Friday, March 17, 2023

2023 NPL Tasmania season opens tonight in Launceston

Photo:  Launceston United will make their NPL Tasmania debut tomorrow.  Coach Fernando Munoz Paredes is at right in this photo. [PlessPix] 

The 2023 NPL Tasmania season opens tonight when Launceston City host Riverside Olympia at Prospect at 8.15pm.

The Under-21 game between the two clubs begins at 6pm at the same venue.

The NPL sides met in the Summer Cup a few weeks ago at Prospect and the result was a 0-0 draw, which indicates how evenly the teams are matched.

Riverside won the penalty shoot-out 5-4, but tonight’s game is a league match and there is no penalty shoot-out in case of a draw.

The home-ground atmosphere at Prospect for night game can be electric and the home supporters may just will their team over the line for a win on the opening day of the league season.

Launceston City co-coach, Nathan Pitchford, said:  "We are very excited to start the year off with a good challenge against our cross-town rivals.

"The squad has been amazing to work with across the pre-season and we were able to see a range of players in different positions and formations across the pre-season with promising results."

Glenorchy Knights entertain newcomers Launceston United at KGV Park at 4.15pm tomorrow.

Knights will be wearing black armbands in memory of a former player, Stefan Degac, who passed away unexpectedly in Launceston this week.

He was a major personality at Launceston Croatia but played for Glenorchy Croatia when he first arrived in Tasmania in 1979.

Glenorchy Knights coach, James Sherman, said he was still two or three players short from a full-strength side for tomorrow but was looking forward to the start of the season.

“It’s great to start with a home game and we are looking forward to hopefully putting on a good performance for the supporters,” Sherman said.

“We won’t take Launceston United lightly as their imports look like they will make an impact, especially David Owusu.

“From what I’ve seen, they will be dangerous at set pieces as well.”

Photo (L-R):  Jackson Gardner (Glenorchy Knights), Daniel Nash (Riverside Olympic) and Lachlan Clark (Launceston City  -  three of the top goalkeepers who will be on view this weekend. [PlessPix] 

Sherman watched United beat Taroona at Kelvedon Park recently and noted their come-back after falling behind to the home side.

Launceston United coach, Fernando Munoz Paredes is a seasoned campaigner and excellent strategist so this game will be a fascinating one.

South Hobart begin their 2023 league campaign with a home game against Kingborough Lions United at South Hobart Oval at 2pm tomorrow.

Jack Bowman and Jaden Fidra will be considered for inclusion in the South Hobart side, but Jayden Hey will be missing because of illness.

“There won’t be much of a change from the team that played Devonport in the Summer Cup Final,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“We must not concede silly goals.

“Kingborough have a strong eleven and we’ll need to be at our best.”

Kingborough had a disappointing Summer Cup tournament but they did come good in their third and final game when they beat Clarence Zebras 5-2.

The Lions have considerable firepower when one considers the presence of Kobe Kemp, Noah Mies and Greg Downes.

Kemp and Downes are both former South Hobart players and will know what to expect from a team coached by Ken Morton.

The remaining game of the opening round is at Valley Road tomorrow, when reigning champions Devonport Strikers welcome Clarence Zebras.

Devonport have started the season in style, winning the Summer Cup, and they will be keen to gain their first 3 points in the league against the unpredictable southerners.

Photo:  Representatives from all 8 NPL Tasmania clubs at the season launch in Launceston recently. [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

City, United, South and Port

Ben Smith said...

City, South, Strikers and Knights