Lions Silver Boot Preview

The traditional pre-season competition returns to Lions Stadium as the Silver Boot once again appears on the preparation schedule of most Brisbane clubs.

All Brisbane Premier League clubs, with the exception of Albany Creek, will compete in the competition as well as 3 of the top 4 2013 NPL sides. 2013 late season NPL improvers, Western Pride and newcomers to the NPL senior mens’ competition, South-West Queensland Thunder make up the compliment of participating sides.

Each side is guaranteed at least 3 pool matches while the winners of each group will have 5 matches in which to determine combinations and line-ups for the season proper.

16 teams will participate in the competition broken into 4 groups.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Rochedale Easts Peninsula Brisbane Force
Brisbane Strikers Western Pride South-West Qld Thunder Brisbane City
Logan Lightning Olympic Wolves Lions
University of Queensland North Star Ipswich Knights Capalaba

The top 5 must-see pool matches of the competition appear to be:

Rochedale v Brisbane Strikers – Tuesday 21 January 6:30pm

These two clubs have a close relationship through their feeder club arrangement and a number of ex-Rochedale figures have joined the Strikers in 2014. Long-time Rovers assistant coach, Ken Armstrong will be joined by Keenan Duimpies, Chris Burley and Chris Maher at Perry Park this season.

Darren Gray and Terry Hughes have also left the club for greener pastures so this match will be an early opportunity to take a look at a new-look Rochedale squad.

Peninsula v SWQ Thunder – Saturday 25 January 5:00pm

This will be the first look at the newcomers of the NPL and it will be a tough test as they face the 2013 BPL Champions and Canale Cup winners. We all know Peninsula’s credentials and Thunder will be out to prove theirs after featuring in the 2013 NPL Under 20 Grand Final which they ultimately lost to Brisbane City.

Western Pride v Olympic – Wednesday 5 February 6:30pm

Olympic took all before them in the 2013 NPL season but if there was one thorn in their side, it was Western Pride. Pride almost inflicted the first loss on the Premiers mid-season but got their revenge in the final round prevailing 5-4 winners in a thrilling match, capping off an impressive 2nd half of their NPL season. This match will also be the only all-NPL match during the group match phase.

Wolves v Peninsula – Friday 7 February 8:30pm

The fiercest of rivals on the pitch, it’s always a not-to-miss when these 2 clubs face each other. Wolves will be looking to exact some revenge after going winless against Peninsula in 4 matches in 2013. Peninsula’s most recent defeat of their arch-rivals was in the semi-final of the 2013 BPL season, knocking Wolves out of the Grand Final race.

Lions v Brisbane City – Sunday 9 February 7:00pm

Both sides will be looking for revenge in their respective leagues after being losing Grand Finalists last year so on that basis alone, it should be a high quality match.  Going along with that is the history of being two former National Soccer League clubs.

The winners of each group will play in the semi-finals and the victors of those semis winners will meet in the decider. The two losing semi-finalists will have the opportunity of another match in a 3rd vs 4th playoff.