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Southern Premier League leaders Beachside will have Alex Gordon back for their Southern Premier League clash with South Hobart at the South Hobart Oval at noon tomorrow.

But, they will miss Josh Thorpe and Taylor Neilson.

A win would put Beachside within a point of taking out the title.


“This week’s game represents a real challenge against a South Hobart team who have not been defeated in their last nine games,” said Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson.

“South have some impressive players in their squad, such as Colin Wain, Joseph Stevens and Mark Ambrose, but none less that their Victory League captain, Hugh Ludford.

“They have been gathering momentum as the season carries on and we will have to be at our best to roll them on their home ground.”

Robinson, a former South Hobart player and coach, knows exactly what the atmosphere will be like, as does South coach, Nick Di Martino, who has played in many a big match during his own career.

“Beachside will be a big test for us,” said South Hobart coach, Nick Di Martino.

“Last time we played them, they gave us a lesson on how to intimidate the opposition and the effect that can have on them.

“That won’t happen this time around.  We need to concentrate on what we are good at and carry that out and block out anything else that goes on.

“I believe that the bigger ground at Darcy Street will suit us more than them.

“Beachside have a squad of very experienced players, whereas we have a very young side in comparison, who do have the ability to play good football.

“We have been having some excellent results recently with last week’s performance against Kingborough was possibly our best, but having said that, our decision-making in the forward-third was not the best and we squandered many opportunities, even though we scored seven.

“We can’t afford to miss opportunities against a side like Beachside.

“A good performance against Beachside would indicate that we have improved and a win would indicate that we have come a very long way.

“It is going to be a difficult game, but one that I can’t wait for and I am confident we can get a result.”

Second-placed Taroona cannot afford to slip up against third-placed Tilford Zebras if they are to keep alive their slender title hopes when they meet at Kelvedon Park at 2.30pm today.

“With a bit of help from the weather, hopefully we can welcome the Zebras to Kelvedon this Saturday for the showdown between second and third in the SPL,” said Taroona coach, Andy Tye.

“To be guaranteed second spot, we have to win four of our last five games, so it is far from assured for us.  The Zebras are capable of scoring freely when on a roll and are strong across the board.  As the Victory league squad plays virtually at the same time as us, their team will depend on who goes up.

“This shouldn't weaken their team, however, as both sides are preparing for the finals series that is fast approaching and all players will be keen to perform so that they are selected.

“With last week’s washout, our team remains unchanged.  Although we trained indoors all week, the boys are in high spirits and the lower intensity has allowed them to refresh, which is important at this stage of the campaign.

“We are more than capable of winning at the weekend if we play to our potential and both sides need a victory to keep the pressure on Beachside.”

New Town Eagles face Olympia Warriors this evening at 6pm at KGV Park.

“We’re looking forward to Olympia on Saturday and we have been moved to KGV instead of Clare Street,” said Eagles coach Dale Itchins.

“Both sides can now play on a decent surface which should make for a more attractive game.

“Olympia are a strong outfit and are well organised with Rob Clarke so we need to play at our best just to get something positive from the match.

“We have Scott Telega back this week but remain unchanged apart from that.

“We also have two postponed matches to catch up over the next couple of Wednesday evenings and that will test the depth of our squad.

“I’m hopeful the club can finish the season on a positive note so that they can move in to 2014 and rebuild their playing and coaching ranks for the next couple of years, particularly now with the new league structure in place for the Southern Premier League.”

University are the in form team in the competition and they entertain Glenorchy Knights at Olinda Grove today at 2.30pm.

“This season has been a very inconsistent one for us,” said Romilton Amaral, the coach of University, and a former Knights coach.

“We lost very easy games and stood up very well against the stronger teams such as South, Zebras and Beachside.

“We know Knights are not going to be able to bring a strong team tomorrow as their Victory League team is playing at the same time.

“In the first round, we played against a very good team including those of Jayden Hey’s calibre.

“Unfortunately, I don’t believe they will be able to do the same this weekend.  Therefore, it makes it very difficult to motivate our players.

“We have often lost games which were supposed to be easy.  This is my main concern for Saturday.

“In terms of numbers, we are struggling as everybody else is, and we will play Hye and Obsa from the Under-20s in the attack instead of James Galloway and Patrick Watts as they are still injured.

“We have exactly 11 players to play Knights.  The bright side of it is that it is giving us opportunities to play our Under-20s players and we will give them a run in these last four games and work on our selection of players for our SPL squad next year.”

Clarence United come up against fourth-ranked NTC at Wentworth Park at 4.30pm today.

“We welcome NTC to Wentworth Park this Saturday afternoon, providing that the grounds are playable due to the inclement weather that we have had this week,” said Clarence coach Ronnie Bolton.

“The starting line-up will be pretty much the same as last week and I will bring a couple of our Under-20s into the squad.

“Last time we played NTC, young Tristan Prendergast had an outstanding game between the sticks and he really was the difference between the two sides.

“We have been converting our chances of late so, hopefully, that will continue and we can give Tristan a good work out.”

Nelson Eastern Suburbs face Kingborough Lions United at Wentworth Park at 2.30pm tomorrow.

Nelson winger Bill Hanley has departed for a European holiday and will miss the three remaining games of the season.

Midfielder Henry French will come into the squad to replace him, while Andrew Reason is omitted from the starting line up this week, replaced by midfielder-cum-forward Luke Wallace.

“The way things are going, we'll soon have more players in Europe than over here,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“Perhaps that's why we are struggling to concentrate and keep good shape over 90 minutes at the moment!

“Seriously though, we are hoping we can improve against Kingborough, who we played last round in a gale at Lightwood Park, and pick up three points at our borrowed venue at Wentworth Park.

“Due to damage to the North Warrane surface, caused mainly by drainage work done in the off season, the ground will be closed for matches now through to the season’s end.”

 

SOUTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE (As at Saturday, 10 August 2013)

 

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Beachside

18

16

0

2

66

16

48

Taroona

17

11

4

2

51

33

37

Tilford Zebras

18

11

3

4

66

34

36

NTC

19

11

0

8

42

37

33

Olympia Warriors

18

9

2

7

60

43

29

South Hobart

17

8

4

5

52

40

28

Clarence United

19

7

4

8

55

54

25

Nelson Eastern Suburbs

19

5

3

11

27

45

18

University

18

4

4

10

42

49

16

Kingborough Lions Utd

17

4

4

9

31

57

16

New Town Eagles

17

3

3

11

31

62

12

Glenorchy Knights

19

3

1

15

27

80

10