Ipswich hosting historic football encounter this weekend
BRISBANE Roar Academy director Drew Sherman expects some future A-League footballers to showcase their skills at Bundamba on Sunday after a national Y-League match was transferred to Ipswich.
In one of the biggest games being played in Ipswich in recent years, Brisbane Roar's youth side will take on Adelaide United in the round 3 Y-League match.
The encounter was originally scheduled to be played at the Logan Football Complex.
However, Ipswich regional football fans now have a chance to watch the clash at Eric Evans Reserve, the home base of the Ipswich Knights Football Club.
Keen for his team to secure its second win of the new season, Sherman was pleased Ipswich was chosen as a venue for such an important youth contest.
"We are the only professional club in Queensland and it's important we represent areas across the whole state,'' Sherman said.
"Ipswich is an area that we have had a lot of fans come from and players come from as well, so it's important for us to make sure that we engage with that area. And to bring a Y-League game out there and showcase the next generation of Brisbane Roar players is something that we're really excited about.''
Having earlier built a relationship with the Knights through the Roar Academy, Sherman said it was fitting Ipswich received a Y-League match with renovations going on at the A-League club's Logan base.
"This gives us a nice opportunity really to take those matches to other venues,'' the former Welsh professional footballer said.
"We've had an ongoing relationship with the Ipswich Knights and the pitch is superb out there and that was probably one of the big reasons for us to come out there for this weekend.''
Ipswich Knights vice-president Danny Wilson was pleased to welcome Roar and the Adelaide United Reds for a historic game.
"As far as I've been able to find out, I believe this is the first time we've ever hosted a national youth league game in the western corridor,'' Wilson said.
Roar have previously played Ipswich Invitational sides at the North Ipswich Reserve and met a Melbourne Victory side at the same venue in a pre-season A-League encounter.
However, it will be a first at the Knights headquarters.
"It's absolutely great for Ipswich and it's good to know that the relationship of Brisbane Roar wanting to come out to the western corridor is fantastic,'' Wilson said.
"We've worked closely with Drew and the team and we've been able to achieve bringing them out here this Sunday so it should be a good day.''
Wilson said the Knights would look after both teams with pre-game meals and the facilities needed.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for our players to be able to get a little bit of a sneak peek on what it's like to be in a professional environment,'' he said.
Wilson said the Knights had injected a lot of effort and money into the club's main field.
Roar head into Sunday's match having beaten Melbourne City 2-0 last weekend following an opening round 2-1 loss to Perth Glory.
"We very unfortunate not to win that game,'' Sherman said.
"Last weekend, we played very very well against Melbourne City and probably could have scored quite more than the two goals.
"We're in a good space. It will be interesting to see how we go this weekend.''
Brisbane holds a better record from the past three meetings in Queensland, having won twice. That includes a remarkable 10-0 win in the 2015/16 season.
"Adelaide are always a tough opponent and they'll come up here off the back of a (3-2) win against Melbourne Victory and a bye,'' Sherman said.
"It should be a cracking good game.''
Sherman rates his development side rich in quality with an average age of 18.
"We are probably the youngest team in the competition but I believe one of the most talented,'' he said.
"We are sure to see them progress into the A-League and hopefully careers beyond that.''
The original kick-off time for Sunday's game has also been brought forward by half an hour to 2.30pm.
Sunday (2.30pm kickoff): Foxtel Y-League Round 3 - Brisbane Roar Youth v Adelaide United at Eric Evans Reserve, 254 Brisbane Road, Bundamba.
Entry to Sunday's game is free.
Roar Y-League squad: Goalkeepers - Nathan Foster, Macklin Freke, Lachlan Hunter.
Defenders: Tyson Martin, Hassan Ramazani, Jeremy Saint, Kai Trewin, Emlyn Wellsmore. Midfielders: Jay Barnett, Oliver Duncan, Zach Duncan, Brandon McMorrow, Ryan O'Connor. Attackers: Cristian Aloisi, Bryce Bafford, Lleyton Brooks, Daniel Leck, Cooper McCormack, Mirza Muratovic, Jyi Oakes.