Friday, March 13, 2020

Fans can be grateful that Summer Cup Finals are on at KGV Park tomorrow

Photo:  South Hobart's American imports, goalkeeper Chase Webert (green top) and centre-back Patrick Kibler (extreme right) will play a crucial role against Olympia.  This is probably the first Tasmanian cup final, if not any Tasmanian game, in which both sides feature American goalkeepers. [PlessPix]

It’s just as well that the Summer Cup Finals are being played at KGV Park tomorrow [Saturday, 14 March].

They might have been called off if they’d been scheduled for next weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strongly discouraged gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday because of the risk of spreading the corona virus, and that will affect sporting events around the country.

The men’s and women’s Summer Cup finals should draw attendances of at least 600, despite the forecast of a very cold day.

The women’s final at 2pm is between Olympia Warriors and new club Clarence Zebras.

Olympia will be without Olivia Bomford, who has transferred to Belconnen in Canberra, but they are not a one-player team.

They have strength in all positions and will give a good account of themselves as they strive to retain the trophy.

Clarence is a new team comprising an amalgamation of Clarence United and Hobart Zebras.

Zara Dixon, goalkeeper Amelia Davie, and Maddie O’Brien were amongst the better players at Clarence United and they will now team up with the established stars from Hobart Zebras.

Zebras beat Olympia in the league title decider last season and this game should be just as exciting and as close.

Alli Berry and Zoe Nichols know how to score goals and they will give the Warriors a searching examination.

The men’s final at 4.30pm is between favourites Olympia Warriors and the often under-rated and youthful South Hobart.

Olympia have recruited well in the off-season.  They have signed three former South Hobart stars in Ben Hamlett, Loic Feral and Adam Gorrie.

They have also acquired the services of Callum and Declan Brown from Glenorchy Knights.

Olympia’s new American goalkeeper Davis Smith, will need to impress if he is to retain his place.  Smith looked a little shaky on his debut against Clarence Zebras in a 3-1 win, but that might have been due to him being affected by jet-lag.

Darby Randall, who was in goal in the other Summer Cup games must be ready to step into the breach should he be required.

South Hobart coach Ken Morton had hip replacement surgery on Thursday so he is unlikely to be directing operations from the bench.

American duo, goalkeeper Chase Webert and centre-back Patrick Kibler, will play an important role in South Hobart’s quest for the trophy.

They have been mainstays of this youthful side this pre-season and a top performance from them will be necessary.

Olympia’s new coach, Andrew Brown, can smell a first-up piece of silverware for his new club and this would be the ideal way to open his tenure at the Warriors.

The day at KGV Park begins at 11am with a Female Football Festival, which is part of Female Football Week.


Frank Hesman, a founding member of Croatia (later Croatia Glenorchy and now Glenorchy Knights), passed away in Hobart this week at the age of 92.

Hesman was a player in the first season of the club and went on to administrative roles at the club.

He also became a Life Member.

Hesman was also actively involved in the Croatian Soccer Association of Australia for two decades.

I remember him being manager of the Croatia reserves when I played for the club in the mid-1960s and he would always provide the players with chocolate and hot tea at half-time.

It was always Cadbury chocolate because he was a department manager at the Cadbury factory at Claremont.

His administrative talents were always valued by the club and he provided the role model for future administrators.


Another footballing identity to pass away recently in the UK was former Sunderland star winger Billy Hughes, who was 69.

The reason I mention this is because Hughes was a member of the Sunderland squad that played Tasmania at KGV Park on 23 May, 1976.

Hughes was on the bench for that game and I simply cannot recall if he got a run in Sunderland’s 5-0 win.  All five goals came from the head of Mel Holden.

Photo:  An autographed match programme for the Tasmania versus Sunderland game.  Note the signatures of Mel Holden and John Constantinovits, as well as Dave Smith, the current Clarence Zebras coach. [Courtesy of George Mamacas]

Sunderland had won the FA Cup in 1973 against Leeds United 1-0, a game in which goalkeeper Jim Montgomery was brilliant and made a legendary double-save against Leeds’ Trevor Cherry and Peter Lorimer.

Tasmania missed a penalty, but goalkeeper Montgomery didn’t have to move as Olympia’s John Constantinovits fired wide.

Constantinovits was sent off near the end after a bad challenge on Montgomery.

When you go to KGV Park, its worth remembering some of the great players who appeared there when it was still a grass pitch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading the story in the Mercury I could only think of what was next from FT. Take over the Jokers club and become the next comedy act.