Strikers hope to use inside information

Devonport Strikers' Joel Stone (blue top)  in action against Glenorchy last season.

Devonport Strikers' Joel Stone (blue top) in action against Glenorchy last season.

DEVONPORT City will be hoping prodigal son Joel Stone can provide the insights needed to bring down his former club Tilford Zebras.

Stone, who returned to the North- West club citing homesickness, will not be able to line up for the Strikers this week due to transfer deadlines.

However, coach Nick Owen hoped his nine games at Zebras would provide some inside information.

"Zebras will be out to prove something this week I'm sure," Owen said. "The firepower they possess is always daunting and it is something we will need to nullify. I'm hoping Joel can help us out with a bit of inside information to bring them down."

Owen said Beau Blizzard will slot in at 10 while Cory Vickers will move back to defence after failing to have an impact on the game from midfield last week.

Zebras coach Jed Donoghue said his side would need to build on last week's performance and stick to its game plan against a very talented and determined team.

"Devonport are very quick out wide, they are big, skilful and strong in the middle of the park and well organised at the back, so they present a challenge to all VL teams," he said.

The game will be midfielder's Jono Ladic's last for Zebras before moving interstate.

Launceston City has a strengthened side for tonight's derby against Northern Rangers.

Captain Nathan Bartlett and Chris Hill return from suspension, Paul Scicluna has recovered from illness and Yan Jin Park is in the squad.

Coach Kurt Reynolds believed his side could get a positive result but improving its defensive performance was key.

Rangers coach Tim Lunnon, who has an unchanged side, said City had definitely improved and were dangerous on the counter.

"We made some inroads last week in the way we play and it is important that we keep building on that in Fridays game and beyond."

On Sunday, ladder leader South Hobart plays cellar dwellers Glenorchy Knights, a match made more interesting by the defection of Knights captain Jayden Hey to the reigning premier.

WEEKEND MATCHES: TONIGHT: Northern Rangers v Launceston City at NTCA (7pm)

TOMORROW: Kingborough Lions v Olympia at Lightwood Park (2pm); Devonport City v Tilford Zebras at Valley Road (4pm).

SUNDAY: South Hobart v Glenorchy Knights at Darcy Street (2pm)

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