Friday, 23 March 2012

Mark Baker's NPL Preview in Sunday's Examiner.

Check it out gents.  A fine effort Mark, fantastic as always.

Mark's comments,

I've decided to post unabridged preview articles on The Examiner's website on Friday nights as there is always a battle between how much I'd like to write and how much space is available in the newspaper. This way we can get in a lot more detail and coaches' comments. It might also please those who would rather read preview articles before match day.
You can find the reports at from 5pm. If it's not on the home page it will be under the opinion/blog section. There is a complete preview with all nine coaches there now. It's 2300 words and an edited version will run in this Sunday's paper. If this starts getting a few page views then I'll look at doing the same thing on match days; having a longer report with coaches' comments online about 8pm.
Another aspect I'd like to add to both the online reports and ones published in the newspaper is results from reserves and under-18 matches so if you would like to offer these results please make contact with me. Let me know what you think and please offer any suggestions. You can email me at Cheers, Bakes


  1. Great round up Mark! Well done, I love seeing these sort of write ups in the paper....makes me so keen for the first round!!!

  2. Great read, looking forward to the match reports.

  3. Good work Mark. Should be an enjoyable and interesting 2012 NPL season.
    L City
    L United
    :)My predicitons.

  4. Interested to hear why nobody rates any chance to last years Premiers ?

  5. Thank you Mark for keeping the football (soccer) game more interesting in the North. Well done.

  6. Anon (5:37pm), talk all preseason has been about the loss of a number of last year's premiership side. That would be why no one is rating them. However, it seems they may be getting a few back. To make a truly informed decision, one would need to know exactly who Prospect have lost and gained...can anyone enlighten us? Bakes? You were fairly cryptic about your teams comings and goings in your blog!

  7. From my knowledge the losses at Knights are Duffy and Hill ! New signings are Mitch Duffy and Sam Cocks the rest of the teams as normal ??

  8. Also think that last year any one of the top three could have taken the title. I think / hope we (ULV) will win the title and and then Dev rangers n knights will be close. So really its not that I'm not rating Prospect its just going to be rather close again this year. My thoughts anyhow!

  9. Prospect will do OK again I reckon will challenge for top 4, wont win it this year, but that happens.

    Devonport to romp home my tip

  10. Anon 8:16. I think you will be on the money there. Everyone has lost players in Launceston,
    United lost Agele but have not really picked anyone up to replace him , though they look stronger, they will be bottom three, and should win at least a league fixture.
    Riverside have lost Sam Hughes, Joey Simmons, will Guy, picked up a couple and Littlechild can keep them in a match, but will about the same as last year. top 4 should be on their radar.
    Rangers lost most of their back bone, Luck, Pooley, Schipper, Nicholson and Murray, only one in with Agele. Will struggle if they keep slipping against easier opponents but on their day will beat anyone, I just don’t think they will be able to put it together week in week out.
    Knights lost Duffy, Hill, Wilson (I know he only played the first 2 thirds) and they may loose another to Aussie Rules yet. Have not seemed to pick any one up and lost a few of their better kids coming through to River. Again, able to beat anyone, but doing it week in week out all season I can’t see.
    City lost Throup, Brown-Price, Beechy and one other that evades me ATM. Not picked anyone of note up so will be mid table at best, at full strength, they could get lucky a few times and shape the final make up, as they did in 2011.

    You look at Dev and Ulverstone, Dev have lost nothing, even the Scottish import isn’t that big a loss, and Mcginn should have started in his position in 2011, and that may have been what cost them the title. Picked up quite a few including Guillum and a few others, like you said, will probably have it stitched up inside of round 14.

    Ulverstone picked up heaps, but injury and age may play a bigger part in their season than they might hope. If the Conkies play 90% of the year with the Foote's, Mann and Stone staying on the park, you never know, but I doubt it.

    Burnie and Somerset making up the numbers with Devonport in a white wash.

  11. Burnie and Somerset making up the numbers!!!!Time will tell.Burnie going through a rebuilding faise this year but will be better for it.For Somerset though finnished last year in 5th,got a better side than last year,with the younger boys stepping up and there older players by there side they are more than capable of finnishing in the top four.what a pathetic round up of this year anon 8:16.Clearly no idea as every team will be capable of taking points off eachother through the year.

  12. My top four:


    With Devonport winning it easily.

    What I will say, is that our league is not looking that strong, after improving heaps in the last 4 or 5 years. I mean for me to pick Rangers in the top 3 with all those loses proves that our league has gone down big time.

  13. Can I chip into this debate!

    With the potential of a state league in 2013, we are (Devonport excluded) in pretty poor shape to be competitive with our southern friends.

    Devonport remain strong due, to the their huge catchment area and being a one team town.

    As stated above, Knights and Rangers (1st and 2nd last season) both no where near as strong and are still probably in better shape than most. Whats the go with these players leaving, what is the problem with our game, that we cant keep our players.

    Looking at the end of last year Launceston area looked pretty strong with Knights and Rangers 1 and 2, and with a Launceston team winning league 3 years in a row, after a spell where the NW had dominated. The league was looking good, and competitive. It may well be competitive this from 3 to 9 but the quality will be poor

    Nearly all teams will be weaker this year apart from Devonport who have lost very few and Ulverstone who have picked up some quality.

    To have the NPL this year with know Hughes, no Schipper, no Luck, no Nicholson, no Duffy, no Simmons will really make our league very average indeed.

    Interesting times

  14. Can I suggest that Launceston Clubs don't develop youth like they should?
    I'm not privy to how Launceston based clubs run their youth programs, but it seems to me that Devonport are very good at having another kid ready to go and play senior footy when needed.

    Developing kids isn't about wiping the old boys and playing a heap of kids, but it is about introducing them to the game gradually, teaching them how to play to the sepcific clubs systems and then keeping them happy in the club enviroment.

    Over the years I have seen so many young players with individual ability either:
    1. Not want to go on and play seniors because they dont feel comfortable playing in the senior group (culture?)
    2. Not be taught how to fit a system (if the club has one!) and as such their individual skills mean nothing if they dont understand the game.
    3. They go and play footy for cash!

    I dont have a solution to no.3, however no.1 and no.2 seem pretty basic yet overlooked to me.

    In my time at Devonport, young kids were desperate to play Senior footy, and when they get there chance, they have been taught to fit in seemlesly. Its ok to say the strikers have a one team town but you still have to have the kids taught properly. It seems to me, this may not (possibly being worked on now!) be the case at Launceston based clubs!

    and no, I am not a Devonport player or member!!

  15. anon 3:26

    That is a stupid call ! Back the kids ! All these coments are made every year get over it !

    And as for State League with only potential 3 sides from the north it will make the Northern sides stronger if they attract all the good players in the North running around to those 3 sides

    Let stop bagging and building


  16. AB fact is that a northern club wont attract all the best players.

    Players in the Launceston area are generally loyal and dont move around. Could you imagine Mark Baker playing for City or Rangers, Todd Hingston playing for Knights it wont happen!

  17. Anon 1:12pm

    You have named a limited couple, dont be suprised who would move where, to play at the highest level.

  18. Anon 239pm I seriously doubt it sorry