Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Southern football starts this Saturday


By Gary Williamson
LAST year’s grand finalists start the opening round of 2014 with a night game that will give Claremont a chance to seek revenge over New Norfolk. It promises to a very tough and close affair. The Magpies have had a solid pre-season and would now be aware of what is required to win the big games of football. Under wily coach Kim Excell they will certainly improve this season.

The Eagles have some key players and have recruited exceptionally well with some ex-TFL stars signing up to wear the red, white and black. New Norfolk has the best playing list and keeps its regular players hungry for more success.

The Magpies hold no fear of New Norfolk and always seem to grow a leg at home. They certainly shocked the Eagles in the first game of the season last year and if they get off to a flying start this weekend they will be extremely hard to hold out. New Norfolk is traditionally a slow starter and usually takes a few games to gain match fitness. The Eagles will realise this is one of its hardest road trips, expecting a hostile home crowd and maybe a few more spectators to watch this game under lights.

In a game which could go either way, perhaps the Magpies may be a bit hungrier. Well-prepared in terms of fitness, they could sneak over the line but must produce four consistent quarters as the Eagles only need 10 minutes to blow a game apart.

Hobart v Lindisfarne
Hobart is back in the SFL for a second stint and looking to make an immediate impact after the recruitment of experienced coach Steve Woods when they host Lindisfarne at the TCA in what should be a good gauge for the strength of their club for 2014. It may take a few rounds for the Tigers to gel and play as a team, but they will have set themselves for this game. The Blues should be too experienced and strong in the contests and take the points.

Cygnet v  Sorell
Cygnet kicks off the season with a home game against Sorell and with a new look-side they have a great opportunity to open the season with a win. Although the Port have lost some key players from last season, they should be ready for this gamesand should record a solid win but must be at their best as Sorell can see this as a winnable game too.

Huonville v Dodges Ferry
Huonville opens the season with a lot of promise after a good finish in 2013 and coach Chivers will be looking to improve his young list and will expect a first up win at home to kick off the season but a well-drilled Dodges Ferry in may turn out provide a close encounter.

Brighton v East Coast
Brighton is at home for the start of the season and will see this encounter with East Coast as a good opportunity to open the season with a win. East Coast may have a bit too much experience and strength around the contests and should take the points against a motivated and enthusiastic young side capable of causing an upset.

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