|Zebras out to atone for last week's loss to Olympia|
|Written by Walter Pless | Friday, 01 July 2011 14:05|
Photo: Will Olympia again bring on Kosta Grillas to lift their game at a vital moment? [PlessPix]
There’s an old Italian saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.
Well, only a week has passed since Olympia Warriors beat Tilford Zebras in the Milan Lakoseljec Memorial Trophy quarterfinals, so the dish is still warm.
The emotions will, in fact, still be running hot and revenge may not be on the cards when the sides meet again at KGV Park this evening at 8 o’clock in the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League competition.
It should be a fiercely contested game and, as always with these two sides, anything can happen.
Instead of speculating about the outcome and running the risk of looking foolish yet again, I’ll stick to the facts.
The facts for the Zebras are that Troy Kaden will be back in goal. Frank Mainella is out for the rest of the season because he has cracked ribs. I wonder if it was from the aerial clash with Olympia’s Jake Van Der Mey, in which the Victorian headed the ball into the net, only to see the goal disallowed for a foul on the keeper? Or, was it from the artificial surface that Mainella frequently landed on as he prevented a higher score in favour of Olympia? But, I’m speculating again, so back to the facts.
Henry Fagg also returns from suspension and he will replace Brett Andrews, who is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.
Photo: Zebras coach Romeo Frediani will be looking for an improved performance from his side [PlessPix]
Let’s now look at the Olympia side of the ledger.
They keep the same squad as last weekend and will monitor a few injuries and hope everyone is fit.
“It will be a hard game as I am sure Zebras will come out fired up after having been eliminated from the State-wide Cup,” said Olympia coach, Franco Previdi, in what is clearly an attempt to stoke the fires of rivalry between the two teams by mentioning the cup.
It’s a niggling pinprick and guaranteed to rile a club that he once coached to the title.
“Zebras are the favourites for this game,” Previdi continued. “I believe they are a very good team to challenge South Hobart for the title, but I hope Olympia will turn up to play a good game.”
League-leaders South Hobart should have few problems against sixth-placed Glenorchy Knights at 2.30pm on Sunday at South Hobart, despite the absence of central defender Hugh Ludford, who is enjoying warmer climes at the moment.
Tom Roach, South Hobart’s hard-working midfielder, may also be rested because of a recurring ankle injury.
Greg Downes will be playing his last game before returning for more trials in England.
Photo: Greg Downes will play huis last game for South Hobart before heading to England for trials [PlessPix]
Knights will be without midfielder Callen Griffin, who is ill, and Jackson Marsh, who has a hamstring injury.
Tom Sherman is also plagued by hamstring problems and will be missing, while Jade Clay is doubtful because of an eye injury.
With Sam Johnson and Corey Smith overseas, a South Hobart win is a good option for The Pools. Think about it carefully, though, because you know my expertise in that sphere.
Fourth-ranked New Town Eagles host fifth-placed Kingborough Lions United at Clare Street at 2.30pm on Saturday in what is a crucial match for both sides.
A win for the Lions will see them leap above Eagles on the rungs of the ladder.
Eagles will miss Jamie Vernon, probably for the rest of the season, after he injured his left knee when landing awkwardly at training on Tuesday. (‘Why didn’t he walk to training instead of flying?’ I can hear people asking, but they were indeed the coach’s words, which I thought was quite clever.)
David Cox is in New Zealand. He was finally able to fly there after the volcanic ash cloud abated.
Nick Ferrall is on holidays for a week, which means that Jacob Clamp comes into the starting eleven, together with either Josh Quan or Simon Strang.
David Abbott has been ill and must be considered a doubtful starter for Kingborough Lions United, but everyone else is fit and available.
“We had a really good session on Tuesday night with 35 at training, including some under-19s,” said Kingborough Lions United’s tamer - oops, I mean coach - Geoff Freeman.
“This weekend’s game against Eagles will be a tough one and our record at their ground has not been good enough recently and we will be out to put that right.”
The sides are very even and, given Eagles’ loss of key personnel, it could be a draw or a win for the visitors.
Photo: Will Clarence's Jaeho Lee finally be fit again to play against Beachside? [PlessPix]
On Saturday evening at Wentworth Park, Clarence United, who are in third place, host bottom-side Beachside at 6.30pm.
This could be a danger game for Clarence as Wentworth Park is about as close to the banks of the River Derwent as Beachside’s Sandown Park.
This means the visitors will feel right at home and will be stirred to lift their game by the sounds of waves washing ashore, just as they are at the Tropicana. That sound often substitutes for the feverish roar of a capacity home crowd and has prompted magnificent performances in the past.
And, Wentworth Park is also close to the ancestral home of Beachside, who were once Howrah, and so there may be all sorts of primeval yearnings for victory on the part of the visitors, which could be enough to topple the hosts.
Liam Brown and Andrew Douglas come into the Beachside line-up in place of Andrew Keygan and Tom Gordon, both of whom have work commitments.
“I’m looking forward to travelling to Wentworth for the first time this year and again going head to head with long-time mentor, Andrew Brown,” said Beachside’s player-coach, Brett Pullen.
I just hope there isn’t a clash of heads and resultant concussion.
Now I’m off to put in my Pools coupon.
|Last Updated on Friday, 01 July 2011 18:06|