- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 31 March 2014
Photo: Jackson Nugent clears for South Hobart's Development Squad, who beat the Knights 9-1 in Friday night's curtain-raiser, which surely must have had the alarm bells ringing in the Knights' camp [PlessPix]
1. South Hobart will be difficult to stop as they seek to retain their Victory League title.
The reigning champions got off to a perfect start with an 8-1 demolition of a disappointing Glenorchy Knights.
South Hobart certainly looked championship material, but one must not forget that they were playing against a poor team.
They may have lost nine players from last year’s squad, but coach Ken Morton has brought in new players who do not look out of their depth.
The champions will face much tougher opponents this season, but on Friday night’s display, they’ll be difficult to beat.
Photo: Andy Brennan netted a hat-trick for South Hobart and made two assists against Glenorchy Knights [PlessPix]
2. Brayden Mann and Andy Brennan look to be two of the top strikers in the Victory League.
This duo were deadly, scoring a hat-trick apiece.
And, Brennan had two assists and Mann one in a first-class display by the two new South Hobart signings.
Both have played for South Hobart before and are returning to the club - Brennan after a year off because of injury - and there is no question about their value to the league champions.
3. Only a few of the imports from overseas caught the eye.
Adam Edwards was the pick of the imports, weighing in with two goals for Northern Rangers in the 4-1 win over Launceston City.
He scored a hat-trick the week before in Rangers’ 3-0 win over Olympia Warriors in the Lakoseljac Cup match.
Callum Moore and Corey Vickers had relatively quiet debuts for Devonport City in the 2-0 loss to Tilford Zebras.
Both players can handle themselves physically, but did not catch the eye in terms of influencing the match.
Seung Yong Jin was busy but nor spectacular or influential for Kingborough Lions United.
He started to have an impact late in the 6-2 defeat at the hands of Olympia Warriors but did not get on the score-sheet.
He tended to hang on to the ball too long and usually had his shots blocked or charged down.
Launceston City’s Dutch goalkeeper, Jordy Van De Corput, had four put past him. I did not see that match, but going on what I have seen of him, he is a fine keeper.
Photo: Devonport City's English import Corey Vickets models the new Jemsz kit [PlessPix]
4. The new Jemsz kits for players and referees had their debut.
The new kits looked quite impressive.
South Hobart’s new orange away strip was unusual. I suppose it did look a little bit like Holland.
Photo: South Hobart's 'Dutch' strip [PlessPix]
The referees’ kits, grey in colour with green trimmings, look subdued, which is how it should be.
One should, I guess, now dispense with the cliche ‘the men in black’ when referring to the referees.
Photo: The new referees' outfit [PlessPix]
5. Some of the new local signings, or those from interstate, did well, while others did not.
I’ve already mentioned the impact of Andy Brennan and Brayden Mann.
Glenorchy Knights keeper Sam Kruijver, signed from South Hobart, made several important saves to prevent his former club from reaching double figures.
The Knights’ Shae Hickey, also signed from South Hobart, was unable to swing things in his club’s favour, although one piece of audacious skill late in the match was worth watching.
Hickey looped the ball over his head with his heel and controlled it on the way down and continued his run. Spectacular, but unfortunately, not game changing.
Aaron Wilson, the youngster signed by the Knights from the NTC, netted their penalty against South Hobart.
The keeper saved his first attempt and, when he had to retake it, Wilson kept his nerve and scored.
Photo: Joel Stone scored against his former club on his debut for Tilford Zebras [PlessPix]
Tilford Zebras’ Joel Stone scored the opening goal in his side’s 2-0 win over his former club, Devonport City (or is it Devonport Strikers?).
Devonport City’s (I’ll go with that monicker for the club) Miles Barnard, who was with University last season, didn’t get to play, even though he was all kitted out and ready to go. It seems he was not registered in time.
Olympia’s Jake Vandermey was again solid at the back for Olympia, but there wasn’t much opposition, until late in the piece.
Photo: South Hobart keeper Kane Pierce in front of the Frontline [PlessPix]
6. Noisy atmosphere at KGV Park
I’ve rarely heard KGV Park so noisy.
On Friday night, a group of young men numbering between 30 and 50, marched into the ground en masse and took up a position behind the goal near the cricket nets.
Their leader used a megaphone to orchestrate their chants and they hung their banners on the cricket nets.
Officials from Glenorchy Knights asked them to desist with foul language, which they did, and their chanting then certainly added to the atmosphere of a rather dreary game.
On Saturday, a group of drummers was at work beside the cricket nets during the double-header.
They eventually moved into the ‘wet area’ near the main administration building, where they kept up what can only be described as a monotonous beat.
Who the Friday night group and the Saturday group are is anybody’s guess.
7. Peripheral entertainment provided at KGV Park.
There was an inflatable football pitch at KGV Park and it was used by a few youngsters.
Junior small-sided games were conducted on the KGV Park pitch between the games and at half-time.
South Hobart pioneered the latter at their home ground, but Saturday’s games somehow lacked atmosphere.
8. Glenorchy Knights are in for a long season.
Bottom of the table after the opening round and with a disastrous minus 7 goal-difference, it’s going to be a long season for the Knights.
They won’t be as bad as Launceston City were last season, but they’ll need to show dramatic improvement if they are to avoid the wooden spoon.
The only thing in their favour was that they were missing some established players.
Launceston City have certainly improved since last season, but they, the Knights and Kingborough Lions United may well vie for the wooden spoon in this second year of the Victory League.
9. University may well be a force in this year’s Southern Premier League competition.
The Students beat the reigning champions Beachside 4-3 on Saturday.
They are also in the quarter-finals of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy State-wide competition.
Coach Romilton Amaral must be doing something right at Olinda Grove.
Photo: Caleb Ludlow is stretchered off [PlessPix]
10. The injury to South Hobart’s Caleb Ludlow is not as bad as at first feared.
Ludlow was stretchered off early in the match against Glenorchy Knights with what was initially feared as a serious knee injury.
He was taken to hospital but was released from hospital just after midnight.
It appears the injury was similar to a ‘corkie’ and some blood seeped into the knee area.
Clubs seem to have their act in order as far as first aid is concerned, and that is a relief.