Monday, August 17, 2020

Five things we learned this weekend

1.  There’s a world of difference between the hype surrounding women’s football in Tasmania and the reality.

The fiasco that occurred on the weekend was a clear indication of this.

The prospect of a clash between the top two women’s teams was mouth-watering, but it turned out to be a sign of all that is wrong with the women’s game and with the administration of football in this State.

Just to refresh your memories, Clarence Zebras were supposed to entertain Olympia Warriors on Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm at Wentworth Park in a top-of-the-table clash.

Sundays are generally kept free for women’s football.  Why on earth, I’ll never know.

There was also a men’s NPL game scheduled for the only time this season on a Sunday and that was between South Hobart and Kingborough Lions United at South Hobart Oval at 2pm.

The heavy rain experienced in Hobart led to the NPL game being switched to KGV Park, which was a sensible decision and credit must go to both clubs for agreeing to do this at short notice.

The women’s game was called off because Wentworth Park was closed.  But, Clarence Zebras apparently refused to play elsewhere.

In one way, that was good because supporters now did not have to choose between watching the men’s NPL game or watching the Women’s Super League game.

The fact is that football supporters should have been able to watch both games in the first place and deciding between the two should never have been an issue.

The closure of Wentworth Park provided the perfect opportunity for football fans to see both games.  A top-class double-header could and should have been scheduled at KGV Park featuring the WSL game and the NPL game.

They could have been scheduled for 12noon and 2pm, or even 2pm and 4.30pm, or something like that.  A good crowd could have been expected and no-one would have been torn between watching the women’s game and watching the men’s game.

But, Clarence Zebras apparently refused to move and preferred the game to be postponed.  Please tell me, anyone, if this is not true.  I stand to be corrected.

Olympia even offered to play the game at Warrior Park, but Clarence Zebras refused.  The return game later in the season could then have been played at Wentworth Park, so no home-ground issues would have arisen.

Still Clarence Zebras refused, and so, there was no game and football supporters were deprived of watching what may have been, and should have been, a top-class women’s game.

I have played the game and I think I am right when I say that players always want to play, no matter what.  Postponements are a pain in the butt.  Players would also rather play than train anyway.  They don’t mind if training is cancelled, but cancelling games is another matter.

So, what happened in this case?  Who made the decision not to play and not to agree to a change of venue?

If it was the Clarence Zebras players, I would say that was very poor form, indeed.  If it was the coaches or administrators, then they have no idea about promoting women’s football.

Football Tasmania should have stepped in and made the decision to play the game at another venue for the overall good of the game, and to promote women’s football, which they claim is part of their remit.

If Clarence Zebras refused to play, they should have been threatened with a forfeit.  We would then have seen if they still refused to play.

The situation that occurred on Sunday did football no good at all.

If women’s football is to have any credibility, such situations cannot be allowed to happen again.

2.  The merger between Clarence United and Hobart Zebras may have caused some unforeseen problems.

One of the reasons Hobart Zebras were so keen to merge with Clarence United was that Zebras would have a home ground and a club room.

Well, that may not have been as good a move as some thought.

The first time we get some decent rain, Wentworth Park is closed.  The club is at the mercy of the Clarence City Council.

Not merging and staying at KGV Park may have been a better idea.

I have also noticed that in some media outlets and on some social media sites, the new club is more and more often being called simply Clarence.

The print media is always keen to save space and long-winded names are in peril when this desire becomes paramount.

A newspaper is not going to write Clarence Zebras all the time, and at the moment there is a tendency to simply call the club Clarence.

All I can say is that this must surely grate with the Italian community and the old Zebras supporters.

Perhaps Zebras should have insisted on the merged club being called Zebras Clarence?

I am pleased to say I always call the new club Clarence Zebras and never shorten it in any way.

3.  South Hobart goalkeeper Nathan Reid had an impressive senior debut in the 5-0 win over Kingboorugh Lions United on Sunday.

Reid was signed from Clarence Zebras at the start of the current league season but was kept warming the bench for South Hobart’s Lakoseljac Cup game and four league games.

He replaced veteran Mark Moncur on Sunday and capped off a solid display by saving Keenan Douce’s penalty in the closing seconds of the game.

4.  Nick Morton has made a remarkable recovery from a badly broken leg.

Nick Morton looked as if he wouldn’t play this season after suffering a horrific broken leg late last season.

He has returned this season as sharp as ever and has played in every one of South Hobart’s games.

I thought he was man-of-the-match on Sunday in the 5-0 win over Kingborough Lions United.

He scored the opening goal in spectacular fashion, racing down the left from deep inside his own half and chipping the Kingborough goalkeeper from the edge of the box.

It was also Morton’s precise left-wing cross to the far post that enabled Bradley Lakoseljac to volley South Hobart’s fifth goal.

This display showed that he has fully recovered from his serious injury and resumed where he left off after the injury.

5.  Kingborough Lions United may have achieved their peak after four games and could be in danger of losing momentum.

Kingborough Lions United were unbeaten after four rounds of the league going into this weekend.

They were second in the standings with three wins and a draw.

Then came Sunday’s disaster, namely a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of South Hobart.

Kingborough began well enough and Kenneth Trac’s runs down the left created possibilities.

The Lions were unable to finish, however and once South Hobart scored twice in a minute just before the interval, it was game over.

Kingborough have a history of under achieving and it will be interesting to see how they go away to Olympia Warriors at Warrior Park next Saturday.

That will be a crucial game for both teams and should be worth watching.

It’s the only NPL Tasmania game in the south next weekend, so it should draw a reasonable crowd.


Anonymous said...

Your comments regarding the new club on the eastern shore are spot onEalter.
The decision to merge was the wrong one from Zebras point of view.
The get what they deserve and I hope they get even more.
I will not waste my time going to a complex which is not suitable for
senior football. It’s suited to youth matches and tournaments and the worst venue for spectators in the state.
‘ we will have our own ground , blah blah blah....’
It’s the councils ground and they control it and close it when they want .

Anonymous said...

Clarence WSL woman playing squad and staff should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, really enjoy 'The Things We Learned' pieces you are doing.

As for the WSL game postponed on Sunday, a double header would have been fantastic. A lot are scratching their heads as to why Clarence Zebras would refuse a venue change?? Was it because they didn't want to loose money by not having a canteen? Wouldn't surprise me. I also wouldn't think the girls would want the postponement. What player would? A very bad look for a club that is struggling to make it look like the merger is working.

Anonymous said...

How many clubs consult their players as to change of venue games? U either lack intelligence or simply shit stirring. By the way, coaching staff were not consulted either.

Anonymous said...

Crickets coming from the Clarence Zebras camp! I'm guessing you have your answer Walter!

Anonymous said...

Here come all the haters of Clarence and Zebras. What an uneducated lot. Uni and Lions postponed their WSL match where the derision pointed at them?

As for the comment WWP is not a suitable venue I would rather play there than plastic park or Olinda Grove.

Anonymous said...

"Time for a fair go for Football in 2020-21 State Budget" from FT's CEO.

Well how about:

"Time for a fair go for Football's grassroots stakeholders in 2020-21."

The CEO could start by placing FT's annual reports and financial statements on their website so that parents and players who strive to pay registration fees at least can see where the money is spent.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.31
Were they offered an alternative to play elsewhere?
The issue was that the game could have been played at another venue
but they refused.
They should forfeit in that circumstance.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.31pm

I believe the whole point of trying to organise the venue change was to give spectators a quality double header to watch, featuring quality teams at the top of the NPL and WSL ladders. This would have also meant one less game to catch up on. Clarence were asked - they declined - full stop. No point trying to deflect by mentioning Uni and Kingborough. You Clarence Zebras people seem to have a lot to say but cant take it when directed at you.

Brian Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Back in the 1970s when I was a kid, Wentworth Park was an U/11 Wembley - with bigger crowds than senior teams get there now.
Plastic Park wasn't Plastic Park and Olinda Grove was the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education.

The Bottom Line said...

Big thumbs up for this comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a CZ person at all. I just see all these anonymous people constantly attacking them. People in glass houses........

JL2 said...

So I’m hearing that Clarence zebras sent an email out SATURDAY afternoon saying that wwp would be closed Sunday so how come the game wasn’t moved then what a shambles

Anonymous said...

Hearing from who ?

Anonymous said...

What have we learnt about the merger between Clarence and Zebras?
Obviously it was the wrong decision. Clarence is the only club that benefits from the merger.
Reference to ‘Zebras’ will eventually disappear from the media and they will always be referred to as Clarence.
Those responsible leave a legacy of mismanagement, lack of respect, negligence of the past history,
unprofessionalism and disregard .
Enjoy the future .

Mr Darcy said...

On the brighter side, seeing that the three fixtures between these sides will in all likelihood decide the title and that two of those had been rostered for Wentworth...then.. wouldn't it be fair that the postponed game be played at a neutral venue.. KGV..I am sure the zebras girls would be at home with that ..and have it as a last game of season double heading with the Laka Final.

Anonymous said...

I went along to Warrior park for the NPL game and watched the game before Warriors v New town and saw one of the best saves by a keeper in general play in a while by young Jamie Cook from new town from an awesome curler by young Austin.
I would say that young Nathan and Jamie would be the best young keepers in Hobart and will be enormous players when they mature.

Anonymous said...

The game will end up being midweek at WWP.

Anonymous said...

This is all about Allie Berry being not available on the weekend nothing else.
A strategic move by Clarence.

Anonymous said...

They will have to get Jess Williams back that is how they won last year,

Anonymous said...

Jess V Amy P. Short memory. Then a few years back Olympia bought in 2 Japanese players after getting thumped in the first round. That went well!!! Glass houses and short memories. Yes Zebras won because they scored more goals in that Final game. Just can't seem to get over defeat. The Elite players from NTC Vs plebs. Plebs won.

Anonymous said...

Check the squad list on Sporting pulse. Allie was playing. Want to grasp at some other loose explanation.

Anonymous said...

So your that desperate to grab 3 points.

Anonymous said...

Clarence don't need to lie or cheat as we know what happens to those who do.

Anonymous said...

The CZ women and coaching staff has nothing to do with the decision in whether or not the game was moved or even played. It was decided for them by the higher ups of the club. So before slinging abuse or negative comments towards the women's team please get your facts straight. Also from sources all players were fit and ready to go for the game Sunday and open to a venue change, it was just out of their hands.

Anonymous said...

After all this should be a great game when both sides clash .

Anonymous said...

August 19, 2020 at 9:53 PM.....

Anyone could see the decision not to move venues wouldn't have come from the actual team or coaching staff. The girls are a quality team and always ready to play. Once again the boys club at the Clarence Zebras like waving their d**** around to show their apparent authority. THEY will be the downfall of the club!

Anonymous said...

"I have played the game and I think I am right when I say that players always want to play"

Spot on Walter, I couldn't imagine a team not wanting to play just because the game is moved to a different ground. Nothing is more frustrating as a player than being excited for the weekend's game and then it being rained off.

Robi Baric said...

Go the Knights!!

Anonymous said...

The Clarence players and Coaching staff were pivotal in making this decision. They simply did not want to play for various reasons one of them being player availability. How many of you really think that the higher ups would go against the playing squad and coaches if they truly wanted and were ready to win the biggest game of the year? Really? I call BS and a lot of it in the post above.

"The CZ women and coaching staff has nothing to do with the decision etc..."

Bull crap.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.38.
They are responsible for the downfall and falling quickly they are.
In respect to NPL , they could easily win the wooden spoon and disappear
as they should have done at the end of ast year.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Anon 7.45pm, 7.47pm, 7.58pm, 8.00pm Same person I am thinking. Sounds like you are a little bitter towards Olympia.
When are you going to stop calling them elite players from NTC? NTC was disbanded over 4 years ago and a lot of the girls have left. If I remember correctly two of them joined Zebras - Lucy Johnston and Caitlin Roberts before they went to the mainland. Caitlin Stalker is also ex NTC and I am sure a couple more of your "plebs" went through the program. What an insult to call your players "plebs", by the way. Many of the current Olympia girls were 12 or 13 when NTC disbanded so give it a rest. It is becoming boring (roll of the eyes).

Anonymous said...

I do not think the decision makers would ignore the request from players and coaches to play the game if they were ready to win. The decision to not play could only have come from the playing / coaching group. They must have had their reasons.

Anonymous said...

Wow Walter...this one has everybody excited...and I thought there was no interest in women's football...couldn't be further from the truth by the look of all the comments.

Anonymous said...

They don't give a s@#$ about women's football. They are all just trying to score cheap points. Most of them would never have attended a women's game.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.29.
I think comments are more about the club’s arrogance and behaviour regarding the situation rather
than women’s football.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the people commenting on this thread actually care about women's football or have just taken this as an opportunity to bash Clarence...

Anonymous said...

Reply to Anon August 21 8.41am

Wow. And there it is. Don't you mean Clarence Zebras?

Chris Hey said...

I will put my name to this comment as hopefully this will sort some issues. Neither myself or any of the Clarence Zebras WSL squad were involved / consulted in the decision making of last weeks postponed game Vs Olympia WSL ladies.
I think some of the comments on this blog are simply people wishing to have a crack and I also hope that people reading these comments would realise that within their own club environments, players would not be consulted but rather told about any changes.
The other sad thing about these comments is that both groups of players and I would coaching staff, have nothing but the utmost respect for one another, having had some very exiting battles between the two clubs.
Don't think past the football. Both teams are high quality and I encourage everyone to get along to the games Vs these two sides in coming weeks;

2nd Sept @ Wentworth Park 7.30pm
13th Sep @ Wentworth Park 2.30pm

Anonymous said...

Chris please!
I think most other clubs would have had the respect to
discuss the Possible transfer of a game with the coaching staff.
There is only one group of administrators that would do what you have stated.
End of story.

Anonymous said...

Gee thanks Chris , you just ruined everything by knowing what your talking about

Digger said...

You stand corrected Walter!

Anonymous said...

Seriously Chris...please take your facts to another're ruining a good story on here!