Friday, September 6, 2019

Tasmanian squad named for game against Mariners

Photo:  Coach David Smith and central-defender Tom Young at today's media conference [PlessPix]

The Tasmanian squad of 22 players to face A-League side Central Coast Mariners at 2.30pm at South Hobart Oval on Sunday has been announced.

Devonport central defender Kieran Mulraney has been named captain.

The Mariners arrived on Saturday and will also play South Hobart at Lightwood Park on Tuesday night at 6.30pm before departing the State on Wednesday.

Tickets for both games range in price from $7 to $15.

The Tasmanian squad is:

Miles Barnard (Devonport Strikers), Edward Bidwell (Devonport Strikers), Keenan Douce (Kingborough Lions), Charlie Dyer (Launceston City), Adam Gorrie (South Hobart), Benjamin Hamlett (South Hobart), Tobias Herweynen (South Hobart), Jayden Hey (Hobart Zebras), Jarrod Hill (Riverside Olympic), Todd Hingston (Devonport Strikers), Kobe Kemp (South Hobart), Thomas Little (Hobart Zebras), Nicholas Mearns (Olympia FC Warriors), Noah Mies (Launceston City), Jordan Muller (Hobart Zebras), Kieran Mulraney (Devonport Strikers), Joffrey Nkoso (Olympia FC Warriors), Matthew Pace (Hobart Zebras), Connor Parke (Devonport Strikers), Nathan Pitchford (Devonport Strikers), Joel Stone (Devonport Strikers), Thomas Young (Glenorchy Knights).

The Central Coast Mariners squad, coached by former Matildas supremo Alen Stajcic, is:

Matt Simon, Michael McGlinchey, Eun-Sun Kim, Jordan Murray, Jacob Melling, Jack Clisby, Ziggy Gordon, Milan Djuric, Mark Birighitti, Adam Pearce, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Dylan Fox, Tommy Oar, Ruon Tongyik, Mario Shabow, Abraqham Majok, Josh Nisbet, Lewis Miller, Matt Hatch.

The Mariners will also have three trialists in their squad.

Photo:  Thomas Young is the only representative from Glenorchy Knights [PlessPix]

“It was a surprise, but it’s a great opportunity,” said Tom Young, the only player selected from Glenorchy Knights.

“Hopefully, we can all go out there and out on a show and upset them, maybe.

“I’ve never played at that level so to have the opportunity to step up and play against the best in the country is great.

“We expect then to come out with all guns blazing and, hopefully, we can match them, but I reckon they’ll be at the next level and we’ll have to wait and see how we go.”

Young said it was up to the coaches to decide his best position, but he felt comfortable at centre-back or centre-midfield.

“Wherever they want to out me, I hope to do the job,” Young said.  “I expect to play at centre-back, though.”

Faced with the prospect of coming up against a striker of the calibre of Matt Simon, Young was not fazed.

“He’s certainly a big boy, but I’ll get stuck in and try and upset his rhythm and see how we go,” he said.

When asked whether the Saturday night Football Tasmania awards presentation dinner could affect the Tasmania players, Young responded diplomatically.

“We’ll see whether the boys behave themselves, but you’d hope they’d see this as a good opportunity to show what they can do and so, hopefully, keep the drinks to a minimum and get to bed early,” he said.

Photo:  David Smith is one of four coaches who will have input into the Saturday game against the Mariners [PlessPix]

Coach David Smith said he was happy with the selection and said the parameters for selection had been set and the squad was chosen on that basis.

“Because we’ve got the games on Saturday, we’ll play two different sides in each half,” Smith said.

“We’ve lost a couple through injury, but it is an opportunity for 22 players to have a run.

“Mariners have a very strong squad and there’ll be some well-known players up against us.

“For the first half, it’ll b e a lot of Devonport-based players, and for the second, more of a mixture from South Hobart and Zebras.

“We haven’t been able to train, so we’re going to try and keep the players who know each other together.

“We’re not going to sit back and we’ll try and entertain a bit.  We’ve got some very good players down here and we’re going to give them the opportunity to show what they can do.

“We’ll try and put a bit of pressure on them and see what happens, and see how they can play.

“It’s up to our guys to back themselves rather than to sit back.

“People underestimate the quality of some of the players down here.

“If someone does the right thing and outs on a show, they’ll be noticed and could get a chance.”

Smith said Alen Stajcic was a world-class coach and he was bringing three trialists down with his squad and so there was no reason he wouldn’t  be able to identify a promising Tasmanian player.

“That’s the carrot we’ve got to drop before these sorts of people,” Smith said.

“Stajcic watches NPL and games outside his area and so he’s on the look-out for talent.”

Smith said he was hoping good crowds would be in attendance for the Mariners’ two games here.

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