LAUNCESTON City is optimistic of adding to its points total as the V-League heads towards its conclusion.
City sits at the bottom of the table with two wins and a draw to its name but hosts second-bottom Glenorchy this weekend before a visit to recently confirmed champion South Hobart in the final round.
Coach Kurt Reynolds believes his side can halt its run of defeats and avenge the 4-1 loss from the sides’ last meeting.
‘‘We enter round 20 with a good opportunity to secure our next win,’’ Reynolds said.
‘‘Although Knights secured a 1-1 draw against Olympia last week, their form has been inconsistent in previous rounds.
‘‘Although statistics are not everything, we have two more opportunities to achieve some further milestones this season.’’
Reynolds said the inclusion of Shae Hickey in Knights’ line-up could be pivotal to the result. Nathan Bartlett, Nick Abougelis, Gukyeon Kim and captain Nathan Bartlett strengthen City’s squad while Dom Rossi is suspended.
‘‘Our focus at the back end of the season is to continue to work on our playing system and playing style. Recent weeks have seen good progress in this regard and we aim to take as many points as we can secure from the last two rounds.’’
Knights coach Chris Hey confirmed Hickey would replace Callen Grifffen who has work commitments.
‘‘I will make a determination on Saturday as to who I start up front between Vincent Kamano and Aaron Wilson, other than that, the remaining starting 11 will be as it was last week.
‘‘Launceston City have steadily improved and it appears Kurt Reynolds has managed to tighten his defence this last round, with some very close scoring results.
‘‘We have conceded six more goals than City in this last round and we are also behind in the scoring department, so this game will go down to the wire.
‘‘We sit four points clear but I would ideally like that to be 10 by the end of round 21.’’
Devonport City hosts Northern Rangers in a mid-table clash which Rangers coach Tim Lunnon maintains is important for his side.
‘‘This week is a big game for us, another Northern Derby,’’ he said.
‘‘Rangers have struggled to beat Devonport at home over the years so it is a great opportunity to tick that box this week.
‘‘As a group we are focused on getting sharper and being able to play with more intensity for greater periods.
‘‘There is also an outside chance of finishing third which would be a fantastic achievement if we could, so points this week are a must.’’
Lunnon said Aidan Rigby and Adam Edwards were getting better by the week.
Tilford and Kingborough kick-off the round at KGV tonight with Zebras coach Jed Donoghue wary of the Lions’ strength, pace and width.
‘‘It is very important to finish the Victory League season with positive performances,’’ he said, confirming that Kurt Engels remained out injured.
Nathaniel Taylor and Will Davis are unavailable for Lions coach Colin Robbins while Adam Hedge picked up some hamstring tightness last weekend and will also miss the game.
Olympia hosts South Hobart and Warriors coach Glen McNeill wanted to be first to congratulate Ken Morton’s men.
Emmanuel Tsakiris returns while Gus Rumney will play depending on concussion tests.
Morton was also taking pride in his team becoming the only national premier league club to win back-to-back premierships in Australia and expects to welcome Daniel Brown, Tom Roach, Chris Hunt and youngster Josh Williamson into the fray.
Tilford Zebras v Kingborough Lions, 8pm (KGV Football Park)
Launceston City v Glenorchy Knights, 2pm (Mitsubishi Park 1)
Devonport City v Northern Rangers, 2pm (Valley Road)
Olympia Warriors v South Hobart, 7pm (Warrior Park)