Loss kicks Pride into gear for QPL showdown
FOOTBALL: They may be older and more experienced but that's the challenge Western Pride is embracing in this year's Queensland Premier League competition.
The fast, skilful and youth-laden Pride senior men's team heads to Toowoomba on Saturday for a showdown with former National Premier Leagues rivals South West Thunder.
Although having some injury concerns in his team, Pride head coach Andrew Catton was pleased with his team's commitment after losing 4-1 to Mitchelton last Saturday night.
"It's probably the best training week we've had for a while,'' Catton said, preparing for the 6pm away clash.
"The loss certainly kicked them into gear.''
After a defensive focus on Monday night, the Pride players did conditioning work on Tuesday night before another productive Thursday night run.
"The quality was good. The intensity was high,'' Catton said.
On the injury front, Catton was monitoring striker Jacob Advaney (hamstring) and midfielder Matt Haspels (calf), who scored a cracking goal last week.
"He (Advaney) has been our best player the first two games,'' Catton said.
However, the Pride coach knows depth is the key to success and he's counting on his fit players to get the job done.
"They (South West) are big and direct and they're strong,'' he said.
"They are quite experienced too. They have picked up a few guys out of the Toowoomba local league who look like pretty good players so it's going to be a big challenge for our young lads to go up there and get a result.
"But we've had a really positive week at training.''
Meanwhile, Western Pride FC have withdrawn their senior women's team from this year's National Premier Leagues competition after the sudden resignation of former head coach George Kalogeridis.
Pride officials informed Football Queensland they could no longer provide a team this season. Pride will continue to field Under 18, Under 15 and Under 13 teams in 2020.
The 2020 NPL women's competition will now consist of 11 sides.