Five things…. from NPL Queensland round 7

THE EMPEROR’S (NEW) GROOVE

Well it’s not really a new groove for Olympic, it’s just taken them a few weeks to get into the form that they’ve shown in making both NPL Grand Finals.

After the weekend, Olympic top the charts on goal difference over their Friday night opponents, Brisbane Strikers and in the process also became the first side to defeat the Perry Park-based side in 2015. Olympic are now on a six match unbeaten streak, including four wins in a row.

The sour note though was having Matt Mundy sent off in the match’s dying embers with his side holding a comfortable 3-1 lead against a ten-man Strikers. Mundy will miss the FFA Cup match midweek against Redlands.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

It seems as though the Darling Downs agrees with the Thunder. After conceding eleven goals in the previous two weeks with road trips to Cairns and Townsville, they kept the reigning Premiers, Palm Beach, goalless in the first half in their return home on Saturday night.

OK, the Thunder did go on to concede three second half goals and still haven’t been able to improve on their early season draw against the Roar in terms of collecting points for the ladder but coach Chris Wilkes was praiseworthy of his side’s effort saying post-match that they got stuck in and gave it their all. At the end of the day for a development squad, that’s all a coach can ask for.

They’re again in Toowoomba this weekend against the struggling Redlands and the Thunder will back themselves to collect their first ever NPL win (for the second time round) after pushing Redlands all the way in their lone encounter last year.

THREE’S A CHARM

Three goals made it three wins in a row over the weekend for the Sunshine Coast, putting them into the top four. Although they should have iced the game much earlier, Redlands scoring two goals within four minutes late in the match. Thanks boys for keeping the game interesting in the last ten minutes for the neutral but your coaching staff and supporters needed heart checks after the match.

A curious encounter looms this weekend in what shapes up as a very even encounter against Western Pride in Ipswich. Fire sit in fourth while Pride are in fifth, both on thirteen points though. Can you have an early semi-final after only eight rounds? The three points will be valuable for both sides, shaping as a match that could determine which of these sides goes onto play in the finals.

POSITION VACANT?

Good dictation skills? Neat handwriting? There may be a job waiting for you.

Referee Michael Bozhoff has completed plenty of paperwork recently and might need some help to avoid repetitive strain injuries. He was the referee in charge when Western Pride had two players sent off in their 12-0 loss to the Roar before Easter.

In another match involving the Pride and Bozhoff on Saturday night, it was the FNQ Heat who had two players sent off, according to media reports, in controversial circumstances.

Apply within.

JETS GROUNDED

Not many people initially took much notice when the Moreton Bay Jets match was postponed over the weekend. After all, it had been well documented that their home base of Wolter Park had suffered pitch damage after a crane tore deep grooves into the playing surface when new light towers were erected.

However, eyebrows began to be raised when it was realised that the game couldn’t have been postponed due to the field condition. Senior Womens, Youth Womens and Youth Mens games went ahead at the ground over the weekend.

So was the reason for the postponement of the Senior Mens match due to two key players being in Dubai for the Football 5 World Championships over the weekend? Moreton Bay won their way through to the tournament as Australia’s representatives after winning a qualification tournament earlier this year. A seven-man squad, including senior players Thomas Mendy and Luke Borean, took part in the finals over the weekend.

The NPL’s rules and regulations are pretty open when it comes to the deferral of matches, sections 3.2 and 3.5 give Football Queensland wide discretion:

3.2 Each request for alteration to scheduled fixtures will be determined on its merits.

3.5 Football Queensland’s decision in regards to the rescheduling of fixtures will be final.

Does having two players out of the squad justify the disruption to the competition though?

As some have pointed out, a glut of fixtures could have a detrimental affect on the Jets later in the season. They are now the only side to have two deferred matches to catch-up on (SWQ Thunder and Brisbane Roar). Add in possible FFA Cup commitments, which on current form they could feature heavily in and the second half of the season could provide a heavy workload.

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