Tasmanian football is officially back with the 2017 Summer Series set to launch at Valley Road in Devonport on Saturday 11 February.
The Summer Series represents a break from the traditional preseason Summer Cup format at the request of the NPL clubs. It has been designed to provide teams with the chance to give their players a number of hit outs against quality opposition as they look to ramp up their preparation for the 2017 NPL TAS season.
The competition will feature all of the NPL TAS clubs bar South Hobart, who have opted to arrange their own friendly matches instead. The teams will play two 60 minute games on each Match Day, playing against each team in the tournament over the course of the three Match Days. Match Day 1 will be held in Devonport, Match Day 2 in Hobart and Match Day 3 in Launceston.
At the end of the three week period, each side will have played everyone and the team on top of the table will be crowed Summer Series Champions.
In addition to early bragging rights, the Summer Series will provide an invaluable chance for players to get minutes in their legs and offer younger players looking to break through a chance to stake their claims for a starting berth come the regular season.
With all sides playing at the same venue, it will be a festival type atmosphere and allow each of the clubs to scout out the competition, giving them insights into what to expect from each other in the 2017 season as well as which players to look out for.
With six new coaches taking charge of their first competitive games (Chris Gallo- Devonport, Ben Brookfield- Launceston City, Peter Savill- Hobart Zebras, Ian Shaw-Olympia, Gabriel Markaj- Kingborough Lions, Lino Sciulli- Northern Rangers) the first weekend of the Summer Series will offer a glance towards the styles and game plans that coaches will be looking to implement this season. Whilst it’s not just the coaches who are new, with several squads undergoing significant player personnel changes over the off season.
CLICK HERE for the full list of Round 1 fixtures.