Friday, March 1, 2019

Olympia versus South a most suitable game to open 2019 NPL season

Photo:  Three of Tasmanian football's movers and shakers, (L-R) Nick Di Giovanni (Hobat Zebras president), Ken Morton (South Hobart coach) and David Smith (Hobart Zebras coach).  Morton and Smith believe that Olympia Warriors are the title favourites. [PlessPix]

The 2019 NPL Tasmania competition kicks off this evening at Warrior Park when hosts Olympia Warriors play South Hobart at 8pm.

This will be the only game of the opening round as tomorrow’s scheduled triple-header at KGV Park has been postponed because of the expected high temperatures.

And, newcomers to the NPL, Glenorchy Knights, have a bye and would have had to wait until next weekend anyway to play.

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton  -  as well as Hobart Zebras coach, David Smith  -  both agree that Olympia are title favourites, so tonight’s result for Morton’s team will be important.

Morton will be eager to get off to a perfect start and win against as side he has labelled a the title favourite.

South Hobart got off to a bad start last season and eventually came a narrow second to winners Devonport City.

Morton will not want a repeat of that scenario.

Photo:  Olympia Warriors' new coach, Rob Clarke, knows South Hobart will be difficult to beat [PlessPix]

Olympia’s new coach, Rob Clarke, knows that his side will have to play well to toppled the visitors.

The aces in Olympia’s pack are undoubtedly centre-forward, Jack Ryan, and fellow Englishman, Jordan Scott, a midfielder.

Olympia will be without the injured Warren Wadawu, while they have signed Ryan Cook from South Hobart but he will not play tonight against his former club.

South Hobart will miss injured midfielder Declan Foley, signed recently from Glenorchy Knights.  He has a hamstring problem.

Although there are niggling injury concerns surrounding Loic Feral and Ben Hamlett, it would come as a major surprise if they did not at least start in such an important game.

South Hobart’s choice of goalkeeper will be interesting.  Will Morton choose the precocious Kieran Brown, who did so well last season, or will he choose the experienced Graham Wright, who is back from the UK and has played ahead of Brown in some recent friendlies?

Photo:  Olympia Warriors president George Mamacas prefers to play his cards close to his chest and fly under the radar [PlessPix]

Olympia do not have a terribly good record against South Hobart on their own artificial patch, so they will need to be at their best to earn 3 points tonight.

This game will show if Ryan and Scott have what it takes in genuine competitive football to propel the Warriors towards the title.

Luca Hill could also be a key player for Olympia.  His physical style of play could neutralise South Hobart’s creativity and pave the way for a Warriors win.

Similarly, South Hobart’s Feral and Oscar Thomas  -  if the latter plays  -  will need to get on top of Ryan and Scott to subdue the Warriors’ threat.

With three games postponed in the opening round, one could not wish for a better pairing than in this game to kick off the season.


Carn south said...

South to win easy.olympia haven't beat us since 2015 in a league game

Cracking atmosphere said...

Wow olympia loved you're two English imports nicky butt & the mark Hughes alan shearer cross an old fashioned center forward. Thought Tony should have officiated tonight. To big for the ref tonight got a few things wrong