Leader Ben helps Knights maintain high standards in 'derby'
TAKING his turn to lead, Ben Barratt helped ensure his team built some important momentum for the testing months ahead.
Barratt, 21 is part of the Ipswich Knights leadership group for the 2021 Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) season kicking off against Mitchelton on March 12.
"There's a lot of good leaders in the team this year,'' Barratt said, after the Knights latest 6-0 trial victory over the Ipswich City Bulls at Sutton Park.
Josh Wilson, Ben Taylor, Nick Edwards and goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg are among other candidates to share the role this season.
"There a lot of good choices that we can have as captain. It should be good,'' Barratt said.
With a powerful defensive presence, Barratt supports coach Andy Ogden's approach.
"The more leaders on the field, the better,'' the central back said.
Barratt is in his third season at the Knights having previously played with Western Pride for five years in the National Premier Leagues competition.
He started his junior football at Brisbane Force, UQ and Western Spirit.
"It was mainly because the structure changed every year,'' he said, of the regular changes.
"I had to kind to get out of places when the relegation was happening.
"But I was at Pride from under 16s, which was really good.
"I really enjoyed it there and then moved to here, which has been awesome.''
The Knights secured their third pre-season win as expected by outclassing the Bulls on Saturday night.
The Bulls were missing a core of key players including captain Joel Munn, Lincoln Rule, Dane Grant and Ronan Geoghegan.
However, former Ipswich Grammar School student Barratt said all trials were valuable.
"It's always good minutes pre-season. That's the most important thing,'' he said.
"All the boys get at least 45, which is very important leading up to the season.
"And the other games as well, we're building, building each week for Mitchelton on a Friday night in a fortnight.''
In his last year of studies to become a teacher, Barratt was encouraged by the Knights commitment against a lower league team.
"I thought we kept our standards high even though we were leading 3-0 after about 20 minutes,'' he said.
"Ball speed was good and good link up top scoring goals, which is always important.''
New recruits Fiston Chungu and Mitsuda Masahiro netted, along with regular strikers Nick Edwards and Mitch Herrmann.
"It was good for the boys, good to see Fiston score as well,'' Barratt said. "Last week he got a double, so that was always pleasing.''
The captain said with goalsneak Darryl Barton to join the side, everything was positive for the Knights.
"The squad is looking good,'' Barratt said.
"We have 17-18 boys all fighting for a spot, which you need. Competition for players.
"I think the Knights have lacked that in several other seasons where they haven't had a real fight for places but this year it's good.''
With relegation adding a new dimension to this year's restructured FQPL season, Barratt is keen to keeping improving with coach Ogden.
"I love working with Oggy. I had him as a coach down at IGS,'' Barratt said.
"He's a great coach, great guy and important for the team.''
Barratt played in Ipswich Grammar's year 12 football team that won the premiership.