NPL Tasmania | Round 2

Launceston City midfielder Andy Compagne.
Launceston City midfielder Andy Compagne.

LAUNCESTON City coach Luke Brookfield says his charges are upbeat about heading to Valley Road on Saturday for a showdown with reigning champions Devonport Strikers.

The Prospect-based City eked out at 1-1 home draw against Kingborough Lions last week – a game Brookfield said they should have won.

“Yeah if I'm honest, the boys were in a state of shock as to how we didn't win it,” he said.

“But to come back and grab a point has led to an upbeat atmosphere at training. We've come out unscathed.”

Brookfield said improvement was needed in shot accuracy with several opportunities going begging last week either side of Irish recruit Dylan O’Connor’s strike. He said staying focused was also a key.

“I won't give away any tactics but we'll go out there knowing we can take it right to them,” Brookfield said.

“Devonport look like a team who play attractive football and an open game to boot.”

The Strikers drew 2-2 with Hobart Zebras with coach Chris Gallo confirming no changes to the line-up as he chases “stability and familiarity”.

“I’m not sure yet if we can push for the title, but the good thing about this side is that they are so ambitious, young and mobile,” he said.

“They’re really eager and hungry to prove themselves as individuals and a collective, so I don’t think there is any limit on us.”

Kingborough Lions face Olympia FC also on Sunday, while South Hobart host Northern Rangers on Sunday at Darcy Street with Rangers boss Lino Sciulli predicting a tough fight.

“It’s going to be a tough season but we have a good bunch of boys, but it probably wouldn’t hurt if we had a couple of bigger bodied people around,” Sciulli said.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re a good side, we will need to defend well.”

South Hobart coach Ken Morton said he was pleased with the powerhouse’s opening round 3-0 win over Olympia.

However, he said the three points meant nothing if they did not keep winning.

“I watched Rangers on Monday against Clarence, they have some quality players in there, especially young (Harry) Thannhauser who impresses all the time,” Morton said. 

“I thought Jin (Seong Young) was very lively on the wing, he wanted to get round people and put the crosses in.”