Northern Tasmania is poised to play a major role in the business end of the state’s major soccer cup competition.
Both Lakoseljac Cup semi-finals will be played in Launceston on Saturday with the city also a strong candidate to host the final.
In what looms as a massive day for both major footy codes, Launceston City takes on South Hobart and Northern Rangers welcome Devonport either side of the State League derby summit meeting between Launceston and the Northern Bombers at Windsor Park.
Football Federation Tasmania has avoided the semi-finals running simultaneously and is already planning where the final may be played, depending on who goes through.
Competitions coordinator Andrew Cooling said if South Hobart progresses, KGV in Glenorchy would be the most likely venue, but if City and Devonport are both successful the final will be played somewhere in the North, after consultation with both clubs.
If City and Rangers both win their semis, Launceston will stage a derby final with FFT looking at either Riverside Olympic’s Windsor Park or Launceston United’s Birch Avenue bases as a likely neutral venue.
Both have undergone major clubhouse redevelopments in recent times with Olympic’s official opening just a week ago.
Cooling also confirmed that UTAS Stadium “would be an option” if a Northern side won the competition and secured a home draw in the FFA Cup, particularly if it was an A-League opponent.
However, FFT is understood to favour clubs using home venues wherever possible following the success of Devonport’s recent FFA Cup fixtures at Valley Road.
It is understood Northern Rangers also floated the possibility of staging their semi-final on Friday night, but FFT is reluctant to schedule evening fixtures that involve a team travelling from outside the host city.
Aside from Devonport City’s victory in 2016, Southern clubs have dominated the Lakoseljac Cup for the past decade.
Launceston City made four consecutive finals between 2004-07, winning twice, while Northern Rangers lost the 2009 decider to Clarence. South Hobart has won half of the last 10 competitions (2008, ’10-11, ’14-15) with Olympia winning twice (2013 and ’17) and Glenorchy Knights in 2012. Olympic and Knights have won the competition most often (seven each).
- 1pm Launceston City v South Hobart (Prospect)
- 4.30pm Northern Rangers v Devonport (NTCA2)