Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2020 rosters, and three brief obituaries

I don’t know what Football Tasmania are playing at if they are aiming to promote the game in this State.

According to the 2020 rosters I have seen, all NPL games are on Saturdays, while the Women’s Super League games are on Saturdays and Sundays.

Surely the aim should be to enable as many people as possible to watch as many top-flight games as possible.

Whatever happened to the notion of big NPL games being on one day, say Sunday, with no competition from other NPL fixtures, which would be played on Saturdays?

On Saturdays, there are often games at, say 2.15pm, with a second game at a different venue at, say 4.30pm.

That may be okay for the media, whose job it is to attend all games, if at all possible.

It’s a bit tough for the average punter, though, especially the younger crowd, who may not have the transport available to travel quickly to another venue.

This roster is a backward step, I feel.  After 7 years of State-wide football, I would have thought we’d have settled on a proven formula by now instead of a game of revolving chairs.

Let’s hope it’s not a case of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.

It’ll be interesting to see what the attendances are.

That’s my two bobs’ worth.  Feel free to disagree.


Three players from the past have passed away in recent months.

Goalkeeper Adrian French, who passed away in November aged 75, began his career with Metro in the early 1960s.

He was then signed by Rapid coach Alex Sarfalvy in 1964 and loaned to Rangers on the proviso he return to Rapid at the end of the season.

French never did return to Rapid and played with Rangers until their merger with Caledonians in 1968.

In 1967, he was sidelined for much of the season through injury and made only a few appearances earlier in the year.

French was a fine keeper and was selected for the Southern Tasmanian squad on a couple of occasions, including against the visiting Victorian club Wilhelmina..

He was not tall, but he was agile and was highly rated.

Peter Imlach passed away in November aged in his 80s.  He was a life member of University and played mostly in the second-tier and lower leagues until well into his 50s.

He was a member of the successful University Graduates second division team which won that league's title in 1967.

And, just last weekend, one of the finest centre-backs to have graced the local game passed away in Sydney aged 77.

Jakov Plazonic was a promising junior in Croatia and was on the verge of making the professional ranks when he moved to Australia and Melbourne.

He came to Tasmania and played for Croatia, Rapid, South Hobart and, briefly, White Eagle.

A bit on the heavy side and lacking pace, Plazonic’s reading of the game was exceptional and so he didn’t need speed or athleticism to dominate in defence.

He was tactically astute and his excellent technique and skill made him a formidable opponent throughout the 1970s.

I had many a conversation with him while watching games and he could sum up players’ strengths and weaknesses at a glance.

He was an upholsterer by trade and moved to Sydney a decade or so ago with his family.

My condolences go to all three players’ families.


Brian said...

I beleive French also played for South Hobart lothough I will stand corrected.

Aslan said...

Hi Walter,

I think that the biggest problem with the new rosters is the dividing of the NPL and the WSL games on to different days. I really think the womens game will suffer as a result of these changes.
Last year's roster was not without its problems but there were at least a significant number of double header games featuring a WSL game followed by an NPL game. Many punters turned up early for the NPL game and would catch a half of the WSL game. Some who came for the WSL game stayed on to watch some of the NPL game. It meant that both teams received a wider exposure than if they had played on separate days.
I suspect that many who happened to catch some of the 'other' game will not come back a second day to watch another game.
Also, what day does the women's afl play? Sunday?

Walter said...

Hi Brian I did some more research this evening and have set the record straight by amending the story. Adrian played for Metro in the early 1960s and was transferred to Rapid in 1964. Rapid's coach, Alex Sarfalvy, agreed to loan him out to Rangers providing he came back for the 1965 season. He didn't, and stayed with Rangers until the 1967 season, in which he only played a handful of games because of injury. Rangers merged with Caledonians the following year (1968) and that was it. Adrian was selected for a couple of Southern Tasmania squads in this period. I am very fortunate that Gordon Burnett, the soccer writer for The Mercury from the late 1950s until 1980 left me all his cuttings in carefully kept notebooks. Incidentally, he was succeeded for three years by Zenon Pasieczny and then for a few months by Andreas Raftopoulos. I took over as the soccer writer for The Mercury from 1984 until 2009 but rarely kept clippings of my stories. Writing six days a week made it impossible.