Ipswich Knights striker Nick Edwards is looking to continue his recent goal scoring form when the Football Queensland Premier League season kicks off this weekend. Picture: Gary Reid
Ipswich Knights striker Nick Edwards is looking to continue his recent goal scoring form when the Football Queensland Premier League season kicks off this weekend. Picture: Gary Reid

Game time changed: Knights now off to new venue

HAVING prepared to launch their latest season at home, the Ipswich Knights will now play Mitchelton away on Sunday night.

The Football Queensland Premier League game will be at 6pm after initially being scheduled for 7.30pm on Friday night at Bundamba.

Despite the change due to the wet weather,  the focus will be on more than winning games.

After a pleasing pre-season blending newcomers into the side, head coach Andy Ogden has finalised a captain and leadership group with extra responsibilities.

"We had a team vote and elected a leadership group and then we also had a team vote and elected a captain,'' Ogden said

Josh Wilson was appointed team captain in a leadership contingent featuring Ben Taylor, Ben Barratt, Matthew Haspels, Kalen Fisher-Smith, Nick Piper and Nick Edwards.

"What we are looking for is this leadership group to help steer the seniors - like the 18s, 23s and the first team - to be good people, be professionals in what we do and also we want to connect the club.

"It going to come from the players, not from me driving it.

"It's a really good group of guys actually.''

LEADING GOALS: Knights players stepping up

Ipswich Knights captain Josh Wilson. Picture: Nev Madsen
Ipswich Knights captain Josh Wilson. Picture: Nev Madsen

As for how his team is starting a new season, Ogden said: "We are as ready as we will be.

"No-one is absolutely 100 per cent game fit but the squad is in a good place.''

Although beating Mitchelton in one of their promising trials, Ogden said his team could forget about that result against one of the teams vying for promotion this season.

But he was overall encouraged by how his squad has gelled with some new faces.

"When you lose so many like we did last year, I was worried a little bit that the dynamics aren't going to be the same,'' Ogden said.

"But I'm really, really happy with the way the team is performing and the camaraderie is really, really good.''

After a comfortable 6-0 win over the Ipswich City Bulls, the Knights beat Gold Coast Premier League side Palm Beach 4-0 in their final trial.

The goalscorers were Darryl Barton, Nick Edwards and Lucky Joe.

"That's basically our starting front three who got among the goals,'' Ogden said.

Last year's FQPL goalkeeper of the year Zayne Freiberg is expected to play for the Knights under-23s in their season opener on Sunday as he recovers from a recent injury.

Ogden has been pleased how keeper Luke Kindness has performed, stepping up in recent weeks.

"Luke has done nothing wrong and Zayno understands,'' the coach said.

The Ipswich Knights squad: Zayne Freiberg, Ben Taylor, Ben Barratt, Nick Piper, Mitsuda Masahiro, Fumiya Sono, Darryl Barton, Josh Wilson, Lucky Joe, Mitch Herrmann, Nic Edwards, Matthew Haspels, Kalen Fisher-Smith, Fiston Chungu, Flyn Park, Darren Barton, Edgar Harvey, Will Kitching, Jordan Simpson, Luke Kindness, Nathan Singam, Josh Holden, Harry Hunter, Alex Golding.

The Western Pride men have a bye in the opening round of FQPL fixtures.

However, Pride's National Premier Leagues women's side launch their season of promise against Moreton Bay United at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Saturday afternoon.

That is also subject to the weather with the fields closed by Ipswich Council on Thursday.

Fresh from their 4-2 victory in their Brisbane Premier League debut last weekend, Western Spirit are scheduled to tackle Brisbane Knights away on Friday night.

In the latest Capital League 1 matches, Ripley Valley host Annerley on Saturday night having also won their debut match 4-1 against New Farm last weekend.

The Ipswich City Bulls open their 2021 season against Moggill away on Saturday night after having a first-round bye.

GAME DAY

FQPL Sunday (6pm): Ipswich Knights v Mitchelton at Teralba Park, Mitchelton.

BPL Friday night (8.30pm): Western Spirit v Brisbane Knights at Brisbane Knights.

NPLW Saturday (4pm): Western Pride v Moreton Bay United at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

CL1 Saturday (7pm): Ripley Valley v Annerley at Ironbark Park, South Ripley; Ipswich City Bulls v Moggill at Bellbowrie Sports Club.