- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 25 August 2014
Photo: State coach Tim Lunnon puts Todd Hingston, Matthew Ferguson and Nick Morton through their paces at training at Wentworth Park yesterday [PlessPix]
The Tasmanian squad currently training for the game against Melbourne Victory Youth on 28 September at North Hobart Oval will not be reduced to 18 players until 22 September.
This decision has been made because the availability of the South Hobart players is in doubt because of the club’s coming NPL Finals series commitments.
Photo: South Hobart players Brayden Mann, Ben Hamlett, Caleb Ludlow and Hugh Undy at training yesterday...they may not be available for Tasmania's match against Melbourne Victory Youth [PlessPix]
It had originally been intended to reduce the squad of 30 to 18 next week.
It will now not be reduced until the week of the Melbourne Victory game.
South Hobart FC will represent Tasmania in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Final Series later this year and will host an elimination final against the Victorian NPL Champions [probably South Melbourne] on the weekend starting 20 September.
If South Hobart were successful in the first round of the NPL Finals series, they would play a match the following weekend that would clash with Tasmania’s commitments.
This would make the 11 South Hobart players selected in the 30-man squad unavailable to play for Tasmania.
With this potential clash in mind, Tasmania Head of Selection, Spencer Prior, in consultation with the Tasmanian coaching staff, has decided to hold together the 30-man squad until the Monday prior to the September 28 match.
Photo: South Hobart's Andy Brennan and Olympia Warriors' Alex Holmes sitting out yesterday's session [PlessPix]
"It would be irresponsible for us to cut players given where South Hobart are at with the NPL Finals series and the possibility South Hobart players could be unavailable for Tasmania,” said Prior.
“We want to keep all players engaged so that, if South Hobart win in the NPL Finals series, we have a strong, settled squad and the boys have a really clear idea as to what we want to do on and off the pitch, technically speaking, and also the culture we want to build within the Tasmania group.”
“The squad will remain at 30 players until Monday, September 22, where it will be reduced to 18, and additional players may be added in the case of serious injury or unavailability.
"We will trim the squad the week prior to the match and, whether it includes South Hobart players or not, we expect a strong squad to take on Victory.”
Photo (L-R): Nick Mearns of Olympia, Marshall Pooley of Northern Rangers and Kane Pierce of South Hobart work under the supervision of State coach Tim Lunnon yesterday [PlessPix]