It's hard to attract players since all the NPL clubs besides Clarence have the money to pay players and that's what the comp has come to. Knights were beaten 14-0 by Olympia in there last season in Victory league but thats irrelevant since they pretty much bought their way back into the league. Knights can compete now but if that money didnt flow in they'd still be in the Championship

Get wot u put in said...

Well you’re club should do something about it this is your fourth year and done nothing. All other npl clubs working hard behind the scenes attracting sponsors.organizing coaches for academies so they keep building club bigger for future

Anonymous said...

I can hear it now at Footballers all over southern Tasmania dinner table:

Son: Hello Mum and Dad I have just left Sth Hobart FC and signed with Clarence.

Mum or Dad: Well done son! Great for your football career.
I reckon you could get a look in to play seniors there son!

Son: Gee dad I hope so!

Mom or Dad : Im so proud of the choices you make for your football career son!

Son: Gee thanks Dad and mum I love you!

Mum and Dad : We love you too son!

Aslan said...

I can just hear it at Football clubs over southern Tasmania

Player: Hey coach, I was wondering where I fit in your plans this year? I've been in the Challenge team for the past two seasons and I really think I'm ready to step it up. I was thinking if I cant't get a game here, I might try my luck elsewhere.

Coach: absolutely son, you are in our loooong term plans, stick around and you'll definitely get a game here. In fact I'll bring you on as a late sub in a pre season game just to keep you keen.

Player: thanks coach, that's great news.

half a season later....

Player: hey coach, remember the playing time you promised me at the start of the season...?

Coach: Oh yeah, .. those promises were made before we picked up a couple of extra players from other NPL clubs, and of course we have our imports to play also.

Player: but coach...

Coach: dont't worry son, keep putting in the hard yards in the Challenge league, there's always next year. And don't forget to pay your fees, someone has to pay for our imports.

Anonymous said...

Coach: OK those of you who cannot make our team please go to the clubs at the bottom of the ladder

Players: But Coach I want to improve myself

Coach: To bad son you want to play NPL go to club that will give you a run with the other technically poor players they have. You will not get better and most likely drop out of the game because it will be no fun anymore. Ahh well there is always your little brother......

Anonymous said...


If you think players are going to leave their clubs to go and play NPL for CUFC you are on something.

So tell me what drugs are you taking Aslan? I want some....

The Phoenix said...

Yep your blog is full of all that is wrong with Football here.
Far to many on this blog playing the club not the man. Yes Clarence are crap, Yes the committee is to blame , Yes they are suffering. 3 years ago Knights were in the same position. Let's not beat about the bush they got an injection of funds thanks to another Presidents attempts to keep CUFC out of the NPL.

If CUFC had these funds it may be different. This is how the comp is structured now. The money teams are toward the top and those that don't are at the bottom. The comp is biased and nothing will change that. At the end of the day Clarence should have listened to it's members who didn not want to go up. As it stands now the club's sucking in its last breath. I only wish this wasn't the case. My beloved Reds have been sold the farm thanks to the committee.

Smudger said...

I like many others love a good blog and Walter tries to facilitate this here , but to allow anonymous key board warriors a licence to speak shite as if they know something -has encouraged me to speak up.

As a coach I feel for Warren and Clarence here is a guy who put his hand up to take on a job that Nobody wanted , but he has shown remarkable fortitude and openness about the position they are in and what he is attempting to do.

For those of you who “ know it all “ and believe you are the “expert” I can tell you that Warrens planning and sessions are not as quoted by some of the above a kick around - they are around developing a process a system a style off play - is it working at the moment no - but at least he hasn’t resulted in a bus parking exercise as most of us would do - does it need work yes but he is going to persevere and I do believe he will pick up some players and I hope that he and Clarence can survive what is a horrendous situation .

This whole issue is a culmination of poor administration not just a football playing issue - unless you have a junior program underneath that is supplementing the senior program - you cannot expect to be competitive- without a youth league this is going to be an ongoing problem
Apologies for the rant but coaches who are in the main are volunteers don’t deserve the crap that this guy has had served up on here

Ex said...

Certainly agree with The Phoenix, regarding comments about the committee. Certainly the main reason I left after sticking it out for some time. Good luck hope it improves.

Anonymous said...


That’s ok Phoenix.

If CUFC die you can always become an Olympia supporter.
Perhaps you can even join their committee.

The Phoenix said...

No chance in hell I would ever support Olympia.

Anonymous said...

I think the Phoenix was hooked reeled in and eaten for dinner.