Western Pride’s talented young footballers are out to pick themselves up in Saturday night’s Football Queensland Premier League match at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Western Pride’s talented young footballers are out to pick themselves up in Saturday night’s Football Queensland Premier League match at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Knights games moved after Bundamba fire ant saga

FOOTBALL: Western Pride will attempt a recovery mission at home as the Ipswich Knights relocate their weekend matches to Toowoomba.

Fresh from the top team's best win in some time, the Knights faced a late week scramble due to fire ants.

The ant problem was discovered on both fields at the club's Bundamba base, putting the bite on their latest Football Queensland Premier League matches.

The Knights were scheduled to play South West Thunder in under-18, under-20 and senior team matches at Bundamba on Sunday.

However, after discussing the issue with Toowoomba officials, South West officials agreed to host the games at their venue on Sunday.

The under-18s will play at 1pm before the under-20 game at 3pm and the senior FQPL encounter at 3pm.

Knights president Troy Beahan confirmed the decision this afternoon after an anxious morning seeking a solution.

Head coach Andy Ogden was keen to continue building momentum after last weekend's top side overran Wynnum 6-1.

"Everyone was feeling good about last week's victory and looking forward to Toowoomba who have had a couple of good wins in a row,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Western Pride is looking to rebuild in Saturday night's FQPL encounter on home soil at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

Pride tackle second-placed Rochedale, a team with two wins and a draw already this season.

After a 5-0 lesson from South West Thunder last weekend, Pride coach Andrew Catton gave his players Monday night off training to reflect on what happened and how to move forward.

"It is a tough start for us but it's the best way for them to learn,'' Catton said of Pride's two loss-one win record so far this season.

"Hopefully they play a system that I'm pretty familiar with.

"We've just got to keep challenging ourselves to be better.''

As he always does, the first-year Pride head coach offered an honest appraisal of what went wrong in Toowoomba.

"We weren't good enough,'' he said.

"They (the Pride players) learnt plenty.

"They are young players. They have got to learn how do deal with that more direct nature. "They have all come out of the NPL (National Premier Leagues) and curriculum-based style.

"They (South West) were very direct . . . and we struggled.''

However, after again showing patches of what they can do, Pride need to deliver more intensity early in the game.

That will be crucial against a team like Rochedale that makes solid starts.

"We just spoke about the importance of not rolling over and put our best foot forward tomorrow night and make sure we make a good account of ourselves,'' Catton said.

Pride will welcome experienced midfielder Killian Flavin back from suspension.

Attacker Yuta Hirayama is also returning.

Seasoned winger George Freeman is expected to play his first game.

Promising defender Connor Maynard is also set to return, having shown his ability in last season's NPL.

However, Pride will be without senior player Nielen Brown (family reasons) and are monitoring regulars like midfielder Matt Haspels (calf).

In other regional matches this weekend, Western Spirit are at home to New Farm United in their Capital League 1 encounter on Saturday afternoon with the Ipswich City Bulls playing Virginia United away the same night.

Capital League 2 newcomers Ripley Valley are playing Pine Hills at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Sunday afternoon.

The Ipswich City Bulls women take on Peninsula Power away on Sunday afternoon after a pleasing 5-2 win over Robina last weekend.


Game day

FQPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v Rochedale at Briggs Sporting Complex, Flinders View.

Sunday (5pm): Ipswich Knights v South West Thunder in Toowoomba (venue change).

CL1: Saturday (5pm): Western Spirit v New Farm United at Kippen Park. 6.15pm: Ipswich City Bulls v Virginia United at Albert Bishop Park.

CL2: Sunday (3pm) - Ripley Valley v Pine Hills at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

BWPL: Sunday (5pm) - Ipswich City Bulls v Peninsula Power at AJ Kelly Park.