Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas and happy New Year

Photo:  The cruise ship Queen Elizabeth provides a back-drop for the old Domain No.2 soccer ground on the Domain near the Cenotaph.  The tiny ground sloped and was uneven, but that's where trials and training were held in 1964 for the State Under-16 boys' team before a trip to Sydney. [PlessPix]

Season's greetings to all players in all clubs, administrators, referees and fans of football, and especially to readers of this blog.

All the very best for 2024 and the coming season.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Jay Hennicke a world-class act on the Freestyle Football stage

Photo:  Tasmanian Jay Hennicke (right) celebrates his win in Brussels last week. 

Tasmania free-style footballer, Jay Hennicke, is making a name for himself on the international stage.

Hennicke last week won the 2023@redbullfootball Male Championship in Brussels, Belgium.

Hennicke finished in the top-16 a few weeks prior to this in a competition conducted in Kenya.

He was also recently crowned as the Asia Pacific Champion at a tournament in Japan.

That success qualified him for the 2023 World Freestyle Football Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Hennicke has been sponsored by the Australian Futsal Association for the past four years and often trains at the AFA Centre in Goodwood, Tasmania.

Jay’s brother, Manny Hennicke, is a senior goalkeeper with NPL club Clarence Zebras, who he joined last season from Southern Championship outfit, University.

Photo:  Jay Hennicke at Hobart Airport this afternoon after arriving back from Europe. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Early start to pre-season friendlies attracts reasonable interest

Photo:  New South Hobart signing Austin Yost crosses the ball. [PlessPix] 

Talk about an early start to the 2024 season.

Today’s double-header friendly between South Hobart and Riverside Olympic at South Hobart Oval must be one of the earliest starts to a campaign ever.

In the NPL main fixture, South Hobart drew 2-2 with Riverside Olympic, while in the Under-21 curtain-raiser, South Hobart won 3-0 at a canter.

The games attracted considerable interest and there were some notable spectators.

There were some South Hobart Women’s Super League players in attendance, which goes to show that the various teams at the club do support each other.

Another interesting onlooker was former University star striker, George Ivanov, who has joined Glenorchy Knights.

After starring for University, George has decided to play NPL with the club where he first started his career in Tasmania.

Photo:  Indigo Sharp, the former South Hobart keeper, has moved to Launceston and joined Riverside Olympic. [PlessPix] 

Indigo Sharp was in goal for Riverside Olympic against his former club.

And, Riverside Olympic’s coach, Helder Dos Santos Silva, was back in the dugout after serving a lengthy suspension earlier this year.

He and South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, embraced warmly after the final whistle.

Peter Sawdon, one of the greatest import strikers to have played in Tasmania, was at the game.  He provides advice to the Riverside team when he is asked.

I was pleased to be able to catch up with South Hobart stalwart Richard Bladel and offer my condolences to him personally.  His mum, Fran Bladel, who was a great supporter of South Hobart, passed away during the week aged 90.  A former prominent member of parliament, Fran often attended South Hobart games when her grandson, Hugo Bladel, played for the club.  Incidentally, I coached a teenaged Richard Bladel  when I was coach of University in the late 1970s.

South Hobart had Jake Hayers in goal for the first half and replaced him for the second half with a Launceston lad who has apparently been training and playing in Spain for a while.

Photo:  South Hobarft's Sam Berezansky under pressure from a Riverside opponent. [PlessPix] 

First-choice keeper Nick O’Connell was given the day off.

In the NPL game, South Hobart twice took the lead only to be pegged back by the visitors each time.

Sam Berezansky put South Hobart ahead, but Riverside’s Canadian import, centre-back Adrian Anthony equalised just before the interval.

Danny Arnaiz, who has also had a spell in Spain, restored South Hobart’s lead soon after the resumption, only for Mohsen Mohammadi to level for Riverside.

I heard on the BBC during the week that statistics show that teams that play out from the back in the EPL concede the most number of goals.  Well, that seems like common sense to me.  Perhaps it’s something our Tasmania NPL teams will want to consider for the coming season.

In the Under-21s, goals by Yun Su, Rex Maddock and Jarrah Moore netted to give South Hobart their 3-0 win.

Riverside had their chances, but their final pass in attack was often astray, while other openings were blocked by the solid South Hobart defence.

Photo:  South Hobart's Josh Avery heads clear as team-mate Troy Carroll watches.  [PlessPix]

Photo:  Riverside's defence on the alert as South Hobart are in possession. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Helder Dos Santos Silva was in charge of Riverside Olympic again. [PlessPix]

Photo:  South Hobart on the attack in the Under-21 game. [PlessPix]