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GLENORCHY KNIGHTS V UNIVERSITY
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KGV Park, Friday, 27 March 2009, 8.30pm

Glenorchy Knights will try and put the disappointment of last week’s loss to South Hobart behind them when they take on bottom-side University.

But, the Knights will have to put in a solid 90-minute performance against the Students, who are gradually assembling their first-choice squad.

The Knights were reasonable in the first half last weekend but fell away badly in the second.

The rather soft goal they conceded just before the interval seemed to hit them for six and they never recovered.

“Nothing of any real significance has come out of the weekend in regards to when we trained on Tuesday,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“Everyone is fit, but everybody was a little disappointed with our second half, but that doesn’t win games.

“I think it’ll be a very interesting game. They’re [University] getting themselves back to full strength.

“I’ll go into the game with..let me just say, it’s worrying times.

“If we perform like we performed last week, we’ll probably get the same result again.

“So, it’s up to us to make sure that that doesn’t happen.

“I’ve got every confidence in the squad of players that it won’t happen again.

“I think they’ve got the belief. Had we not played South Hobart and had we played someone else and won, it would have been hard to try and keep the lid on them.

“So, it’s a sort of Catch-22 situation, where you’ve won one and you’ve lost one.

“We’ll just soldier on this week and see what happens. We won’t be taking it lightly.”

Kelly is considering a change of goalkeeper. Ben Peter’s position is in danger from his understudy, Alex Tatnell.

The Knights signed Tatnell from Clarence and he was in the State under-21 squad which played the four games against A-League youth teams.

“I don’t think you can possibly be happy with the keeper when you look back on the Summer Cup performance and what we’ve done in two league games and, you know, the amount of goals the goalkeeper has cost us,” Kelly said.

“Maybe that’s one of the things we’ll address. It all depends on our final training session, and on how people perform.

“If his [Tatnell] opportunity should arise this weekend, I’m sure he’ll grasp it with both hands.

“There’s probably two or three people who should be sitting on tenterhooks until after our last training session.”

University have some very experienced players in their squad and will make the Knights work hard for the points.

Nigel Blundell, Damien Bones, Brook Teale, Julian Proud and John Merry have many games under their belts and would probably earn a place in the Knights side.

Aaron Hindmarsh and Andrew Wilson are fast and versatile and will keep the Knights' rearguard on its toes.

Current Standings:

5. Glenorchy Knights P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 F 4 A 7 Pts 3
8. University P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 F 1 A 5 Pts 0

Likely squads:

Glenorchy Knights: Peter, Tatnell, Smith, Dzelalija, Grundy, Kamba, Fielding, Roberts, Koroma, Sherman, Hope, Wiggins, Vavoulas, Clay, Paite

University: McCallum, Piesse, Bones, Merry, Bull, O Venettacci, Proud, A Wilson, Wilkinson, Opira, Besley, Blundell, Teale, Andrews, Madden, Hindmarsh

Prediction: Glenorchy Knights

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SOUTH HOBART V KINGBOROUGH LIONS UNITED
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South Hobart, Saturday, 28 March 2009, 2.30pm

South Hobart can extend their lead at the top of the Forestry Tasmania Premier League by beating second-placed Kingborough Lions United.

South Hobart will still be without captain and midfielder Bart Beecroft, who is recovering from nose surgery.

Defender David Cooper is doubtful because of an ankle injury, while Josh Heerey is also doubtful with the same type of complaint.

Gary Upton is unavailable against his former club because he has a wedding to attend, while Daniel Brown will also be away.

“Ned Clarke, Nick Di Falco and Jim Pennicott could be on the bench," said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton. "Pennicott might play if Cooper is not right.

“The only other change we’ll make is if David Abbott comes through fit and then he’ll make the forward-line selection. He looks pretty lethal, but if he’s not right, I cannot play him.

“I’ve got Olympic and Zebras to come and, if I can get him up for those two games, it’s better than losing him again now when he’s not fully right.

“He’s been doing his bit, but he’s kept coming back because he feels all right. We’ll give him a proper test, where he has to do squats and leaps. That’ll test him. If there’s no reaction, then he’ll be right to take his place.

“We’re in a good vein of football at the moment.

“We played a training game on Tuesday night and the team was, because of Cooper being out, Jimmy Pennicott, Ned Clark, Hugh Ludford and Liam Scott, Gary Upton and Greg Downes, and again [Ricky] Eaves, [Jonathon] Ladic and [Shae] Hickey, with [Julius] Ross up front.

“It was devastating. It was different class. But, it’s all right saying that because it was a training run.

“Now we’ve got to transfer everything into game situations.

“I saw Kingborough play Eagles and I thought the game was very much even in the first half and then Brett Andrews got a great goal from a flicked header from a good set-piece, a corner.

“And, the same with the second goal. A good reverse pass to the back post and Charlie White ghosted in and scored with a good header.

“But, there were only set-plays in it in the first half. In the second half, I thought they [Kingborough] opened up and started to get in behind them [Eagles] easily.

“The bottom line is we’ve scored seven goals and conceded none and created a lot more in the two games that we’ve played and dominated the game.

“We have to have a confidence and a belief in ourselves, but a total respect for Kingborough.

“I think we’ll do that. We’ve trained well, we’ve got a good spirit, but that spirit has got to go over into the game.

“We see weaknesses there that we should attack and exploit them[weaknesses].”

Kingborough will be without midfielder Brett Andrews, who damaged a knee in a tackle against Eagles and had to be substituted.

He has been examined and no structural damage to the knee has been sustained. The knee is still bruised and Andrews will be rested.

Midfielder Ross Hinkley has asthma but may be fit in time to play.

Kingborough coach, Geoff Freeman, said: “I’m not sure who’s going to come in.

“South are a good side, so it’ll be a tough game.

“We’ve got away to as good a start as we could have hoped for, but this will be big test this week.

“Having said that, they’ve got the pressure on them.

“We’re not expected to win.

“I’m not saying we’re going in not confident, but they’re certainly expected to beat us, so any result we can get will be pleasing.”

Current standings:

1. South Hobart P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 F 7 A 0 Pts 6
2. Kingborough Lions P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 10 A 7 Pts 4

Likely squads:

South Hobart: Kruijver, Pennicott, Ludford, Scott, Hickey, Ladic, Downes, Ross, Clark, Di Falco, Bladel

Kingborough Lions United: Voss, Leamey, Iseli, White, Schuth, McDonald, Marchioli, D Pearce, T Pearce, Palmer, Wells, Freeman, Bevan, Bremner, R Hinkley

Prediction: South Hobart

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TILFORD ZEBRAS V CLARENCE UNITED
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KGV Park, Saturday, 28 March 2009, 4pm

Tilford Zebras welcome back striker Ben Crosswell from suspension. He served one week and had the other two weeks suspended on appeal.

But, Ricky Self is unavailable and coach Nick Lapolla will be in Melbourne. Romeo Frediani will be in charge in Lapolla’s absence.

This is a replay of the Summer Cup final, which Zebras won 4-3.

The start at 4pm is a little inconvenient for those supporters and the media who would have liked to have watched the South Hobart versus Kingborough game at South Hobart first and then this one afterwards.

With the South Hobart match finishing at about 4.15pm, one would expect to miss the first half of the Zebras versus Clarence game. Last week, Zebras played Olympic at 6pm, which enabled people to get there after watching Kingborough versus Eagles at Lightwood Park.

I believe this game had originally been scheduled as Clarence’s home game at Wentworth Park, but the lights will not be ready until after Easter, so it was switched to KGV Park.

“I think last week we played better overall in patches,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla.

“Obviously, there’s a few little defensive things we’ve got to sort out, which we’ve been doing.

“But, overall, young Brayden Pace in the middle did all right last week, and up front, Walshie ran his butt off last week.

“If they continue doing that this week, we’ll be okay. I think we’ve learned from the final what to expect. I think, overall, we’ve probably tightened up a bit, even though we’ve let a few goals in.”

Clarence United skipper and striker Luke Cripps trained this week and may return after a hamstring strain.

Julian McMahon has been away working in Queensland all week, but should be back on Friday evening in time for the Saturday game.

“No other changes are contemplated as all players are fit and well,” said coach Andrew Brown.

Current standings:

3. Tilford Zebras P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 8 A 7 Pts 4
4. Clarence United P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 2 A 1 Pts 4

Likely squads:

Tilford Zebras: Kaden, Pace, Fagg, Smith, Connolly, Telega, F Lapolla, D Lapolla, K Engels, Thorpe, Crosswell, Brazendale, Walsh, Hall, Welch

Clarence United: Moschogianis, Cannamela, Ling, Parker, J Huigsloot, Hoppitt, Chapman, McMahon, Hunt, Hamlett, Barron, Toghill, Lewis, Sparks

Prediction: Tilford Zebras

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NEW TOWN EAGLES V HOBART OLYMPIC
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Clare Street, Sunday, 29 March 2009, 2.30pm

Eagles have signed ‘have-gloves-will-travel’ goalkeeper Michael Soszynski because the club’s first- and second-choice keepers are injured.

Cormac Collins is unavailable for Eagles, but Jacob Kavanagh and Ben Whitehall return.

Olympic have doubts about Chris Tsimiklis and Hugh Richardson, who both have the flu.

Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said: “Without being rude, we’re the only team that beat them in the Summer Cup.

“It’s been a long time since they’ve beaten me.

“If we start to work the way we should be working on the park, we should be okay, I think.

“Olympic are an exciting team. They’re very good, but they seem to find us hard no matter when or what.

“At the moment, I don’t think our ground gives us much of an advantage.

‘The ground is looking good, although the cricket pitch in the middle is hard.

“We’ve only had one training session on it and so haven’t really done anything, but we will have a training session on Saturday when we can use the ground and become aware of it.

“Really and truly, we haven’t had a good, good session on it, so at the moment, I don’t think it’s an advantage.”

Hobart Olympic coach, Farrel Shaw, said: “After last week’s game, I’m hoping for a better performance.

“We’re up against an Eagles side that has been our bogey side the last few times we’ve played them.

“They seem to lift their game against us.”

Olympic might do well to start Dipendra Kunwar in attack with Michael Bulis.

Kunwar is very fast and fearless and he could cause terror in the Eagles rearguard.

Current standings:

6. Hobart Olympic P 2 W 0 D 1 L 1 F 3 A 4 Pts 1
7. New Town Eagles P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 F 6 A 10 Pts 0

Likely squads:

New Town Eagles: Soszynski, Minty, Clark, Wass, Leszczynski, McKeown, Malakoff, Westland, Vernon, Rybak, Page, Gordon, Ferrall, Grabek, Anderson

Hobart Olympic: Nester, Plomaritis, Lebski, Tsimiklis, P Tsakiris, C Tsakiris, Y Mohamad, K Kanakaris, Larzabal, Mason, Guot, Bulis, A Hedge, Kunwar, Richardson

Prediction: Hobart Olympic