Round 3 of PlayStation 4 NPL Tasmania is upon us as after a fortnight of games we are starting to learn more about the eight teams and what their expectations should be this season.
Already there is an air of familiarity about the table with a top 4 of South Hobart, Zebras, Devonport and Olympia forming. These were probably the four favourites entering the season, but it’s still way too early to be making major judgments and things could look significantly different by the end of the this round.
The current top two are set to kick off the round on Friday night when Hobart Zebras host South Hobart at KGV in a Friday night blockbuster. If South were to win, they would have an early gap of 5 points to Zebras, which could prove significant in the title race as the season wares on. South Hobart side are the only team to start with two wins from their two matches and they are yet to concede a goal in either of those two games.
Former Zebras keeper Graham Wright has made a strong start to the season at his new side since switching over the summer and will be playing against his former team for the first time in this game.
Another new arrival in Adam Gorrie has also been a stand out, whilst the emergence of youngsters, Alex Walter and Ryan Cook has helped offset the loss of Darcy Hall. Having a fit again Ben Hamlett has filled the void left by the injured Alex Leszczynski and he now has 3 goals in the first 2 games.
Hobart Zebras bounced back from a 2-2 draw against Devonport in week one, with a 5-0 thumping of Clarence in round 2.
The signing of striker Mathew Sanders looks to be one of the best in the league after he scored a spectacular hat-trick in round 2, to back up a dominant pre-season in which he scored in the majority of their games. He will be key to their fortunes against South as will their ability to threaten from set pieces.
New signing Chris Downes is the best free kick taker in the league and his delivery to big physical threats like Luke Huigsloot, Nick Groenewold with Matt Sanders lurking will be an area that Zebras look to exploit. Even if they don’t have a heap of possession, the Zebras side have the firepower to stay in games.
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Round 3 Fixtures
Friday 24 March
Hobart Zebras v South Hobart, KGV, 8:00pm
Saturday 25 March
Kingborough v Devonport, Lightwood Park, 2:00pm
Sunday 26 March
Olympia v Northern Rangers, Warrior Park, 2:30pm
Clarence v Launceston City, Wentworth Park 2, 2:30pm