Football flair promoted: Knights 'on the front foot'
FOOTBALL: Positive play, positive approach, positive results.
That's the mantra valuable Ipswich Knights off-season recruit Corey Lucas is enjoying back at the Queensland Premier League club this season.
Preparing to face Mitchelton in the Knights' latest away match on Saturday night, Lucas has been managing an ankle injury.
However, the skilful defender hasn't missed any of the Knights' two wins, a draw and two losses in their productive start to this year's competition.
Having played at National Premier Leagues level for Western Pride and Moreton Bay United, Lucas welcomed the opportunity to work with head coach Andy Ogden, a former Coalstars midfielder who played with plenty of flair.
"Oggy wants us to move the ball and play with a bit of freedom so it's not too dissimilar to the (NPL) teams that I've been at,'' Lucas said.
"It's gone away from the traditional style of the Knights I guess.
"The last couple of seasons we've been scrapping in games and looking for a result.
"Where (now) we are on the front foot and expecting to be really positive.
"Every player has bought into it and that helps big time and Oggy was a pretty handy player in his day from all accounts.
"He wants to play that way and that's the way he believes the game should be played.''
As for how the Knights are tracking, former Ipswich Grammar School student Lucas offered an honest appraisal.
"I think it's pretty good so far,'' he said. "It's what we expected and probably the game we drew (1-1 with Wynnum), we probably should have won.
"And the game against Holland Park we should have won that one as well.
"They were quite disappointing those two results.''
But what Lucas appreciates most is how the Knights are backing themselves this season.
"It's good that we are thinking like that rather than just competing,'' Lucas, 22, said.
"We are winning games and we expect to win games now.
"It's been very good.''
Lucas said that came from Ogden's coaching approach and knowing the players up front are capable of scoring.
"It's positive going forward in the way we are moving the ball and knowing that there's going to be a result at the end of it,'' he said. "That gives us a lot of confidence.''
Lucas has been linking in the Knights' solid defensive line with club captain Jack Cabassi, Robbie Baker and Ben Taylor.
Taylor will miss Saturday night's match due to overseas work commitments.
Striker Nick Edwards is in doubt with a tender ankle after copping a kick.
Midfielder Eyale Teshager (hamstring) is still out, stretching the Knights' depth this weekend.
However, Ogden is keen for under-20 forward speedster Jack Mcgrath to step up with another player of the future Matt White this weekend.
"We get an opportunity to see if the young blokes can play,'' Ogden said.
The Knights are also looking ahead to their first FFA Cup match against the Coomera Colts on April 13.
Meanwhile, Western Pride's NPL team head to the Gold Coast on Saturday for their latest clash after a 5-0 mid-week loss to competition leaders Peninsula Power.
Pride are drawn to play Noosa Lions in their opening FFA Cup encounter on April 13 at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
The Pride women return home on Sunday afternoon, looking to rebound against Sunshine Coast after their 6-0 midweek catch-up match loss to The Gap.
NPL: Saturday (5pm) - Western Pride v Gold Coast United at Tallebudgera.
NPL women: Sunday (3pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
QPL: Saturday (7pm) - Ipswich Knights v Mitchelton at Teralba Park.
CL1: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich City v Pine Hills at James Drysdale Reserve. Sunday (5pm): Western Spirit v AC Carina at Kippen Park.
CL3: Saturday (6pm) - Ripley Valley v Logan at Compton Park.
BWPL: Saturday (5.15pm) - Ipswich City v Coomera at Sutton Park.