Western Spirit Reserve Grade coach Nev O'Sullivan
Western Spirit Reserve Grade coach Nev O'Sullivan

Nev still shares knowledge as regional sides kick off in Cup

AS three regional teams prepare to kick off their latest FFA Cup campaigns, one vastly experienced football coach is still making a valuable contribution.

Former St Helen's/Ipswich United player and ex-Ipswich City Bulls mentor Nev O'Sullivan is preparing for his second season back at Western Spirit.

After coaching the top side from 2009-11, O'Sullivan took on the Spirit Reserve Grade role last season following a stint with another Capital League 1 club Annerley.

With Reginald Yaqub taking over from Mario Malesevic as head coach this season, O'Sullivan is happy to assist him while keeping a close eye on Spirit's Reserve Grade stocks.

"He's pretty good. He's very technical,'' O'Sullivan said of the former Brisbane Knights coach.

"He knows what he is doing. He gets the boys fit.''

Moving up into this year's Brisbane Premier League (BPL) competition, Spirit is looking to field another youth-laden squad.

That is something O'Sullivan enjoys, having helped last year's Reserve grade side finish second overall last season in the Capital League 1 competition.

"It was good fun,'' O'Sullivan said, despite the extra long season.

"It's good to get out there . . . and try to teach them something that they don't know.''

Well-travelled coach and former Ipswich United/St Helen's defender Nev O'Sullivan. Picture: QT file
Well-travelled coach and former Ipswich United/St Helen's defender Nev O'Sullivan. Picture: QT file

O'Sullivan said his stint as assistant coach with Annerley was beneficial having previously coached at the Bulls for six years and at Spirit's Kippen Park base.

"At the end of the day, I went down there and learnt what I could,'' O'Sullivan said, having devoted many years to helping regional clubs.

Bundamba-based O'Sullivan also coached the 2010 and 2011 Ipswich Invitational sides that played Brisbane Roar in pre-season matches at the North Ipswich Reserve.

But now his focus is on Western Spirit, where the club's top men's side is preparing to play Clairvaux in their opening SEQ preliminary round 2 FFA Cup match at Mackillop College on Sunday afternoon.

"We're virtually similar to last year with a couple of different players,'' O'Sullivan said.

"We're just building slowly.''

The Spirit Reserves have a Saturday night trial against Centenary before the FFA Cup game.

"We're going to be as full strength as we can,'' O'Sullivan said.

The Ipswich City Bulls also launch their latest season with a round 2 clash against Slacks Creek at 5pm on Sunday. That match is at the Bulls home field at Sutton Park.

Norbert Duga returns as head coach for the Capital League 1 season.

He is being assisted by goalkeeping coach Rob Cleaver, Jon Edwards and Reserve Grade mentor Trent Abel.

Before that, Springfield United are also at home against Nambour Yandina United on Saturday night. The 6pm FFA Cup round match is at the Springfield Central Sports Complex.

Ripley Valley FC have an FFA round 2 bye, having been promoted to Capital League 1 this season.

With head coach Nick Paterson returning, Ripley Valley will stage local derbies against the Bulls this season when the premiership season kicks off next month.

"We've lost a few key players in strikers Michael Leach and Pete Drager and key defenders Stew Simons and Dan Burton,'' Paterson said.

"We're really just looking to consolidate in the new league.

"We're into our third season and already coming up against the likes of the Bulls.

"It's a tough season ahead but we'll ride the underdog tag and hold our own.''