Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Vale Duncan George Summers (25.08.1939 - 17.01.2021)

The death occurred in Hobart on Sunday of one of Tasmania’s most prominent former coaches, Duncan George Summers, who was 81.

An Englishman, Summers arrived in Tasmania in the early 1960s when teachers were being recruited from the UK by the Education Department.

He taught biological science at Claremont High School and Taroona High School as well as other schools in Tasmania.

Summers also coached soccer teams at the schools where he taught.

He played for Hobart Rangers but retired after cartilage surgery in the late 1960s and turned to coaching.

He coached Hobart Juventus and Olympia at senior level.

His spell at Olympia in 1971 was very brief and he was replaced by John Margaritis.

Summers, who was intensely interested in coach education, was the president of the Tasmanian Soccer Coaches’ Federation from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s and ran regular coach qualification courses each season in Tasmania.

He represented Tasmania at seminars conducted by the Australian Soccer Coaches’ Federation in Sydney.

He returned to England for a study tour, where he was a guest of Liverpool and Preston North End, and he was impressed by the training facilities at both clubs.  He also noted that both clubs had numerous coaches under the manager and brought in specialists for physical conditioning.

The zenith of his coaching career came in 1971 when he was appointed coach of Tasmania for the game against an English FA XI.

Tasmania lost 8-0, but Summers insisted on Tasmania playing adventurous, attacking football.  Fitness told in the end, however, and Tasmania’s amateurs were overrun by their professional opponents.

The game was at North Hobart on Wednesday, 9 June 1971, and despite it being a working day, the attendance was 4,500.

Summers is survived by his wife, Judy, son Douglas, and five grandchildren.