Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Victory League Is Here!

Its the catch phrase from the FFT Advert, and its true as well.  A long wait is over, there has been much hype, much discussion and predictions, but we will get to see the first instalment this weekend.
You would have to be hiding under a rock to not know what is happening.
Devonport Strikers V Tilford Zebras, 1pm @ Mitsubishi Park.
Zebras and Devonport will do battle for the second week in
a row in the opening game.
Devonport will be at full strength when they meet Tilford Zebras.  Zebras are a club cash rich, and player rich, and those two riches become even more so this week, as Zebras secured Aaron Cairns into their Victory League list.
The midfielder is class, all class, and will make a big difference, no doubt coach Pitchford will throw him into the mix in round one, and the question is where? Ill tip he will start on the bench, and come on to make an impact.
It’s a good time for Devonport to face Zebras, as the Zebras are still getting settled, Devonport are set, sound preseason, first to lock away their squad, and plenty of preparation, which has included a 3 all draw and a 3-1 win over the Zebras, not to mention the Mies plate and the Hudson Cup already locked away.
Physiological advantage is with Devonport, and Zebras have the added pressure of red hot favourites tag, right or wrong, people expect them to do well.
Devonport are strong through midfield and up front, and their weakness at the back is looking less so with Casey Eaves performing well in goals, and Kiren Mulraney looks every bit a centre back, for me, streaks ahead of Chilcott and has a good temperament for the role.  McKenna either fluked it with Chilcott injured, or had it planned, either way Mulraney has firmed them up nicely at the back.
A close open game to start with, should be plenty of goals and people about to check out round one.

Northern Rangers Vs Launceston City, 3:30pm @ Mitsubishi Park
Derek Schipper is back for Rangers and returns against City.
Launceston City then entertains Rangers.  Plenty of hype, and these two have developed a fierce rivalry.
A Life member of City is now coach of Rangers, both clubs had targeted the same players and Rangers picked up the key ones, but City, despite their struggles over the last 5 years or so, have upset Rangers time and time again, and Rangers have only beaten City by multiple goals 3 times in their history, need I point you back to the 4-3 upset in round 17 of last year when City put the Rangers Premiership celebration on ice, getting out to a 4-0 lead after just 25 minutes of football.
City are strong in defense, Farrell is s quality young keeper, Eagen a solid centre back and captain next to Nathan Bartlett who is an ex Ranger himself and physically strong centre back.
Bin Sumaida is shaping up well as an out and out striker and has scored regularly during preseason and Leonard is an un known quantity in midfield.

Pooley and Tams celebrate game milestones
this weekend in round one of the Victory League
City Coach Dane Hudson said "We play a very experienced team this week in Northern Rangers, not so much in age but in success. They have won the last 3 out of 4 NPL titles and that experience is priceless. They have picked up some local quality and have the English striker so I think they have set themselves up well for season one of the Victory League. We have picked our best team this week and wont over estimate our opponents ability and under estimate our own. I am very confident in our ability but I know our group needs games under its belt. There has been a long held tradition at Launceston City of hard work and that tradition will continue. The best team on the day will win."

But midfield will be where the battle is won and lost.  Rangers have built one of the strongest mid fields in the comp, Hingston and Schipper will cause everyone some trouble, but their experience over City will need to come to the fore.
Up front Brassington is proving a worthy pick up, and it will be interesting if he can open his account in round one.
You can’t go past Pooley  as the best keeper in the league before a ball has been kicked, and will be key to Rangers in this and many other games.
Pooley will also enjoy his 150th game for the club and right back Gabriel Tams will notch up his 200th.  Its a fine way to enjoy such milestones, and will be interesting if it has any affect on their games.
On paper Rangers should be too strong, but on form it will be close, even City as the favourites.
Olympia Travel to Lightwood park on Saturday to play Kingborough and South Hobart host Glenorchy on Sunday.
Don’t forget to put your tips in!!!


  1. Spelt Egan cheers Capt Australia.
    Great write up, should be a cracker of a day!

  2. Zebs 4-2 over Port
    Rangers 2-0 over City
    Wish we could have afforded Cairns :(

  3. Congrats to the "ROCK" and the "RAT" on their milestone games. Best of luck lads.

  4. Thanks Samwise! Really looking forward to it :)

  5. NPL Predicition
    Top three (in no particular order): Ulverstone, Riverside, Somerset.
    Middle three (in no particular order): Devonport, Rangers, Prospect.
    Bottom three (in no particular order): Launceston City, Launceston United, Burnie.

  6. Dev to win 2-1 in an upset.
    Rangers to win comfortably, 5-1.

  7. CA, you do a fantastic job! Thanks for the write up!
    ...but when you say 'Physiologcial' are you talking about 'Exercise Physiology'? Insinuating that Devonport are fitter. Or did you mean 'Psychological' as in having a mental edge due to previous victories?
    Sorry to be a picky prick!

  8. Yep, aware of the difference, though suffered from spell-check-itas and didnt bother doing a proof read as it was a thrown together report at the last minute.

    Cheers though

  9. That should be "itis" not "itas" Donk!

    Libero :)