Launceston has its second TSL road trip to Hobart in two weeks

Launceston coach Sam Lonergan
Launceston coach Sam Lonergan

Launceston coach Sam Lonergan believes the work the club has put in to prepare its players for their second successive road trip to Hobart will stand them in good stead for their Hobart City game on Saturday.

The Blues boast a better win-loss record on the road than at home this season and are coming off a win at Kingborough over the Tigers.

“I think we’ve prepared them really well and we’ve managed them over the last month to get them up and going for this block of games so I think they should be right and ready to go,” Lonergan said.

“Hobart City have got some real excitement about their footy side and they are obviously a relatively quick footy team so if you get caught on the hop they will make you pay out the back fairly quickly.

“So we are definitely going to be wary of that and the way they play footy.

“If they get up and going they play a very attractive game of footy for them and hard to play against so we need to get on top early and control the game.

“We’ve won three out of our four games on the road and lost one and won one at home so we are relatively confident travelling.

“But it’s just with our young guys it will be the first time a lot of them have experienced the back-to-back travel and how they are feeling.

“But as a club and a coaching group we have prepared them really well and they should be right to go.”

Lonergan said it was unfortunate they would have to make changes to last week’s winning team due to Mariners and independent school football.

He said he pulled up OK after last week’s game but wouldn’t know how his body was until he got out on game day.

His dissatisfaction with his own form has led him to pull out of the state representative squad this week.

“You can do all the stuff mid-week and feel really good but in the past few weeks in the first ten minutes I have struggled at times with repeat efforts.

“I have told Anthony Taylor I don’t feel I’m ready for that next level of representative footy at the moment because out of the first six rounds I have probably put together one game of footy.

“For me to just coast on through based on what I’ve done in the past rather than what I can give to the team and other players – that is not me as a person.

“But there’s no doubt if I play good footy in the next two weeks and pull up well then if that opens up a spot or something happens then it is in AFL Tas and Ant Taylor’s control then.

“They’re not waiting on things but if there is clarity in terms playing really well and they’re outside their squad of 46, they will allow those players to come in and be in consideration.

“If I manage to pull a few games together and pull up really well and do that then that’s in their hands and they have control to dictate what’s right and wrong.

“That’s what I’d expect if I was a coach – for players to give the coach back the control and not for players to have the control.”