Kingborough Lions kick the Round 7 action off against the team they eliminated from the Lakoseljac Cup just two weeks ago.
The Lions will enter confident off the back of a fighting loss to South Hobart as well as having recently beaten their opponents, Northern Rangers. The Lions showed their claws last week and Kingborough Coach Colin Robbins is looking for his Lions to bring the same intensity they brought in their epic 3-2 loss against South Hobart.
“Last weekend's performance against South Hobart displayed the high energized brand of football we want the team to play,” said Robbins.
“Our ability to win the ball back quickly is a key platform to our success this season, our fitness and conditioning is holding up well deep into games.
“Rangers jumped off the bottom of the ladder last weekend with a strong result against Glenorchy Knights, this win will give the group some confidence.
“We defeated them 3-1 in the Semi-final Statewide Cup fixture two weeks ago, so this game is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
“We have learnt a number of things about them from that game and watching their game since, so will look to use this intel to gain an edge over them this weekend.”
While concentrating on the league, Kingborough are also building towards next month’s Lakoseljac Cup Final and this week they welcome a big inclusion that is sure to give the Lions extra bite in the final third.
“Our Statewide Cup campaign this season has fired up the imagination of our club members, sponsors, supporters and now the Kingborough community.
"The club welcomes back ex South Hobart and Oakleigh Cannon’s striker Billy Gasparinatos, Billy returns from the wilderness after last season’s adventure playing with the Lions fell off the rails,” the Kingborough boss said.
“Billy has been training with the squad over the last couple of weeks and from observations has lost none of his touch, pace or fitness, his recruitment strengthens our attack.”
In the second match of the round, top of the table Olympia FC Warriors host Devonport Strikers in just their second home game for the season. After a sluggish start to the season, Strikers are freshly into the top four following an upset victory over Hobart JEEP Zebras and they will be eager to make it two upsets in a row against a team Devonport Coach Bobby Eaves sees as the team to beat in 2015.
“They have shown good form all season so far and are proving to be the front runners,” said Eaves.
“We have been playing some decent games but the weekend was finally a 90 minute performance, our guys are starting to click which is really positive.
“I think that we need to take in the same mentality as last week to have a victory,” said Eaves.
Olympia got the job done on the road versus Launceston City last week and as a result sit atop the PS4 Victory League table after 6 rounds. The Warriors unveiled their latest star signing Gavin Hoy in last week’s win and Olympia boss Glen McNeill expects the Canadian to entertain the Warriors faithful up against a difficult Devonport.
“I believe Devonport have turned the corner and the result last weekend will certainly increase their confidence,” said McNeill.
“I like the way Michael Holden goes about it and I rate him as one of the best players in the Victory League. Syson also had a good match last week and is also a danger.
“Our new recruit Gavin Hoy did well for us in his first outing and has trained very well this week, I think he will be a bit of an excitement machine,” the Warriors boss explained.
In Saturday’s last clash, an injury ravaged Hobart JEEP Zebras will look to bounce back from last week’s shock loss up against Launceston City, a team that produced a shock win of their own against the Zebras early last season. Despite extra measures, Zebras lost at Valley Road last week and this week their injury woes continue with yet another of their best in Mattias Toghill expected to miss through a leg strain.
“Everything that could have gone wrong did so last week, preparation wise, hours prior to the game and during, so upwards and onwards this week,” said Zebras Coach Chris Hey.
“City are a vastly improved side and have challenged most opponents this year, so we are under no illusions, this game will go down to the wire,” Hey added.
In the last game of the round, Glenorchy Knights take on South Hobart on Sunday afternoon at KGV. The Knights have had a tough month of football, conceding 21 goals in their last three league outings, Coach Mark Broadbent believes that despite his club’s poor recent form his squad remains in a positive place.
“Shattered with the result last week, as we looked at that game as three points, just shows that nothing is a guarantee,” he said.
“The squad is still shaping up well considering the last few disappointing past results, but that is what it is, the past.
“I see our start as a good start, however some games as far as the results go were a kick back. Happy with being in the race to achieve our goals and who knows this week could be a bonus for our standing,” Broadbent said.