Coach steps up when Pride needed most
ONE of Ipswich's most experienced coaches knows it's a balancing act recruiting new players and looking after those keen to learn.
However, before the current sporting shutdown, Ian Carson accepted the challenge at Western Pride to assist the next generation improve their football.
Carson stepped in to help develop the Pride under-18 girls playing in this year's National Premier Leagues competition.
The Pride girls lost all four matches before the NPL was suspended as part of the national strategy to reduce coronavirus spreading.
Having coached the teenagers in their past two matches, Carson acknowledged it had been a testing time for the players and the club, especially after Pride's senior NPL women's team had to withdraw this season.
However, the former Ipswich Knights and Ipswich City Bulls coach offered to help with a longer-term goal in mind.
"We're trying to get more players involved, a bit more experience,'' he said.
"But it's difficult with that age group because in 18s, you don't have a lot of experience at that level.
"We're just trying to get the girls to start thinking at a different level - understand what they need to do and give them things to work harder on.''
Most of the players are aged 15 or 16 with just three having previous NPL experience.
A positive is seeing youngsters from the Ipswich region trying to better themselves in higher level football.
Carson has previously coached Ipswich Knights senior men's teams and had success with the Ipswich City Bulls during the past two Brisbane Women's Premier League seasons.
He's working with former A-League coach and Pride technical director Mike Mulvey.
"That's what we are looking at,'' Carson said. "To try and see where we are at . . . what we need to bring to the table and what we've got on the table and try to give the girls that we do have a bit more confidence.''
Carson was planning to get on with the job when the NPL season resumes.
"It's not all about the result now,'' the astute coach said.
"It's all about grafting away and playing tough football. And trying to get better every week. Just learn from their mistakes.
"If we want to play at that level, we have to get better.
"Right at this moment, we need to grow.''