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Photo:  Ken Morton at today's announcement [PlessPix]

Ken Morton was today appointed coach of the Tasmanian senior representative team that will play A-League giant Melbourne Victory later this year.

It is also possible that Tasmania will host a number of other visiting sides.

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Photo:  Ken Morton with a Tasmania shirt [PlessPix]

Morton is coach of Victory League club South Hobart and took the club to the past five Southern Premier League titles and three State titles.

Football Federation Tasmania had no technical director at present following the resignation of technical director Kurt Reynolds and this prompted the appointment of Morton as Tasmania’s coach.

Reynolds coached Tasmania against Melbourne Victory last season.

FFT CEO John Boulous said Morton was chosen due to his sustained coaching success within Tasmania.

“Ken has a stellar coaching record and knows the local game inside out and we are excited by the appointment,” said Boulous.

“He is a well-respected coach in the football community and is well positioned to select our very best to compete against Victory later in the year.”

Boulous said the appointment was made early in the season to give Morton time to observe Tasmania’s elite players in the Victory League and assemble a squad that will work together over a longer period of time.

“In previous years, we’ve put a team together in a matter of weeks and we think this new process should allow the team to gel and properly prepare for what has become a highly anticipated fixture on the Tasmanian football calendar,” said Boulous.

Morton has previously coached interstate, as well as in New Zealand, Vietnam, the Maldives and Ethiopia.

He coached Wollongong and Heidelberg in the old NSL before returning to Tasmania, where he has coached numerous clubs before South Hobart, including Rapid, Hobart Juventus, Olympia, Launceston Juventus, Devonport City and Taroona.

Morton said he was ecstatic with the appointment.

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Photo:  John Boulous (left), FFT's CEO, and Ken Morton at today's media conference announcing Morton's appointment as Tasmanian coach [PlessPix]

“It is truly an honour to be asked to coach Tasmania’s best,” he said.

“I thank Football Federation Tasmania for the opportunity and look forward to working with the talented players on show in the Victory League.”

The Tasmanian team will play against Melbourne Victory in a one-off game at season’s end.

FFT said details on the match will be communicated closer to the event.

In the meantime, Morton will select a 22-man squad to prepare for the game.  He will initially select two players for every position, but there will be opportunities for promising young players to participate in the training program.

South Hobart also issued a statement about the appointment, which read:

“South Hobart Football Club are thrilled that Ken has been given this role by FFT.

“Club Secretary Frances Seaborn said on behalf of the Committee:  ‘Our Club is reaping the rewards of having had Ken as our Head Coach for a number of years now.

‘Not only has our Victory League team excelled, but the development of our youth and junior players is very rewarding to watch.

‘Ken encourages all our players to improve their skills, try their best, play as a team but above all, be good people.

‘Good football has followed, but as parents as well as Committee Members, we couldn’t ask for a better environment for our children to grow up in

‘The appointment is fantastic for Ken and is great recognition of his continuous achievements and coaching credentials.

‘There’s no doubt that the boys will thrive under Ken’s guidance, just as all our players at South Hobart have thrived.

‘We wish the State Team the best of luck in their competitions and hope that, with Ken, they’ll raise the benchmark yet again for Tasmanian football.’

“Ken Morton is thrilled with the appointment.”

Morton is quoted in the club’s media release as saying:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been selected by FFT as Head Coach of our State Senior Men’s team.

“I look forward to the challenge of selecting and preparing a squad to play Melbourne Victory.

“My aim is to prepare a very competitive squad for this high profile game.

“I believe Tasmania has the players to produce an exciting side that is prepared to work harder and run longer in the effort to represent their State.

“We look forward to seeing our State’s best senior footballers matching up against Melbourne Victory in a one-off match when they visit Tasmania at the conclusion of our season.”