PS4 NPL Tasmania Round 5 Preview

In the game of the round Brayden Mann returns to his home of the past two seasons to face a red hot South Hobart side who are a perfect four from four to start the season.

South Hobart v Devonport Strikers, Sat 16 April, 2.00pm, Darcy St

Mann might have plundered some 60 goals in 42 league games for them but his absence has not blunted the South Hobart attack as they have now scored some 32 goals in the opening month of the season. Averaging a goal less than every 12 minutes of play is staggering and means that Devonport will certainly have their work cut out trying to take anything away from this most difficult of road trips.

The South Hobart front three of Albert Lesczynski, Darcy Hall and Alfred Hess have been superb and accounted for half of the team’s goals but the added threat from midfield offered by Nick Morton and Jack Turner with six goals each makes them even more difficult to stop. This is what has made South Hobart so potent this year, there are just so many goal scoring threats in the side that opponents have to have to worry about and they don’t favour a particular side of the pitch, they can score from anywhere.


Northern Rangers v Olympia FC Warriors, Sat 16 April, 2.30pm, NTCA Ground

Top flight football makes its return to the NTCA ground for the first time in 2016 as the defending champions Olympia come to town to play Northern Rangers, who are off the mark having picked up their first point of the season last week on the road at Kingborough. Now they welcome an Olympia side that is filled with quality but have not lived up to the lofty expectations that were predicted for them in 2016, struggling for structure and consistency.

It has been a testing season so far for the hosts; they have had to endure a horror run of injuries and suspensions that have rocked a squad that was already a little shallow having lost numerous players from their 2015 side. This was a side that finished in fourth place for the second consecutive season in 2015 so it has been quite the drop off, though they will be hoping that last week can represent a turning point for their disappointing season.


Launceston City v Clarence United, Sat 16 April, 4.30pm, Mitsubishi Park

Launceston City will be looking to get their season back on track when they host Clarence United at Mitsubishi Park on Saturday. The home side started the season well with a victory over Kingborough and a strong performance against Hobart Zebras but two heavy defeats in the past fortnight have stalled their early momentum. Clarence have performed above expectations so far and put in a brave effort against Olympia in the Eastern Shore Derby which should give them some belief that their first road trip in the top flight could be a successful one against a potentially vulnerable Launceston City side.


Hobart JEEP Zebras v Kingborough Lions, Sunday 17 April, 2.00pm, KGV

Hobart Zebras entertain Kingborough Lions at KGV as they look to continue their perfect start to the season, backing up from a huge victory over Devonport at Valley Road last weekend. The Lions are finally off the mark in 2016, having taken their first point of the season against Northern Rangers last Sunday.

Against Rangers they enjoyed a larger share of the ball in midfield which allowed the likes of Kieron Dale and Chris Downes to showcase their play making abilities. This week, up against a Zebras midfield that is unlikely to allow them as much time on the ball as Rangers did, they will need to be decisive with their passing. With James Sherman, who has been dominant in the middle, taking over games and dictating the play along with the reliable Jordan Muller, the Zebras will feel this is an area they can gain the ascendancy.


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