Sunday, March 17, 2019

Zebras seriously under-strength for today's North Hobart showdown with Olympia

Hobart Zebras will be under-strength when they meet Olympia Warriors at North Hobart Oval at 2.30pm today.

Central defender Thomas Little is suspended after being sent off in the closing minutes of last week’s 1-1 draw with South Hobart.

Midfielder Jordan Muller has a hamstring complaint and is unlikely to play, while midfielder-cum-striker Luke Huigsloot is an unlikely starter because he cannot get time off at the Greek-owned supermarket where he works.

Midfielder Jayden Hey is also doubtful because of an ankle injury, while midfielder Adam Lapolla has a broken nose.

Central defender Jan Charuza hasn’t trained this week as he has back problems and will be a 50/50 prospect to start.

Zebras coach David Smith will have to dig deep to find replacements.

These could include Adam McKeown, an experienced striker who has been playing in the Challenge League side and sitting on the bench for the seniors.

Defender Ben Robinson has been making a comeback in the Challenge League side after injury and he could also be called upon.

“We hope to get one or two back,” said Smith.  “Dwayne Walsh has had a couple of training sessions but is probably not ready yet.

“I’m very doubtful about Muller and Hey, and also Huigsloot.

“We’ve just got to go with what we’ve got.

“We’ve got a front-three that could probably out us on the front foot and we’ve got to be positive.

“Ryu Yonezawa will probably move into midfield, or even to centre-back if Charuza is unavailable.  We’ll just have a little look at it and see how we go.”

Zebras trained on Saturday morning and Smith assessed the situation.

“It’s an opportunity for the guys we bring in, such as Lachie Burt and Adam McKeown, and maybe Ben Robinson and Luke Bighin, so we’ll see how we go,” Smith said.

Smith said the double-header at North Hobart was an excellent opportunity to showcase the sport.

He said the pitch was excellent and a great opportunity for the players to play at a real football venue, even though it was not a rectangular stadium.

“The playing surface makes a big difference,” he said.

Olympia Warriors will still be without injured winger Warren Wadawu, but everyone else should be fit.

Coach Rob Clarke was disappointed with his side’s play in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Glenorchy Knights and is hoping for an improved display today.

Olympia are fourth on the NPL ladder with 6 points from three outings, two points ahead of fifth-placed Zebras, who have played twice.

The day’s program commences at noon with the Women’s Super League match between Zebras and Olympia.


Anonymous said...

Zebras lose today.dont think they will catch up.mid table team

Anonymous said...

Olympia 3-0. Might keep their child like president happy for a couple of days at least.
Zebs to finish 4th or 5th

Anonymous said...

The Luke situation has happened several times before where business owners (in my experience, aligned with Olympia) have deliberately scheduled players to work when they vs Olympia.

Its petty and an abuse of power

Shocking said...

What a boring game of futbol.apart from the last ten chance of these two winning title.south & Devonport to much technical ability

Anonymous said...

The Greek owners of the business that Luke works for don’t give a toss about Olympia and when they play. Surely he must know when he has a Sunday game coming up and can organise to switch days or whatever he has to do. Maybe find out whether he prefers to work rather than play and that will be the reason he didn’t play today. You may be surprised.