Slice of Cheese

Fotak Named New Zebras Boss

Tommy Fotak has been officially confirmed as the new head coach of the Hobart Zebras NPL side to replace Peter Savill. It will be his second stint in charge of the club having previously coached the side in the 2013 season.

He inherits a squad that sits in fourth place in the league after 9 rounds, four points adrift of the summit and coming off the back of a Lakoseljac Cup Semi Final defeat at the hands of Olympia on Sunday.

Fotak’s initial stint in charge of the Zebras was a successful one. He took over the side after Round 4 in the 2013 Victory League season after they managed just a single draw and had lost three from their opening four games. He would steady the ship and go on to post a 11-5-1 record in 17 league games to see them finishing the year in third.

He ended up resigning the position at the end of 2013 due to time constraints from work commitments but said that now the time was right to make a return.

“I never really wanted to stop, I started a business with some friends and that was always going to take 3 or 5 years to establish itself. It’s been 3 and a bit years now and conditions are right again, I can spare the time, the club needed someone and it’s a good opportunity.”

Fotak said he was looking forward to the chance to work with a talented playing group that he felt was still well and truly in the title race as evidenced by Sunday’s effort against the Warriors.

I’m excited, it’s a great opportunity to work with some quality players and nice to be able to help the club out.”

“Against the Warriors on Sunday, at the beginning of the second half they dominated Olympia, just didn’t take their chances.  But they showed they are competitive with the current standard bearer in the NPL. So it’s about maintaining that standard across games for the full 90 minutes and not just in short periods, making sure they capitalise on the dominance.”

“Sav had them winning games and four points isn’t a lot, so I still think we’re a chance, it’s possible.”

Fotak suggested that whilst trying to change things up too much too soon comes with an element of risk, his coaching philosophy was fundamentally different to Savill’s.

“There is a risk in changing too much too early but I prefer a more possession based approach, to dominate the ball, build up play through controlled possession to stretch teams.”

His first game in charge will come against Kingborough Lions on Friday night at KGV and he admitted that preparing for it after a tough cup game, with a limited number of sessions with the players presented challenges.

“It will be difficult. We’ve got a few players that pulled up sore after that cup game which is going to stretch the squad, we’ve only got a couple of sessions so I won’t change things up too much.”

Attention will then turn to fellow top four side Devonport in the second of a four week stretch at KGV for his side. He has already shown an ability to get immediate results from the side in his previous term as coach, when he won his first five league games in charge as part of a 12 game unbeaten streak. He will be looking to get off to a similarly hot start this time around to keep his side in a title race that still appears wide open between Olympia, Devonport, South Hobart and Zebras.



FFT Media and Communications Coordinator, Everton tragic, long form journalism devotee, Andrea Pirlo enthusiast and admirer of the parked bus.