Slice of Cheese

Super League Kicking Off This Weekend

The 2019 Women’s Super League launches this weekend, with a pair of games to get it all underway as the top flight action returns for the Women after an intriguing Summer Cup competition.

The action will kick off down at Lightwood Park on Friday evening, as the Kingborough Lions play host to South Hobart. The Lions look to be the most improved team in the league for 2019, complementing the natural improvement to be expected in a youthful playing list, with some quality additions. The likes of Zoe Horgan and Hanna Manuela have added steel to the spine of the side, which is the area the Lions probably lacked in over the past two Super League seasons. It helped power them to the Summer Cup final, where they pushed Olympia till the final minute of added time and signalled their intent for the season to come. At home against South, they will be expecting to take all 3 points and move into top spot, a place its no longer unrealistic to see them occupying beyond the opening rounds.

Their opponents South Hobart have lost a number of players to injuries, mainland Universities, and to rival clubs forcing somewhat of a rebuild on coach Craig Westwood. He has lost his preferred front 3 of Fulton (Zebras) Djakic (Injury) and Ferrier (Zebras) meaning a search for goals will be underway. Replacing that attacking output is going to be a difficult challenge, though the additions of Ellie Dick and Zola Blackwood Coyle from Taroona should help fill some of the creative void.

On Sunday, a North Hobart blockbuster is set to pit two of the red hot favourites against each other right out of the blocks. Hobart Zebras will take on the Olympia F.C Warriors in a battle that sees two of the strongest teams in the league clashing. The Super League game will kick off at midday and form part of a Double Header at the venue involving the two club’s NPL Tasmania sides, in what promises to be a massive day of Football at North Hobart.

The Hobart Zebras side swept all before them in season 2017, going the entire year undefeated and claiming all 3 major pieces of Silverware, the Summer Cup, Super League and Statewide Cup. But 2018 saw them crashing back to earth, as a raft of injuries derailed their season. It saw them slide back to a fourth place finish, and a Quarter Final Cup exit, though they did still claim the Summer Cup as a consolation prize. Coach Chris Hey will be determined to restore the side to their lofty heights this season, and after a Summer that saw them add several high profile recruits from rival clubs, the expectations are high. A 4-2 loss to the Kingborough Lions in what amounted to a Summer Cup Semi Final in their final group stage game, showed a squad still gelling and how quickly the new look side can find cohesion will be vital to their hopes.

Their opponents Olympia, are fresh off a Summer Cup victory, defeating Kingborough 1-0 in Extra Time and having looked the dominant side of the preseason competition, expectations are equally as high at Warrior Park. Having been relegated to the Championship for last season, the Warriors are relishing their return to the Women’s Super League and on a mission to make up for lost time. With some of the best young talent in the State, including a host of  former Youth State players, and former mini Matilda Madison Chambers, they have the squad to do some damage. If the Zebras haven’t improved from their Summer Cup displays, then they will be ripe for the picking, though the huge North Hobart pitch, should favour the Zebras.

Stay tuned for a full Season Preview of the Women’s Super League to be published on Friday.