Thursday, 7 August 2014


Come 4:30 pm tomorrow there could be a new NPL champion. Riverside will be looking to take out the championship for the first time in a long time. But they will have to host and beat a determined Rangers out fit before they can even think about celebrating.
With conditions easing over the week, Windsor Park should be prime and ready to play on. Its fair to say that both clubs play attractive football and play the same European style of football.
Riverside have had a great year and have not lost a game yet and will have to go into this game as strong favourites considering the last statement and home ground.
Wayne Penfold will have it drummed into his players heads how much tomorrow means as he has tasted success over his football time as well.
He had this to say"It’s a simple equation for us this weekend. Win the game and we win the League. However, we take on an unknown quantity in Northern Rangers. You never know what side Rangers will put out each week due to their Victory League sides requirements, so we will just prepare ourselves to play to our best. If we do that, then that should secure us the win.
Rangers NPL team is never a settled side as they have to cover the V-League injuries, suspensions or unavailability’s. They have always had a lot of depth though, so they will have some good players at their disposal to cover these losses. The constant changes though are unsettling for any team and can affect cohesion and consistency.

 We just need to dictate the tempo of the game. If can control that then we can then play our possession football. If we allow Rangers time to play, then they will relish that as they like to play possession football also. Our teamwork has been outstanding all year and I expect that to continue in this game.
No team changes this week. Matthew Chapman is still out with a Hamstring strain. He will hopefully be back for the Finals series, but he won’t be rushed back. Otherwise we have a clean bill of health.
 Rangers will also be looking for a win as this game means as much to them as it does to Riverside.
Rangers are in the 4 by the skin of their teeth and need to win this game to cement their spot in the 4.
Litchendonk will also have his troops up and about and will want the win to and said this"This week is a massive game for our Premier League side for a number of reasons, for us its a chance to almost cement our spot in the top four and play finals, if we win, Burnie would need to win their two remaining games by more than 11 goals to over take us, if we lose, we are completely reliant on them not accumulating four points in their final two games to stay in fourth.  Secondly if Riverside win, they will win the Northern Premier League Title, that will be a bitter sweat for me personally, I wish Riverside all the best, and earlier in the year I spoke to Wayne Penfold and expressed my best wishes for them to complete this task, as I believe it would be just reward for their hard work, but we don't want to lose any game we play.

We know what it is like to win a premiership on your own turf on the last game of the year, I am sure Riverside are excited and up for the job and there is sure to be a big home crowd at Windsor Park for this occasion.

Given the complexity of the situation at 2:30 on Saturday, we will focus only on our own game and deal with the result in a sporting and respectful way following the final whistle, regardless of the result.

This week we will be short staffed with the Victory League in Hobart at the same time, as a result we lose the services of Stefan Hamilton who has been in our best three in nearly every game he has played in the last couple of months, and consequently he has been called up to the next level, he deserves it too.  We will also be without Alex Fulton, Gabe Tams, Dylan Headland and Chris Collins who are all either injured or returning from injury and Adam McIntyre who is suspended.

We still have a strong line up and welcome back into the squad this week Josh Burk who has had a stellar year at premier league level, Mohammad Alkhazraj is nearly back to full fitness and is explosive and creative, John Wani is in fine form up front also, and really applying himself to his role well now, having Ash Fisher this week will also give us composure through midfield, so our spine is solid, and our wide players are more than capable of matching it with Riverside, so I am sure we will give a good account for ourselves, it could be our last game this year, so I know the boys will give everything the have got.

This weeks training has been really positive, and if we can apply ourselves to our game plan, there is no reason why we cant upset Riverside and give ourselves every chance of playing in the final series this year.

Riverside are a super side, quick and creative and well organised, hard to break down at the back, and their keeper Jason Kruska is a rock for them, our boys will need to be clinical in front of goal if we are going to topple the league leaders this week.

Other games are 
Somerset v Launceston United 2:30 Shark Park
Ulverstone v Burnie United 2:30 Ulverstone Show Grounds
Prospect v Launceston City 2:30pm Prospect Park

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