Monday, July 22, 2019

Smith lays bare his soul

Photo:  Zebras coach David Smith faced the media today [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras coach David Smith would love to have VAR operating in Tasmanian football.

He had difficulty in accepting some of the refereeing decisions.

He had no problem with the dismissal of Riley Dillon, but he did wonder about how one of the Devonport goals was allowed to stand when Devonport’s Raphael Reynolds was all over the Zebras keeper.

Smith was pleased with the way his team performed against Devonport, particularly given the poor showing against South Hobart the previous week, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat.

“Devonport are a bully team,” he said.  “If you let them bully you, they dominate you.

“You can’t let them bully you.  We don’t let them bully us and that’s why they struggle against us.”

Photo:  Devonport's Max Fitzgerald leans over Zebras' Matthew Pace while Devonport's Joel Stone tries to stop Zebras' Jayden Hey from getting involved [PlessPix]

Victory against Devonport on Sunday was a certainly on the cards and Smith was frustrated by the draw.

“It is hugely frustrating,” Smith said at a media conference today.

“When we get our best team on the park, and when we turn up [we can play well].

“The week before we had the same squad, the same team, and we don’t turn up.

“You rack your brains.  As a coach you ask yourself, what have I done wrong?  All week we worked on what we hadn’t done well against South Hobart.

“We lost a bit of respectability.  We’re a better side than we’ve shown in a lot of games, but every week we make changes.  I mean, I’ve got to make five changes for Clarence [next weekend] without doing anything else.

“We just consistently don’t perform, whereas the top-three consistently perform, week in, week out, and we just let ourselves down at vital times.

“They’re a good bunch of guys [the Zebras players], but just don’t [always] perform on a weekend, and we’re undisciplined.”

Photo:  David Smith says Zebras need a rebuild [PlessPix]

Smith acknowledged changes need to be made at the club, which has an illustrious history.

“We’re a big club in name, but we’re not in performances,” he said.

“This club is having a rebuild… is going to have a rebuild.  We’re a club that’s probably had the same group and we haven’t been able to produce.  We’ve had lots of good coaches, lots of good players, but we haven’t been able to put it together consistently.

“And that’s where we’re at it. This is probably the last chance for this squad and some players will probably move on and we’ll see how we go from there, how we change things and how we go.”

Smith said that centre-back Jan Charuza had to leave in August because his visa would expire, and defender Ryu Yonezawa had left for Japan today.

Photo:  Ryu Yonezawa (left) has returned to Japan [PlessPix]

There were question marks about some other players continuing.

“There’s going to be a fair few changes within the group,” Smith said.

“We need to look at a younger group coming through.  We’ve got some good kids coming through.  The boys in the Challenge group probably aren’t ready yet.  Some of those guys just need a lot of work and they’re not there yet and we need to work on them.  We’ve got to think about, do we give some of these guys a chance, and we’ve got to build from there.

“I think it’s starting to build a group that we can build on for the future rather than a one-year thing.

“If I look at Zebras from the outside, even this year, the changes in the team this year, that just can’t happen.  We need consistency, we need to train together, we need to build the group up again, give game time to the youngsters.

“The experienced pros in there are going to help these youngsters, and that’s not happening at the moment.

“The younger ones haven’t been given the opportunities they deserve and that’s in the past ten years.

“If you go and look at most of the teams, there’s ex-Zebras junior players, who didn’t get a run here and have gone on to be some of the better players at other clubs.

“They didn’t get opportunities and we’ve got to look at how we give these kids opportunities and, maybe, hopefully, get some of those kids back.”

Photo:  Action from Zebras' Challenge League game against Clarence, which ended in a 3-3 draw [PlessPix]

Smith said it was necessary to make changes for the coming game against Clarence because of suspensions and unavailability.

“We’re going to promote three of our kids this week,” he said.

In the past, he has said that there is no one in the Challenge League side that could be promoted, but he clarified that today.

“I’m not saying they’re not good enough,” he explained.  “I’m saying they’re not ready.

“We’re in a situation where we want to finish in the top three and that’s it.  We’ve got to be realistic.

“We’re not going to put out a youth team against Olympia [in two weeks’ time] and we have to do the right thing by Devonport and South and others, but after that we might look at what we’re going to do for the future.”


Anonymous said...

I am sorry Dave I disagree with you.
You can sugar coat the reasons all you like but
every club has players that have left and gone elsewhere for
opportunity . And as you said they have done well.
Why would they want to come back now. ?
Lots of other things at the club need to change before many of these
return. The club has been wrecked and now it is up to you to fix?
Good luck to you you are going to need it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting the Bully comments followed by a photo of Fitzgerald standing over Pace. What I saw while watching the live stream, just prior to this pic, was Pace being smoked by Fitzgerald leaving Pace with no alternative but to apply a rugby tackle (and a shit one at that) to catch him. Fuck me anyone would be pissed at that! OMG really? There is a massive difference between playing football hard and bullying.

Anonymous said...

Fitzgerald was diving and sooking all game. Can't actually remember him beating Yonezywa all day great defending by him. Thought Charuza was class aswell

Anonymous said...

Classic walter anit-port work that is

Anonymous said...

I don't think their has being a season when people have lost so much faith in FFT!
I hope the CEO second year is better than his first!
I fear he has bunkered himself in at KGV headquarters !
FFT staff need a boss not a best mate !

Anonymous said...

bring back Markaj

Anonymous said...

"We don’t let them bully us and that’s why they struggle against us"

That and the 11 men you park in your own half

Anonymous said...

A VAR operating in Tasmania ?
Gee that will work well with the hundreds of camera angles
that would be covered....not. They can’t get it right in a professional league,
how the hell will the muppets down here do it? That is not a crack at
Tony Peart either. How about we fix everything that needs to be fixed and then the lights .
I could be wrong but I doubt David was serious about VAR.
it could have been a comment to emphasize his frustration
with referreeing. To expect VAR is a little far fetched at present.

Anonymous said...

Boys and Girls Relax!! No need to start getting personal.
Sorry if my earlier comment offended, I don’t know or care about the two players (Pace/Fitzgerald) mentioned. They were mealy pawns to my post as I disagreed with that particular part of the main blog story. I purely wanted to outline what I believed to be a bit of FAKE NEWS or at least (don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story) moment. Also to outline what I saw on TV, that drove the young footballer to act that way. What’s your 2 players excuses? The difference between Hard football and dullard football perhaps? ( Dullard means stupid or dumb just in case ) I will say one thing you were right the two players mentioned were ok, kept the game interesting.
Maybe I should have left out the shit rugby tackle bit, sorry, was a bit harsh but we were playing football and let’s face it, it was a bit funny but still shit! Also the bit about getting smoked. Bit harsh? O'well sometimes the actual facts make the best reading.
Good Luck Next week.

Anonymous said...

David Smith is spot on. It's a big club but hasn't the winning mentality due to the last decade being spent underachieving.

When you look at the playing list, its pretty bare. The best two players are their defensive imports.

Apart from Muller and Pace are there any home grown players? There's half the problem...

Anonymous said...

If Devonport is the bully team then the zebras are the thug team. Gotta love how the coach compliments the team and then bags them out. Unfortunately David is past his used by date and needs to go along with half of the team.

Anonymous said...

11:58 You are really bitter keep shooting away and smile at least you get paid.

Anonymous said...

Dave is a good guy, he coaches the U16's at the club as well as the Senior team, his openness and honesty should be applauded and he is pleading with the club to take the right direction and try to build a future with local talent, and not take quick fixes every year with multiple imports, which erodes the pathway of any youngsters and limits their opportunity. It is just a shame that most of the elite junior talent they had in past couple of years have now moved on and are happy at their new homes.Getting them back to Zebras will be challenging!

Anonymous said...

11.35 am.
Re your last comment. Has the club tried contacting some of these
people who have left ?
The attitude at present seems to be “ stuff then they left”
I may be wrong but I doubt it.
Nothing wrong with swallowing a little pride and making contact with some
of them.

Anonymous said...

Not debating some people have left but what young talent are you referring to?? Most players who have been at zebras are getting paid at the clubs they have gone to

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.11pm. And your point is what?
They are getting paid elsewhere you say. So what is your point?
Some of those getting paid , that I presume you refer to , are very very lucky they are being paid. Some don't deserve to be paid anything at all.
If they are happy there getting smashed every now and then ,as they have done and losing more games than they win , leave them there.
There aren't very many of them though , I am guessing.

Anonymous said...

I saw Dave at the Eagles v Beach game so maybe looking at the talent these two clubs have.
Sammy L is a very exciting talent. You must admire his loyalty as he would start in any of the NPL teams here.
Young Joffery and Jono at Olympia and young Sam at South are Youth products of Eagles so they must be doing something right just like Beachside , flying under the radar

Anonymous said...

Would think Dave would be wasting his time trying to poach Beachside players as Beachside are not that far away from a spot in the npl.

Anonymous said...

It is a fair step up in class from Southern Championship to NPL level, don't know why Sammy L has never tried to test himself at the top level, but a good Championship player doesn't always equate to a good NPL player, we may never know whether he'd be any good at NPL level unless he has a crack!