Exciting talent Josh benefits from elite Pride recruit
FEELING positive and backing his players to be more tactically aware.
Western Pride head coach Brian Hastings is confident his team is ready to go despite launching their season a week later than everyone else.
Weather permitting, Pride is scheduled to play Sunshine Coast in Sunday afternoon's Football Queensland Premier League 1 competition match at Kawana.
Although other FQPL1 sides started last weekend, Hastings was upbeat after his new-look squad of 22 came through a spate of recent trials unscathed.
"We've been very fortunate about injuries,'' he said.
"We've had a good preparation with our players.
"We've had five or six trials so it's been really, really positive.''
Among those were two pleasing efforts against last year's competition heavyweights Logan and South West Thunder.
"The players have bought into the process that I want them too . . . and they now believe in themselves,'' he said.
"It's up to the boys now to execute.''
Since taking over the head coaching role in the off-season, Hastings has been busy bringing new recruits into the established Pride network.
Among those is former Peninsula Power National Premier Leagues goalkeeper Jake Reesby who Hastings describes as an "absolute find''.
Although Reesby is unavailable for Sunday's match, he has been doing some terrific work with exciting Pride teenager Josh Boyle.
Boyle will guard the net if Sunday's game goes ahead. He played in more trials than his experienced mentor.
"Josh has really stepped up to a next level, which has been good,'' Hastings said.
"When he's had to fill the role, he's filled in very, very well.
"He's definitely a good understudy for Jake.
"I'm very, very happy with Josh.''
Another player who has impressed in the pre-season is midfielder William Assante, from the Coomera Colts.
"He's been outstanding . . . the find of the year at the moment,'' Hastings said.
Hastings praised his experienced senior players, including Mark Ingerson, Kelton Scriggins and Killian Flavin, for their extra pre-season commitment.
"The older boys have really helped in ushering in the younger boys,'' he said.
Pride regular Aidan Norris will join Ingerson, Scriggins and Flavin in this year's leadership group.
"We are a lot more tactically aware this year,'' the coach said.
"We've got the players. It's just a matter of making them do the job tactically and we're hoping to get results from it.''
Pride's first home game at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex is against the Southside Eagles on March 21.
Pride also have an FFA Cup match at their home base against South West Thunder scheduled for April 3.
Western Pride's women's NPL team are set to play QAS in their second round match on Saturday night.
The Pride women displayed plenty of attacking potential in their 6-3 loss to Moreton Bay United last weekend.
(subject to weather)
FQPL1: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich Knights v South West Qld Thunder at Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba.
Sunday (4.15pm): Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at Kawana.
BPL: Saturday (6pm): Western Spirit v The Gap at Walton Bridge Reserve.
CL1: Friday (8pm): Ipswich City Bulls v Ripley Valley at Sutton Park, Brassall.
NPLW: Saturday (6.30pm) - Western Pride v QAS at Meakin Park.