Friday, January 31, 2020

Oppressive conditions for the 2020 season opener tonight

Photo:  James Sherman (left) and Andrew Brown at today's media conference, which was not attended by the two TV channels, who are normally there [PlessPix]

The 2020 Summer Cup for NPL sides kicks off in oppressive heat and smoke at KGV Park at 8.30 this evening when Olympia Warriors take on Glenorchy Knights.

The hot conditions have forced the postponement of the 6.15pm curtain-raiser between the two clubs’ reserve sides.

Last season, the opening round of the NPL Tasmania competition was postponed on the Saturday, when three games were scheduled, because of a similar heat-wave.

The opening game between Olympia Warriors and South Hobart went ahead on the Friday night because conditions were not as bad as predicted for the following day.

I am wondering if both tonight’s matches should have been postponed as the added factor of smoke makes it somewhat dangerous for the players.  Heat is bad enough, especially on an artificial pitch, which radiates heat more than a grass surface, but smoke adds another dimension to the scenario.

The match will be refereed by former English Premier League official Bobby Madley, who is Hobart to address tomorrow’s referees’ conference at the University of Tasmania.

Photo:  Former English Premier League referee Bobby Madley will take charge of tonight's game [PlessPix]

Olympia have a new coach in Andrew Brown and plenty of new players this season.

They have recruited Callum and Declan Brown from the Knights, as well as Loic Feral, Adam Gorrie and Ben Hamlett from South Hobart, Elliot Hoysted from University, and Joseph Juma, Joseph Mwarabu and Jackson Khalif from Hobart United, the club new coach Brown coached to the Southern Championship title last season.

Olympia today also announced the signing of a new Japanese import, Kazuma Kobayashi, who has been playing in Queensland.

The Brown twins will not feature this evening as they are overseas.

Knights have also recruited well, signing Oscar Thomas, Jack Bowman and Alex Walter from South Hobart, Jordan Muller from Clarence Zebras, and Sam Leszczynski from New Town Eagles.

Andrew Brown said he would field the ‘best available team’ that he has.  Olympia have not played any pre-season friendlies so tonight’s game is effectively their first hit-out.

The Summer Cup used to be a serious competition but is now more like a pre-season series of friendlies.

Brown said he had over 30 players in his NPL and Championship squads and he would look to field the best 16 in his NPL squad.

Photo:  Olympia coach Andrew Brown said he understood if players who cannot get a game move on [PlessPix]

Knights coach James Sherman said he was pleased with his club’s pre-season so far.

“Hopefully, tonight we’ll have some decent football by two sides in very trying conditions,” Sherman said.

He said the bar would be open and a former EPL referee would be in charge of the match and so there was an incentive for fans to attend.

Photo:  Glenorchy Knights coach James Sherman said he had no doubts that tonight's game should go ahead [PlessPix]

Sherman said his club had played only intra-club matches so far and no pre-season friendlies against other clubs.

Former EPL referee Bobby Madley said he was looking forward to handling tonight’s game.  He is currently refereeing in Norway.

He said he regarded every game as important and handling a game at KGV Park was no different to handling a game at Wembley, once the game started.

“Every game for a referee is the same once the game starts,” Madley said.

“It doesn’t matter whether there’s 90 people there or 90,000 people there.

“I know that’s quite hard for people to believe or understand, but if you’re doing your job properly as a referee you’re concentrating on the 22 players irrespective of what colours they’re wearing.

“My job is to try and get every decision correct.

“It’s always nice to referee in a big stadium, but if you’re thinking about that during the 90 minutes, for me, you’re in the wrong place.

“I would prepare for this [tonight’s game] just as much as I would prepare for any game.”


Anonymous said...

Think it will be a very interesting year for knights and Sherman. Lots of pressure on and will be interesting to see if Sherman can get the respect as coach from the squad. I think a few of his comments across the websites have been a bit interesting aswell. They lack a goalscorer and big question marks on there midfield especially if Muller cannot get fit. I believe 3rd at best if everything goes right for knights

Anonymous said...

Wow that was an interesting game ,, all I could see was a lot of loose change , no money well spent here