The PlayStation 4 NPL Tasmania 2017 Season is finally upon us and it promises to be one of the competitions most interesting years yet.
A raft of new players and coaches are set to add intrigue to a competition that was hardly short of it already. Six new coaches will be in charge of sides and some of those sides will be almost unrecognisable from their 2016 versions.
The familiar stars of the Tasmanian game will be back in action, a host of young prospects are ready to become household names and the usual litany of International recruits have now flown into town. The stage is set, the battle for Tasmanian footballing supremacy is set to commence.
The season kicks off on Friday night with the Olympia Warriors hosting South Hobart in a blockbuster opening game that pits two of title favourites against each other.
The two sides opened the season last year against each other and it was South Hobart who smashed Olympia for six in a comprehensive 6-3 victory. There are plenty of a parallels heading into this game with Olympia once again the talk of the town after signing a host of big name stars and generating some significant hype but this South Hobart side have also recruited well to compliment an already impressive young core.
These are two extremely talented sides with some of the best players in the state. Do yourself a favour and get out to Warrior Park to watch it, or if you can’t make it, tune into the Live Stream, for what should be an absolute corker to get the season started, 8pm on Friday Night.
Then on Saturday Peter Savill makes his return to Devonport, the side he masterminded to glory in 2016. He will lead a Zebras side up there that was being written off from all corners a month or so ago but after a Summer Series win and a number of big new signings, those people are perhaps realizing that they might have been just slightly rash in predicting their downfall.
He will be taking on his former side that will be almost unrecognizable from the XI he coached last season, with his replacement Chris Gallo set to field a youthful side. But with 3 new imports, Michael Holden and Brayden Mann on deck, the Strikers should have the firepower to cause their former gaffer some concerns and it makes for a tough road trip first up.
Further down the highway two more coaching debuts will be staged on Saturday as Ben Brookfield’s Launceston City take on Gabriel Markaj’s Kingborough Lions in what should be an intriguing contest at the newly named Buckby Land Rover Park.
Both managers have talked up wanting to play a positive attacking style of football and this will be the first chance to see if those sentiments are reflected come the real competition. If both stick to what they have preached this could be an open and entertaining game that might just make for the best viewing of the round.
Finally on Monday Clarence take on Northern Rangers at KGV with both sides knowing that this represents a fantastic chance to get 3 points on the board and build up some momentum for the year. After finishing in 7th and 8th place respectively in 2017 they will both be acutely aware that this game is probably their best chance of getting points on the board and you can expect a sense of urgency from everyone out there on the pitch.
There was no shortage of niggle when the two teams met on the final day of the 2017 season and it will be interesting to see if any of that spills over into the new season.
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