By Rafe Griffin – Co-editor
It’s acknowledged as the traditional way to start the pre-season, the Lions FC Silver Boot kicks off on Tuesday 20 January with all matches to be played at their stadium at Richlands.
16 teams will take part in the tournament, ten Brisbane Premier League clubs and six National Premier League teams.
Group A will be played on Tuesdays and comprises Olympic and Brisbane Strikers from the NPL with UQFC and Logan FC from the BPL.
Group B is on Wednesdays and features the NPL’s Brisbane City, the BPL’s Rochedale, Ipswich Knights and Capalaba.
A local derby flavour to Group C with close BPL neighbours Albany Creek and Mitchelton rounded out by the NPL’s Western Pride and Redlands. These matches to be played on Fridays in weeks one and three and Saturday in week two.
The hosts share Sunday night’s Group D with their fellow BPL teams Wolves and Easts, SWQ Thunder making the trip down the range as the NPL representative.
The round-robin group stages will occur over three weeks. The top teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals to be played on Wednesday 11 February and the Grand Final scheduled for Sunday 15 February.
QSN will be on hand to provide coverage of the tournament, including live audio broadcasts of selected matches. We will promote which matches will be broadcast on our social media platforms as the tournament progresses.
With the amount of player and coaching movement that has occurred in the off-season, it will be eagerly anticipated to see who will be in the playing squads. Our top five matches during the group tournament are:
- Tuesday 20 January, 8:30pm – Group A – Brisbane Strikers v Logan. Two clubs that have close ties with Logan being a feeder club to the Strikers.
- Tuesday 27 January, 6:30pm – Group A – Olympic v Brisbane Strikers. These two sides are expected to the benchmark of this year’s NPL, having both finished top four in the previous two seasons. Olympic will be keen to avenge their loss to the Strikers in the 2013 Silver Boot Grand Final.
- Wednesday 28 January, 8:30pm – Group B – Rochedale v Capalaba. There’s been a bit of an exchange of players between the two clubs in recent years. Many will be keen to see whether Rochedale can bounce back from a place on the ladder that’s not been seen too often in the club’s history while Capalaba were one of the most improved teams in the second half of 2014.
- Friday 30 January, 6:30pm – Group C – Albany Creek v Mitchelton. These two sides won’t meet until round 11 in the BPL so this will be a local derby that arrives early.
- Sunday 1 February – 5:00pm – Group D – Lions v Easts. Lions are the early hot tip for the BPL title but Easts were also a top four team last year and will want to strike an early psychological blow.
The full draw is:
Tuesday 20 January – 6:30pm Olympic v UQFC, 8:30pm Strikers v Logan
Tuesday 27 January – 6:30pm Olympic v Brisbane Strikers, 8:30pm UQFC v Logan
Tuesday 3 February – 6:30pm Olympic v Logan, 8:30pm UQFC v Brisbane Strikers
Wednesday 21 January – 6:30pm Brisbane City v Rochedale, 8:30pm Ipswich Knights v Capalaba
Wednesday 28 January – 6:30pm Brisbane City v Ipswich Knights, 8:30pm Rochedale v Capalaba
Wednesday 4 February – 6:30pm Brisbane City v Capalaba, 8:30pm Rochedale v Ipswich Knights
Friday 23 January – 6:30pm Albany Creek v Mitchelton, 8:30pm Western Pride v Redlands
Saturday 31 January – 5:00pm Albany Creek v Western Pride, 7:00pm Mitchelton v Redlands
Friday 6 February – 6:30pm Albany Creek v Redlands, 8:30pm Mitchelton v Western Pride
Sunday 25 January – 5:00pm Easts v SWQ Thunder, 7:00pm Lions v Wolves
Sunday 1 February- 5:00pm Wolves v SWQ Thunder, 7:00pm Lions v Easts
Sunday 8 February – 5:00pm Lions v SWQ Thunder, 7:00pm Wolves v Easts
Wednesday 11 February – 6:30pm Winner Group A v Winner Group B, 8:30pm Winner Group C v Winner Group D
Sunday 15 February – 5:00pm 3rd v 4th playoff, 7:00pm Grand Final