Friday, May 24, 2019

Lakoseljac Cup semi-finals should be fiercely fought this weekend

Photo:  Olympia's centre-forward, Englishman Jack Ryan (left), and South Hobart coach Ken Morton, face the media today [PlessPix]

South Hobart and Devonport City are favourites to win their Lakoseljac Cup semi-finals this weekend and therefore contest the prestigious final, which offers a place for the winner in the FFA Cup as the prize.

South Hobart are in action on Sunday when they entertain major rival Olympia Warriors at South Hobart Oval at 1pm.

Devonport City once again travel south, this time to face second-tier opponents University at Olinda Grove at 2pm tomorrow [Saturday].

Upsets are always on the cards in cup competitions, but there is unlikely to be one this weekend.

South Hobart lost 2-1 to Olympia in the opening league match this season and the sides drew 3-3 in the league a couple of weeks ago.

This would indicate that South Hobart have Olympia’s measure and are in line for a win when the sides meet for the third time.

Olympia will be without the injured defender Jake Vandermey, while South Hobart should have the same line-up as in recent weeks, which equates close enough to being at full strength.

Photo:  Olympia's English import Jack Ryan aid that the club were potentially just two games away from national exposure in the FFA Cup [PlessPix]

“This game is a massive game in our season,” said Olympia’s centre-forward, Englishman Jack Ryan.

“Obviously, a very disappointing game in the league last week [2-1 home defeat to Devonport City], so for the players, this game is essential to keep our season alive.

“We’re working hard to make sure we get a result.”

Ryan was booked against Devonport.  That was his fifth yellow and he will miss Olympia’s next league match but will be available for this cup semi-final.

He said there was great rivalry between the two clubs and he hoped a large crowd would be in attendance.

“As a player, you’re always looking forward to the big games, but every game is the same really and you go out with the same intent, which is to win,” Ryan said.

“We’ve worked hard to get to this stage and two more wins will give us massive exposure in the FFA Cup.”

Photo:  South Hobart coach Ken Morton said there is intensive rivalry between his club and Olympia and that both sides knew a lot about each other [PlessPix]

South Hobart coach Ken Morton said the rivalry between the two clubs was massive and there was huge respect for each other.

“It’s normally a fierce rivalry on the pitch,” Morton said.  “It’ll be a big game on Sunday.

“Playing Olympia at Darcy Street could be a good day.  The pitch is in decent condition for this time of the year and I feel maybe we’d prefer to be at Darcy Street than up at Olinda Grove [facing University].

“I think you get more from your players when you play the top teams and it’s sometimes difficult to lift them against lower teams”.

Morton said the atmosphere at training has been competitive and everyone was keen to contest the semi-final.

He said he wouldn’t announce his team until match day and said that it would be a young side, with midfielder Loic Feral probably the oldest player.

Morton refused to be drawn on which goalkeeper he would use.  The two custodians are Kieran Brown and Graeme Wright.  Both have played in recent weeks.

Scotsman Wright played in the 3-3 draw with Olympia, while Brown was in goal in last weekend’s 4-2 win over Kingborough Lions United.

“The team-sheet goes in 30 minutes before a game, but I don’t see many coaches changing things after the last training session for the week,” Morton said.

Photo:  Olympia coach Rob Clarke said South Hobart and their coach Ken Morton had set the bar high over the years and he was keen for his club to catch up [PlessPix]

Olympia coach Rob Clarke said he had a few injury problems but there’d be no excuses.

“We’ll still have a good eleven out there,” Clarke said.

“We lost Jake [Vandermey] last week with an ankle injury.  I’m not sure for how long, but I think it’ll be four weeks at least.

Clarke said he had played Lucas Hill at fullback against Devonport last week, but that the tall defender would be at centre-back again on Sunday.

Clarke said cup semi-finals produced a different buzz for players than league matches and he said the club was keen to beat South Hobart.

He said he would probably play with two strikers, but if South used the width of the pitch as they tended to do, things might be changed at times.

Devonport will have to be at their best to beat University at Olinda grove.

The North-West Coast outfit is 5 points clear at the top of the NPL Tasmania standings, but league performance and position can often be thrown to the wind in sudden-death cup contests.

University have been impressive in reaching the semi-finals and pose a real threat to Devonport.

“We can’t wait for it,” said University coach, Jake Undy.

“It’s a game we hoped to get, to verse the NPL champions at The Hive!

“Of course, it’ll be a challenging opponent, but we also know our strengths and what we can do, so we’ll go in with confidence.

“We’ve seemingly always had a strong connection with Devonport, with blokes from the coast like Sam Platts, Josh Harris, John McMullen, Geoff Wise and Matt Griffiths all being integral to keeping The Hive alive and thriving.

“We’re lucky to be part of something special, on and off the pitch.  A semi-final in the Lakoseljac Cup is a special occasion for all clubs in Tasmania, and we’re looking forward to making it a memorable one.

“It’s not just luck though.  Training and games have been well prepared by Lockie Brown , and fiercely contested by the guys.

“We’ve got strong competition for places amongst so many skilful, hard-working and determined people.

“That’s how it is at our club.  The people here are the kind that spend their waking hours getting after it, and so that’s what we’ll do.”


Anonymous said...

South v warriors what a game going to need whoever got the noisest fans to get there team over line i know olympia got uk players could do with some of there supporters to get Darcy street bouncing so much at stake Ffa cup

Anonymous said...

Hi Walter, I think the South v Olympia results indicate Olympia would be faves if anyone. All good if you're favouring South for the game but your logic a bit skewed here?

Anonymous said...

Olympia have hit the wall in recent weeks.

They'll get bundled out of the cup tomorrow. Their season will be over in May...

Anonymous said...

All due respect to the terrific young blokes Kenny has playing for him, who have been really really good - and will get better - teenagers feel the pressure of big games as we saw in the mistakes in the draw the other week. Walter, South are hardly at full strength - Connor Schmidt, Alex Walter, Declan Foley, Gilly de Souza & Darcy Hall all been out for weeks..months in some cases -that's 5 regular starters.. All credit to Kenny & his lads, but Olympia gotta be faves for this one..

Anonymous said...

South to win 3-0 to quick for Olympia

Anonymous said...

Gilly has been playing challange