How Knights are developing an improved team balance
STABILITY, youth and a sense of playing as a team. The Ipswich Knights have the right ingredients to continue their steady Queensland Premier League progression.
For Knights assistant coach and teacher Lucas Wilson, that's a major positive, resulting in deserved rewards for the Ipswich club's footballers.
"We're making progress and that's where we've got a young squad and they are developing,'' Lucas said after his team's most recent 2-1 victory over Sunshine Coast.
"Particularly on the weekend, they exceeded our expectations with what they can do, so it's very pleasing.''
Lucas watched a number of the current young guns playing under-16 football when he was in Ipswich's Premier League side. He's delighted to see youth players like Robbie Baker, Matt White, Jack Mcgrath and Murray Thistlewaite stepping up this season.
Preparing for tonight's home match against Sunshine Coast, Wilson is enjoying his second season working with head coach Andy Ogden.
Club stalwarts Ogden and Wilson are being assisted by managers David Kreis and Peter Hallett, as well as under-20 coach Bob Maclot and Lucas' brother and club president Danny, who is guiding the Knights' under-18 side.
"Stability at the top end makes life a lot easier,'' Lucas said, pleased with this year's Knights club after some previous coaching issues.
Team-minded Ogden has encouraged the players of the future to seize their opportunities with both feet.
"They are a tight knit group and I suppose that's also been evident on the weekend,'' Wilson said.
"The boys enjoy each other's company. They go out in a social setting as well and that means they have got more ability to work for each other on the pitch. And the positive is by developing that tightness they're getting the rewards for that attitude.''
With accomplished players like club captain Jack Cabassi, Lachlan Munn, Ben Taylor, Corey Lucas and Lincoln Rule, Wilson said the 2019 Knights side compared favourably to last season.
"There's a little bit more balance and certainly more depth,'' he said. "And the further development of those under-20 players as well is adding to the depth of the squad.
"Whereas last year we probably had a bare 11. Now we've got 16, 17, 18 in the squad to get something out of.''
Tonight's main game at Eric Evans Reserve is at 6pm after the under-20 clash at 4pm.
Wilson expects a tougher encounter in the return clash against the Sunshine Coast.
"They're a very good unit,'' the St Edmund's College teacher said.
"In the first 10 minutes of that game, they bossed us around and played some really nice football.
"It's about us being able to combat that but also we were able to stretch them in patches. We grew into the game, which is really positive for us.''
QPL: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich Knights v Sunshine Coast at Eric Evans Reserve.
CL1: Saturday (6pm) - Western Spirit v Samford at Samford. Sunday (5.15pm): Ipswich City v New Farm at Sutton Park.
CL3: Sunday (3pm) - Springfield v Redcliffe at Talobilla Park. 6pm: Ripley Valley v Logan Roar at Oates Park.