How Knights have bolstered 2019 premier league hopes
IPSWICH Knights head coach Andy Ogden was glowing with excitement having Corey Lucas back at the Premier League club.
Having also signed some other professional footballers recently, Ogden was clearly enjoying the Knights' pre-season preparation.
"Corey was my number one (target) and we were pretty lucky to get him,'' Ogden said of his recruiting priorities.
"He's left-footed, six foot four, central defender . . . . everything you want and I know he can play.
"He's played at a great level.''
After National Premier Leagues stints with Western Pride and Moreton Bay United, Ipswich product Lucas has been training at his former club for a couple of weeks.
"Even what we've done pre-season, he just looks quality and he's fitted in so smoothly,'' the coach said.
"He's enjoying himself, big smile on his face.''
Ogden was also delighted to have secured Jack Cabassi from Souths and ex-Southside Eagles defender Ben Taylor.
"Last year, early on we had defence deficiencies,'' Ogden said. "Our first three major signings have been defenders.''
The Knights have also picked up a Northern Territory NPL player named Balinho, injecting some extra spark.
With eight of last year's senior squad returning and some exciting youth talent, Ogden said everything was progressing well.
"I'm very happy,'' he said, pleased to have retained other reputable Ipswich players like Lincoln Rule and regulars like Emmanuel Peter, James Exon-Taylor and Dave Maclot.
"The enthusiasm and the want for training has been fantastic.''
The Knights have been back training for a few weeks on Monday and Wednesday nights leading up to the Christmas break.
"It's not been heavy because our season has been put back a month,'' Ogden said.
Next year's Football Queensland Premier League competition will start after the NPL kicks off earlier.
"So we've tailored our program a little bit to suit that,'' the Ipswich football stalwart said.
The Knights have also introduced an app to monitor what the players are doing.
"It's working out well,'' Ogden said, preparing for his team's latest session.