South Hobart FC are one win away from claiming a historic treble when they host Sydney United 58 FC this Sunday in the inaugural NPL Grand Final.
South Hobart FC are one win away from claiming a historic treble when they host Sydney United 58 FC this Sunday in the inaugural National Premier Leagues (NPL) Grand Final.
An NPL Grand Final victory would not only secure national bragging rights but also would complete a famous 2013 treble for the club, adding an NPL Finals Series to victories earlier this season in the local Victory League and Victory Cup competitions.
Ken Morton-s men face a David and Goliath battle up against one of the biggest clubs outside of the A-League, in Sydney United 58 FC.
Sydney United 58 FC have a long, proud history, including a rich history in the former national league, the NSL. United have produced over 40 international players, including household names such as Tim Cahill, Mark Bosnich, Zeljko Kalac, Jason Culina and Robbie Slater.
South Hobart Coach Ken Morton says the reputation of Sydney United suggests his team will be up against it.
“Because of the nature of the football club being a leader in Australia for many years we would expect nothing less than the very toughest of games. We will prepare ourselves well and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves against the best.
“On paper maybe it would seem we wouldn-t have a hope but in reality we have a chance, we did well in the last game, every one was together, played with intensity,” said Morton.
Morton believes an energetic, focused start is key to his team-s hopes of causing a major upset and claiming the national crown.
“When you are an underdog you have to defend well, you can-t give away silly goals; you have to be compact defensively in these big games to succeed.”
“If we shut them out for the first twenty minutes, we can then refocus and play our game,” said Morton. South Hobart have had a concentrated preparation for the Grand Final and the master coach says his side won-t shift their focus from what achieved their thumping 3-1 win last week.
“I am after more of the same, our passing was good, we didn-t waste possession and the pressure side of our game wins us football matches. Putting pressure high up on opposition and getting good turnovers in the right areas are vital.”
“The foundation for us is being tight and compact defensively and pressing hard and fast,” said Morton.
“We need to play our passing game, hold possession and press up high quickly on them and be in their faces.”
The Tasmanian underdogs have studied up on the highly touted Sydney United 58 and know the firepower the Sydney giants possess.
“Luka Glavas is a player we will need to monitor, their number 11, was their top goal scorer and the league top goal scorer, A-League teams are looking at him. (Mirian) Pavlovic is another super talent, he hit a hat-trick last week and the youngster (Mathew) Bilic has also done really well,” said Morton.
“We are hoping we have enough pace in our side to trouble them, their technical ability in midfield is top quality.”
The Victory League Coach of the Year sees the NPL Grand Final as the biggest game his team has ever encountered.
“We want to go in there with confidence, nothing sloppy or silly early and build on that foundation; this is the toughest match we have ever played.” In answering what a victory would mean for his club, Morton was lost for words.
“I don-t think words could describe it, (it would be) just an unbelievable feat but I believe the players definitely believe they can do it.
Despite the challenge that awaits them, the Victory League champions come in confident after progressing to the Grand Final with a comfortable victory over South Australia-s champions Campbelltown City.
“If every single player turns up and win their battles early we are a chance.”
It will be the first time a national football final has been played in Tasmania, with the Grand Final to be played at Tasmania-s home of football, KGV Football Park.
National Premier Leagues Grand Final South Hobart vs Sydney United 58 FC Sunday 13 October 2:00PM KGV Football Park Adults $8 Concession $4 Children Under 12 Free Gates open at 1.00pm