Monday, September 9, 2019

'The Hammer' keen to have another go at Mariners on Tuesday night

Photo:  Ben Hamlett scored Tasmania's goal against the Mariners [PlessPix]

Ben Hamlett, the scorer of Tasmania’s goal against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, is looking forward to South Hobart’s game against the A-League club on Tuesday evening at 6.30pm at Lightwood Park.

Hamlett said Sunday’s game was a fantastic occasion despite the 3-1 defeat.

“It was a great experience,” Hamlett said.

“It always is to represent the State and to have an A-League opposition coming down to play, like Central Coast, a good outfit.

“It’s always amazing as well to play in front of a big home Tassie crowd and I just felt the energy of the place was great.

“To be out there with the best players in the State, mixing it up, I thought we did very well, particularly in respect to the fact that most of us, all of us, had played the day before and none of us had trained together before and we were able to go out there and really, at times, match it, and if not, put it on ‘em, which was really great.”

Photo:  Ben Hamlett and Adam Gorrie are congratulated by Tasmanian team-mates after Hamlett's goal and Gorrie's assist [PlessPix]

Hamlett said the game was physically demanding against full-time professionals.

“The speed of play is at another level,” he said  “The ball is moving quicker and it’s physically more demanding.

“The decision-making has got to be quick and I thought we did well in patches.

“We moved the ball well and we moved it quickly and, obviously, the fitness comes into play a little bit.

“I thought it was great.”

Hamlett was delighted to score Tasmania’s goal.

“It’s always amazing to score big goals in big occasions, particularly for the State and for our code here representing Tasmania,” he said.

“It makes you feel really good to get in there and put one away.

“Gozza [Adam Gorrie] and I work that a lot at South Hobart.  That near-post run is always open to scoring opportunities.  It’s what we like to do.”

Photo:  Ben Hamlett wants to grasp the opportunity to play against top-class opposition [PlessPix]

Hamlett has been plagued by niggling injuries in recent weeks and praised the physios and support staff who looked after the team on Sunday.

It was largely through their efforts that he was able to play against the Mariners on Sunday, after limping off during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Devonport City in the final round of NPL games.

He is looking forward to Tuesday’s game.

“I relish the opportunity to play against top-class opposition,” he said.

“If you give this State an opportunity to have an environment where you’re, week in, week out, training together every day in a professional environment and playing at the highest level, you’ll see Tasmania rockin’ it on the national stage.

“You’ll see us beating opposition, you’ll see us challenging for an A-League if there is an opportunity there.

“The culture is here and it’s time that we really put something in to play so that you can give an opportunity, a pathway to the young players.”

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