By Merson Kean (@mersonk1)
There’s been plenty of player movement as well as plenty of rumours abounding in the past few weeks which makes for an entertaining season ahead. The draw was released by Football Brisbane in recent days where all twelve sides realised the various paths they have ahead of them for glory, here is our take on the draw.
Last year’s Premiers, Lions FC will face Rochedale Rovers in the opening week of the season, a match that has been labelled the ‘Bromance Derby’ in recent times with former Peninsula co-coaches, Warren Moon and Scott MacNicol, in charge of their respective clubs for the second season.
Peninsula Power have been strengthening in the off season, particularly up-front in picking up formidable goalscorer Kado Aoci from Lions FC and Charles Mendy from the NPL’s Moreton Bay, the pacey Frenchman has been terrorising defences in that competition over the past two seasons. Power will open their campaign when they travel to St Lucia to face a tricky UQFC side.
Newly promoted Holland Park Hawks will open their campaign against Mitchelton in what looks a tasty encounter on paper with both sides being more accustomed to the lower divisions of Brisbane football in recent times.
North Pine are another club making their Premier League return and their opening test will come against Geoff Hurford’s Capalaba Bulldogs, a team that made great strides under his stewardship late last season. This game looks set to be a thriller at Bob Brock Park.
In the other two games in the opening week, Easts will open up at home to Nick Croyden’s Logan Lightning who have brought in a whole host of foreign imports from as far afield as Sweden, Spain and the United States while Albany Creek make the long trip to Eric Evans Oval to take on the Ipswich Knights who will be looking to make home advantage count.
Other matches that shape as ones not to miss in the first half of the season are:
Round 2 – PENINSULA v NORTH PINE
Derby day in the north as these two clubs meet again in competitive action for the first time since 2012.
Round 5 – LIONS FC v PENINSULA
Repeat of the 2015 Premier League Grand Final in what should offer up a feisty encounter. This will also mark Kado Aoci’s first return to Lions Stadium.
Round 5 – ROCHEDALE v LOGAN
The M1 Derby never fails to disappoint as a spectacle. If previous seasons are any indicator, the full 90 minutes will be required to determine the result.
Round 9 – MITCHELTON v ALBANY CREEK
Always a derby well worth watching and last year threw up an outstanding seven goal thriller in FFA Cup Qualifying.
The full draw can be located here: http://bit.ly/1OJXdFT