March 25, 2016
ADAM SMITH — The Mercury
THE Tigers won’t have to wait long for their chance to tick off another goal when they open the State League season against Hobart City today.
While four wins in their sophomore season — including stunning upsets against Clarence and Lauderdale — were beyond expectations, the Tigers are yet to sing their club song away from the Twin Ovals.
However, the opportunity to do so presents itself in round one against the Demons at North Hobart Oval today
While coach Adam Henley has lost two of his prime movers from 2015 to the AFL (Kieran Lovell and Mackenzie Willis) and another to the NEAFL (Stuart Donnelly), he refuses to make excuses and expects natural progression to assist the club in its climb up the TSL ladder.
“We have gone a different way of doing it, Ali de Winter (strength and conditioning coach) has been sensational for the boys, we are in ripping shape,” Henley said.
“We have also done some work with John Fletcher from leading teams, a program the AFL uses in building leadership and culture within a club.
“Those things should put us in good stead, along with natural progression.
“A lot of these guys have now played 35, 40 games.
“We have put time in for a couple of years, they have now had three pre-seasons under their belt, they are cherry ripe.
“We haven’t won away from home so there are lots of little goals we have to tick off. Winning away from home, that has been a focus for us and first round we get the opportunity to do that,” he said.
Henley expects some nerves from his young cubs but knows the way to team success will be each man pulling his weight.
“They have put in the hard work, we can tick that off; now it is about execution on game day and going out to enjoy it.
“Individually players have got to be up and ready to go for round one.”
Hobart City also has plenty to play for, with skipper Hugh Williams marking his 100th game for the Demons.
Hobart City is without key forward Julian Dobosz, who has moved on to the VFL, but has recuited well in Mitchell Koch from Cairns.