Five Things… NPL Queensland – Round 9

CONCESSIONS

Not sure what we’re to make of Brisbane City at the moment. A change in coaching set-up doesn’t appear to be bringing results on the park despite improved playing performances and the team giving their best efforts.

So what is it? Squad talent isn’t an issue, Antonio Murray was the 2013 league’s Golden Boot; Koh Satake played in the A-League; Curran Ferns has played at the National Youth League level and Matt Stein has been in the Queensland Academy of Sport system amongst a host of other established players in the squad.

So it seems it can only be put down to a lack of confidence. Too often they are conceding first in a match and after a winless season to date, trying to come back from behind is going to be a killer, compounding the issues of trying to gain a result.

HOT AND COLD

It must be a little frustrating for those involved at the FNQ Heat at the moment. With the performance they put in against Olympic on the weekend, it’s hard to fathom how they have been unable to string back-to-back wins so far this year.

Coach Martin Docherty made some decisive moves on the weekend in his defence who had the fourth worst record in the league going into that match. Centre back James Price was dropped to the bench while Nick Mooney played in between the sticks taking the place of Kevin Ward. Sunday’s backline of Shimon Watanabe, Tamas Maffey-Stumpe, Josh Jennison and Josh Pin adequately contained the potent Olympic attacking threats of Danny Byrne, Tim Smits, Rhys Meredith and Michael Lee.

Alex Smith and Jamie Carroll continued their goal-scoring prowess, sitting first and second respectively in the Golden Boot standings in a Heat attack that has scored the second most goals in the competition. They need to replicate Sunday’s defensive effort though to push for finals football.

JETS JUGGERNAUT

So is the Jets juggernaut unstoppable? Undefeated and two points clear on top with a game in hand on their nearest rivals as the competition heads into the mid-point of the season. It’s easy to see why that is the case with the league’s best attacking record and second best defence.

Second game in a row they’ve conceded the first goal before using the prowess of a forward line containing Jordan Farina, Royce Brownlie and Charles Mendy to overpower their opponents.

This week, they came up against the team with the best defence in terms of conceding goals in last year’s Premiers, Palm Beach which just happens to pit brothers against brother on the coaching benches. Which Piddock will have the bragging rights on Saturday afternoon?

ON THE BRINK

The Thunder just seems to be oh so close to cracking it for that elusive first-ever league win. After a couple of disappointing performances in trips to Far North and North Queensland, the most recent performance against third placed Sunshine Coast Fire left coach Chris Wilkes again full of praise for his side, going down narrowly 2-1.

With a bit of luck going their way, the Thunder will get that win. It could have almost come on the weekend if not for the efforts of Fire keeper Dale Hill who saved a crucial penalty while the Thunder also conceded an own goal.

DEVILS STING IS BACK

What a difference a few players can make, it seems. After claiming the big scalp of Olympic in the FFA Cup, Redlands finally notched up their first 2015 league win over the weekend against Brisbane City.

The return of Nico Bechar and the addition of Australian Schoolboys representative, Lyndon Dykes have livened up the attack. Elliott Ronto thrived in that environment, scoring twice and the confidence levels must now be at an all-time high amongst the squad.

At the other end of the park, the defence has been strengthened with off-season recruit, Matt Lyell, seeing match action after recovering from injury, just the one goal conceded in their past two competitive matches.

Gaining a finals berth would seem to be a struggle at this point as they sit nine points off fourth placed Olympic but the benchmark has now been set for the remainder of the season and if the results keep coming, and those tight losses and draws against the current top four teams are turned around, anything could be possible.

NPL live coverage this weekend:

Saturday 6pm – Brisbane Strikers v SWQ Thunder – Football Queensland Live Steam

Sunday 3pm – Olympic v Northern Fury – QSN Radio

Advertisements