South Hobart keen for another crack

Wily South Hobart coach Ken Morton believes his side’s National Premier Leagues finals experience of 2013 will help the club in their quest to go one better this year.

The Tasmanian club were the surprise packets of the inaugural NPL finals series, making it through to the final only to be beaten 2-0 by Mark Rudan’s Sydney United 58.

But after storming to another Victory League title in 2014, Morton’s men are back for a second crack at the NPL title.

South Hobart have drawn a home tie for their Elimination Final and will take on either South Melbourne or Oakleigh Cannons from Victoria on the weekend of September 20-21.

“The things you pick up are just the professionalism of the clubs that you’re playing against,” Morton said.

“Sydney United 58 was a magnificent experience for our young players to be playing against Mark Rudan and his men.

“It’s experience and professionalism from these clubs that they bring with them and we expect the same from the Melbourne team.

“It’s probably going to be a little bit harder this time around. South Melbourne or Oakleigh Cannons are powerhouses in Victoria.

“It’s going to be difficult for us but the team’s played really well in the last few weeks so we’ve got a good rhythm to our football now so it’s exciting.”

South Hobart are an historic club in Tassie football having been formed over 100 years ago, and are the only side from last year’s NPL finals to qualify again.

Morton said his side were disappointed to fall at the first hurdle in the Westfield FFA Cup, losing on penalties to Tuggeranong, but they have produced some of their best football since that defeat.

“We’re very resilient, we’ve got a lot of ambition and we’ll be out to do Tassie proud,” Morton said.

“Last year was tremendous for us and for Hobart as well. We got great publicity out of it and people got behind it. I expect this time it will be even better.

“We were a little bit disappointing in the early rounds (of the season), we didn’t think we were as good as last year but the last three or four games we’ve started to grow in confidence and our team work and team play has improved greatly.

“The speed and intensity in the last few weeks has been great and has given us great hope.”

While they might start underdogs against the Victorian champions, South Hobart possess some handy players, with strike-pair Andy Brennan and Brayden Mann combining for 54 of the club’s 85 goals in the league this season.

Caleb Ludlow, Nicholas Morton and Hugh Undy make up an impressive midfield while import Scott Lamont has been superb since joining the side from America mid-season.