Sunday, November 7, 2021

Catching up on some news in the off-season

Photo:  Alistair Russell has joined South Hobart. [PlessPix] 

South Hobart have announced the appointment of Alistair Russell as their new coach of the club’s Women’s Super League team for the 2022 season.

Russell coached Olympia Warriors in 2020 before sitting out the 2021 campaign.

He replaces Craig Westwood, who will be the assistant coach, together with senior NPL coach Ken Morton.

Morton welcomed the appointment and said Russell would be a huge asset to the club given his knowledge, experience and success as a coach in the past.


Reigning NPL Tasmania champions Glenorchy Knights have signed Reef Murfet as their new senior goalkeeper for the 2022 season.

Murfet, 18, replaces Lachlan Hart, who has joined Victorian NPL club Oakleigh Canons on a two-year contract.

Murfet was with Riverside Olympic before joining A-League club Central Coast Mariners at the start of this year on the recommendation of former Accrington Stanley and Sydney FC keeper Alex Cisak, who now runs a coaching school in Tasmania.

Things didn’t work out at Central Coast, however, and Knights signed him up to replace Hart.

Murfet can expect good coaching from the experienced and demanding Michael Soszynski, the Knights’ goalkeeping coach.


Devonport Strikers have signed former Wellington Phoenix keeper Keegan Smith for 2022 following the retirement of the brilliant Nathan Pitchford.

Smith, 22, joined Phoenix in 2018 while Mark Rudan was coach, but he was unable to make an impact and did not play many games.

Moving the other way is Devonport Strikers’ utility player, Jordan Lamb, 22, who was recruited from New Zealand by the Strikers at the start of the 2021 season.

Lamb played for Wellington Phoenix reserves before coming to Tasmania and joining champions Devonport Strikers.

He is returning to New Zealand to join Hamilton Wanderers.


Striker Ben Hamlett is leaving Kingborough Lions United.

He is reported to be heading for Europe or America to pursue business and lifestyle interests rather than football opportunities.


I have yet to hear that any sods have been turned in relation to facilities promised up to three years ago by millions of dollars in Commonwealth Government grants.

I suspect followers of New Guinea cargo cults had more success in obtaining overseas goods delivered from the skies than Tasmanian football clubs have had from this so-called financial windfall.

KGV Park badly needs new and better floodlights, while if the artificial pitch is retained, it will probably need to be re-laid and upgraded.

From a footballing perspective, the sooner promotion and relegation are introduced in the NPL Tasmania competition and the Women’s Super League, the better.

What are Southern and Northern Championship sides playing for?

At the moment, they can win their respective leagues, yet they have nowhere to go.

Football around the world thrives on promotion/relegation, and that’s what should happen in Tasmania.


Southern Championship club Metro have appointed Chris Chalker to replace senior coach Mark Broadbent.

His assistant will be Scott Horne.

Wayne Jackson is Metro’s women’s coach, while Kye McQueen is the club’s youth coach.


Anonymous said...

Promotion and relegation was put in. Was it 3 years ago and before we blinked it was removed. Olympia women were promoted back that way after they lost their WSL spot. And weren’t Clarence relegated but instead stayed in by merging. From memory the clubs had a meltdown and wanted it gone. We need it back and to stay.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the new lights are being installed in Port Moresby?

Realist said...

I really don't see the point in calling for promotion and relegation for a number of reasons.

The majority of players in the NPL are playing on an amateur basis.
There are no 3 or 4 year professional contracts handed out to bind a player to any particular club. At best, the players that are being financially renumerated are getting paid are on a game by game basis.If a club gets relegated, there is nothing in place to stop those same players moving to a newly promoted club, who will no doubt be happy to welcome these players, with NPL experience, into their fold.
Same soup, different bowl.

How many championship clubs actually want a place in the NPL? (Genuine question, I don't know the answer).

Any players in championship teams who have aspirations of playing in the NPL are surely already playing there?

Are these same championship clubs and players ready, and willing, to make the unbelieveable commitment to training 3-4 times a week, plus forfeiting their whole weekend to play away games at the opposite of the state?

I'm sure that there are other points to be raised, but I feel these should be enough to get the conversation going.

David Webb said...

One of the interesting points you’ve made is that there are clubs that seem not to want to be promoted. They are happy with their lot in life. If they win the league and don’t want to go up, it throws the whole thing into disarray. So a team gets to stay up or the second best team gets promoted. It needs to be an all in system to work properly.

Anonymous said...

Everywhere there is promotion/relegation players in relegated teams leave...all over the world, so that is just a necessary side effect. Maybe some stay because of club loyalty but very few. Hard problem to solve...

Anonymous said...

I visited KGV earlier in the year (I have lived in NSW since 2003).

I couldn't believe it. It was like stepping back in time. Barely anything has changed or been updated. The spectator facilities are dilapidated so I shudder to think what the change rooms are like. And it was more hygienic to urinate behind the clubhouse than use the toilets. The plastic pitch look tired and worn. I could keep going but this is probably no surprise to you all.

It was actually quite sad to see.

Anonymous said...

Glenorchy Knights came back up to the NPL during that one season where promotion was in for 5 minutes...good timing for them or they could still be in the Championship.

Anonymous said...

Eamonn Kelly new WSL coach at OLympia.

WSL needs to be either 6 teams or 8. Having a bye just does not work, another northern team would be great but I dont see this happening as I don't believe there is the interest (Ulverstone maybe).

Glenorchy are keen to enter and perhaps should be given the option as early as next season but would need to recruit at least 6 or 7 players. There Championship team finished mid table last year and would be smashed in the WSL if this group were to make up their playing group..

Not sure to be honest if there are enough players in the north or south to add a team to WSL

Any thoughts as I think there also needs to be discussion around Womens football and pathways in the state

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we can finally end the discussion that Devonport don't pay players? Highly doubt a young ex A-League keeper is moving to a new country to play for free