FOR THE FANS: Western Pride fans will be shouting their lungs out trying to get their team home in Saturday night's match against Brisbane Strikers at Perry Park.
FOR THE FANS: Western Pride fans will be shouting their lungs out trying to get their team home in Saturday night's match against Brisbane Strikers at Perry Park. Chris Simpson

Famous Ipswich tenacity needed during nervous sporting wait

OPINION

AS Western Pride footballers go through their final warm-up on Saturday afternoon, some of the city's most dedicated officials and loyal fans will be nervously watching on.

Years of vision, hopes and ultimately commitment have gone into building Ipswich's first state league soccer club.

However, anything but victory over the Brisbane Strikers at Perry Park on Saturday night will send a shiver of uncertainty around the ground and back in Ipswich.

It's hard to comprehend what next season will be like if Western Pride is relegated to the Queensland Premier League competition.

That is of course not the end of the football world. The Ipswich Knights have enjoyed a promising season in the QPL, developing some fine future talent.

However, while the prospect of having Pride play the Knights in 2020 local derbies may appeal to some football followers, it would be a backward step for the game in our proud sporting city.

People like Todd Hunt and Kym Wickstein have devoted countless hours to laying the foundation for a progressive state league club.

General manager Pat Boyle, patron Gary Wilkins, a number of proud Ipswich families and an array of quality coaches had given so much time and energy to lifting Pride.

Who can forget Pride winning the 2017 National Premier Leagues grand final before an ecstatic crowd at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex?

Yet the risk on Saturday night is that Pride could fall from the pedestal where it belongs and is left to navigate some choppy waters.

All a loyal fan can do is wish the boys well and urge them to find something special within.

They have shown in recent weeks they have the attacking ability under coach Terry Kirkham.

They just need to harness Ipswich's never-give-in spirit and provide another chapter of tenacity in Pride's footballing history.