Friday, June 14, 2019

Devonport carrying a lot of excess baggage as they prepare to face Knights at KGV Park tomorrow

Photo:  Zebras coach David Smith (left) and Kingborough supremo Jez Kenth at today's media conference [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania leaders Devonport City have had a wretched week ahead of their game against Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park at 3.15pm tomorrow [Saturday].

Last Monday, Devonport, the holders of the Milan Lakoseljac Cup, relinquished the trophy when they lost 2-0 to South Hobart in the cup final.

That means they are out of the FFA Cup, in which they have performed admirably in the past few seasons.

It was also the first time in 48 outings that Devonport failed to score.

The last time they didn’t score was on 5 August 2017, when they amazingly lost 6-0 to South Hobart at home at Valley Road.

South Hobart went on to win the NPL title by a mile that season, with Devonport and Olympia Warriors a distant second and third.

That was a bad year for the also-rans.

As Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager, once said:  “If you’re first, you’re first.  If you’re second, you’re nothing.”

Devonport coach, Rick Coghlan, was also fined $300 for his comments about the referee in the cup final, and he was given a one-week suspension, which has been suspended because of his impeccable past behaviour.

To add insult to injury, a Football Tasmania spokesperson confirmed that the bus company that brought the Devonport team to Hobart for the cup final has refused to transport the team again after the passengers allegedly ‘trashed’ the bus on the way home.

Is that a sign of a poor loser?

Rick Coghlan is one of the best coaches in Tasmania and such ill-discipline must sit uncomfortably with him.

He now has to put together the pieces and ensure that Devonport’s title challenge stays on course with a win against Glenorchy Knights tomorrow.

Devonport will be without the suspended Daniel Syson, who was sent off in the final minute of the cup final defeat to South Hobart.

His absence may give Miles Barnard a starting berth as goals will be required.

It could also pave the way for Brayden Mann to return to the fold after coming back to Devonport from Victorian club, Dandenong City.

Knights are likely to field their best team and will looking to get the better of a side that could be slightly demoralised after the events of the past week.

They will have to be on their toes, however, as a wounded Devonport could be a dangerous animal.

Photo:  Zebras coach David Smith will give some youngsters their chance against Kingborough [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras will give young goalkeeper Nathan Reid his starting debut in tonight’s game against Kingborough Lions United at KGV Park at 8pm.

Central defender Jan Charuza is also a starter after six weeks out through injury.

“He’s only 90 per cent fit, but he needs game time,” said Zebras coach, David Smith.

Jayden Hey still has a week of his suspension to serve.

“It’s going to be a bit of a danger game,” said Smith.

“We were poor last time out and we need to respond this week.

“We’ve made three or four changes and we’ll see how we go.

“We’ve got a couple of players coming back and we’ll give debuts to a couple of young players.

“A couple of kids did well in last week’s Challenge League game against Kingborough last week, so they’re going to come in.

“We’ve made a few changes to try and brighten things up and we’ll shift a few things around.”

Photo:  Kingborough coach Jez Kenth is looking for his second win since taking charge [PlessPix]

Kingborough’s new coach, Jez Kenth, has one win and one loss from his two games in charge.

He said his side go into every game expecting to win and so he was disappointed to lose to Devonport Strikers in his first game in charge.

Kingborough won 1-0 last weekend away to Riverside Olympic last weekend in Kenth’s second game at the helm.

“Overall, the mood has been good,” Kenth said.

“We’ve got a few niggling injuries and some players have been out injured since day one and still aren’t back.”

Phil Kantzos is still injured and the side misses his technical skills and speed.

Jack Turner took a knock against Riverside last weekend and may be doubtful, while some players find Friday night games difficult because of work commitments.

Playing Danny Cowen in defence seems to be working, but Joel Schuth’s future may be problematic.  He didn’t take kindly to being substituted against Devonport and was seem to kick a drink bottle after coming off.

South Hobart will have been buoyed by their cup success last Monday and should do well against bottom-side Clarence United away at Wentworth Park at 4.30pm tomorrow [Saturday].

Darcy Hall is back for South Hobart after injury and came on late in the cup final and he may well start against Clarence.


Anonymous said...

Trashed the bus? HAHAHA as someone who was on that bus, what a ridiculous statement! This north v south divide is becoming silly now, every opportunity to demonise port! Walter you really should have contacted port for a comment before writing that one-sided bias rubbish

Anonymous said...

Walter is just quoting fft. If he is wrong then what is the reason? You tell us since you were on the busa know it all.

Anonymous said...

So has the bus company refused to work with Devonport again? There must be a reason if so.