- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 29 June 2014
Photo: Northern Rangers' Shane Brassington (centre) bagged four goals, but Kingborough looked as if they didn't have a clue [PlessPix]
With more results such as yesterday, the Victory League is in serious danger of imploding.
Thirty goals in four games may sound exciting and entertaining, but it’s an illusion.
One has to consider the results of each match. If each ended in something like 5-2 or 4-3, then that’s exciting.
But scorelines of 12-0, 8-0, 5-0 and 4-1 (the latter less so) make a mockery of the competition.
Tilford Zebras showed no mercy to their northern sister club Launceston City and annihilated them 12-0 at KGV Park.
Northern Rangers got back on track and belted Kingborough Lions United 8-0 away at Lightwood Park, while Olympia Warriors downed Glenorchy Knights 5-0 at a canter at Warrior Park.
Reigning champions and current leaders South Hobart did their old ‘boxer-with-one-hand-tied-behind-his-back’ sideshow alley trick by knocking out Devonport City 4-1 away at Valley Road with ten men.
South Hobart skipper Hugh Ludford was sent off early in the second half and yet the southerners were still too good for the pride of the North-West Coast.
They’re becoming quite adept at this. A couple of weekends ago, South Hobart had goalkeeper Kane Pierce sent off early in the match and, with 10 men, easily beat Northern Rangers 6-1.
What does that tell us? It tells us that South Hobart are miles ahead of anyone else in terms of results, and that they are prepared to employ cynical professional fouls to get their way, even if it means having a player sent off.
Photo: Northern Rangers' Aiden Rigby (left) is not normally a centre-forward, but he starred with a hat-trick [PlessPix]
Football Federation Tasmania needs to have a serious look at the Victory League, and quickly.
It’s okay to meet all the administrative requirements, but surely one of the KPIs is on-field performance? You can write beautiful strategic plans, business plans, balance the books and have qualified coaches with nice bits of paper, but if you embarrass yourself on the field with appalling results, what is the point?
One would be tempted at this stage, two years into the Victory League, to adopt the view that the old Southern and Northern Premier Leagues produced football of a quality similar to the current Victory League.
It’s true that the Victory League has captured the imagination of the media, but has it grabbed the allegiance of the football public?
Yesterday’s attendances indicate that the answer to this is a resounding ‘nyet’.
The official attendance at Warrior Park was 222, but Olympia openly admitted that this included all the players and officials.
Zebras would have been lucky to have had 80 at KGV Park, while the attendance at Lightwood Park would barely have been 100.
I can’t comment about how many turned out at Valley Road because I wasn’t there.
There is now a clear gap between the top four teams and the bottom four sides.
One has to wonder whether the initial choice of the eight teams for the inaugural Victory League in 2013 was the correct one.