Heat to be felt at Perry Park

IMG_4807FNQ Heat fullback Shaun Owens says the support of the club’s dedicated fans could be the deciding factor in Saturday’s NPL Queensland Grand Final.

Heat travel to Perry Park in Brisbane for the end-of-season decider against Redlands United, however, they won’t be alone with at least 100 Heat supporters anticipated to attend the match to cheer on their local heroes.

Owens said in big matches a parochial crowd can make all the difference – and there are few games bigger than a Grand Final.

“If you look at the Semi-Final we won against the Gold Coast on the weekend, I think if that was played without the supporters cheering us on that might have been a different result,” the fullback explained.

“It was a really good crowd there and it’s really good that people are dedicated and passionate enough to now fly down for this game.”

“The hype around us being in the Grand Final is huge. I’ve never seen us on the television and in the newspapers this much, so we’re really getting noticed.”

Amongst the Heat faithful – billed by the club as the ‘orange army’ – will be a contingent of one-eyed Owen supporters.

“My partner’s coming, my parents are coming and my brother’s coming. It’s going to be great.”

Owens said he doesn’t believe he and his teammates will suffer for the travel down to the Queensland capital, with the club clocking up a huge number of air-miles since the competition’s first season in 2013. 

“I think we’re one of the most travelled semi-professional teams in the country. It’s something we do every second week.”

“When I play football I jump on a plane for two hours to go to Brisbane and then I come back. It’s really just part of the procedure now.”

With expectations and support high, Owens stressed the team is determined to win their first title, however, that failing to do so doesn’t mean the achievement of simply making the Grand Final should be overshadowed.

“We have a lot less resources than some of the other clubs and it’s harder logistically for us, but we’ve shown now that we can make it happen.”

“I think it’s really good for us to have done as well as we have done and it’s great that there’s boys in the team that have been here from the start when Heat finished down the bottom of the table.”

“They’ve been training three nights a week for four years for this, so it’s going to be huge for them especially.”

Owens added that he expects the match, like the three previous NPL Queensland Grand Finals, to be decided by a slim margin.

“It’s a bit cut-throat in a Grand Final – one mistake or one goal can decide it – but that’s what it’s all about,” he concluded.

NPL Queensland 2016 Grand Final

FNQ Heat v Redlands United FC
Saturday, September 3  – Kickoff 6:00PM
Perry Park, Brisbane

Admission – $5 (adults), $2 (concession), free (Under 16)

Watch via LIVE STREAM with Facebook Live at fb.com/nplqld