Slice of Cheese

The Friday Forecast: Footballing Fiesta

Welcome back to another season of the Friday Forecast, as the Long weekend approaches,well the long weekend of football that is!

There is no shortage of action coming up this weekend, with the big games coming thick and fast, but before we jump into them, first the biggest story in Tasmanian Football, Andrew Wilkie, delivering once again! The record $12.8 million in funding for the construction of a junior hub is one of the most exciting developments the game has ever had in Tasmania. Oh yes, and then he goes and delivers another grant of $350,000 for Taroona today. Seriously, just call this man the Courier, because he is routinely delivering the goods! After years of the sport in our state being woefully underfunded on a per participant basis, the tide is finally starting to turn and we are getting our due. It’s certainly an exciting time for the game in our state, thanks in no small part to Andrew Wilkie.

Speaking of exciting, Saturday will be just that, with a trifecta of huge games at all ends of the State.

In the South we have a pair of Summer Cup Finals, kicking off at 12:30pm, with the Under 18 Summer Cup that will see Olympia and South Hobart renewing their modern rivalry. The pair have played a number of thrilling cup finals in recent years and given the fine young talent in both clubs, this should be no exception. The future of the game in the state will be on display, and you can be assured it will be a quality contest.

Then at 3:00pm, the Women’s Summer Cup Final sees the Olympia Warriors and Kinborough Lions duking it out.  The Warriors breezed through their group, winning all 3 games by margins of 11-0, 8-1 and 7-0 but now face their toughest challenge yet against the Lions. Kingborough were also unbeaten in the group stage and won their way through to the decider after winning a virtual semi final over Hobart Zebras on Monday night 4-2, with Laura Davis scoring all four goals. It sets up a tantalising decider between two sides who play an attractive, flowing style of game and really like to get numbers forward in attack. With the talent on display for both sides, this should be a fine showcase of Women’s Football. The Warriors will rightly start as favourites given how loaded their squad is, but the Lions improvement has been stark over the summer and they have the ability to spring a surprise, especially if Davis keeps up her form.

Michael and Chambers are 2 of the best in the state- Solstice Photography

Completing what will be a massive day for the Olympia Warriors, their NPL TAS side travel up to Valley Road to take on the Devonport Strikers in a blockbuster clash. Olympia looked fantastic out of the blocks last week against South Hobart, and can really stamp themselves as the team to beat should they head up to Valley Road and come away with the points. That is going to be easier said than done however, with a visit to the Strikers ‘Portress’ as tough of an assignment as there is in Tasmanian Football. The Strikers have lost a lot of goals from last years side, but the defensive unit remains, and despite the big name departures, Coghlan has recruited very well and their depth looks even better than it was in 2018. These are two of the big fancies for the title this year, and a victory for either would certainly represent a statement of intent to the rest of the league.

In Launceston at 4:00pm, Riverside Olympic make their NPL TAS bow at home against the Glenorchy Knights in a battle of the newly promoted sides. It will be a huge day at Windsor Park as they play their first ever NPL TAS game and it should be a great atmosphere for Alex Gaetani’s men. It’s tough to know what to expect from both sides, with preseason form so often counting for nought. Riverside unveiled a new signing this week in Argentinian, Luca Vigilante who will provide a nice boost and there is no doubt they will all be up for the occasion. But its an important day for Knights too, marking their return to the top division after 3 years of exile. They will want to hit the ground running, knowing this is the sort of game they need to win if they are to really push on up the table in year one. Intrigue a plenty at Windsor Park and its a game we will learn a lot from.

Riverside’s new import Luca Vigilante- Solstice Photography

On Monday attention turns to the Lakoseljac Cup, with the Qualifying Round of the Cup seeing 5 games taking place around the state. At KGV there is a Lakoseljac Cup triple header, as the day begins with 2017 surprise packets Nelson Utd taking on South East United at 10:30am, followed by Ulverstone travelling down to take on Beachside at 1:00pm and finally New Town Eagles playing University to round out the day at 3:30pm. Elsewhere, at North Chigwell, Metro FC will want to continue their amazing week, when they host Launceston United at 2:00pm, whilst up on the coast, a proper derby Cup tie, as Burnie host heated rivals Somerset from 2:00pm at Montello.

There is now an NPL TAS fixture on the Monday too, with insufficient lighting forcing a change of Tuesday’s scheduled clash between South Hobart and the Hobart Zebras. That game is now 2:00pm at Darcy Street, and will be a high stakes affair. Zebras looked downright ominous last night against Clarence, moving the ball with great purpose and linking up superbly in attack, but they won’t be afforded nearly as much time and space against South. Morton’s men will be desperate to avoid the pitfalls of 2018 by dropping a second game in their opening three and ceding such early ground in the title race. The big games just keep on coming in the Month of March, making this weekend an absolute footballing fiesta!

The Lakoseljac Cup resumes- Solstice Photography

Fixtures

NPL TASMANIA

Saturday 9 March

Devonport v Olympia, Valley Road, 2:00pm LIVE STREAM GAME

Riverside Olympic v Glenorchy Knights, Windsor Park 4:00pm

Monday 11 March

South Hobart v Hobart Zebras, 2:00pm, Darcy Street LIVE STREAM GAME

Summer Cup Finals

Saturday 9 March

Under 18 Summer Cup Final: Olympia v South Hobart, 12:30pm, KGV

Women’s Summer Cup Final: Olympia v Kingborough, 3:00pm, KGV LIVE STREAM GAME

Lakoseljac Cup

Monday 11 March

Nelson v South East United, 10:30am, KGV

Beachside v Ulverstone, 1:00pm, KGV

New Town Eagles v University, 3:30pm, KGV

Metro FC v Launceston United, 2:00pm, North Chigwell

Burnie United v Somerset, 2:00pm, Montello