Western Spirit’s Capital League 1 first team and Reserve Grade squad have undergone massive changes since last season. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Western Spirit’s Capital League 1 first team and Reserve Grade squad have undergone massive changes since last season. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Professional recruit bolsters revamped Goodna side

"REAL fired up''.

That's how Western Spirit head coach Mario Malesevic summed up his first team's attitude with football finally resuming this weekend.

After more key changes during the COVID-19 lockdown, Western Spirit's Capital League 1 side is preparing to tackle Virginia United in Saturday's match at Kippen Park.

Spirit open the restructured CL1 season having secured the services of well-travelled midfielder Stefan Vrbesic, who will help the Goodna-based club with his academy.

Vrbesic has joined Spirit from Brisbane Premier League club, the Brisbane Knights, after a stint in Spain and working with the Brisbane Roar National Youth League team.

"He's a big signing,'' Malesevic said.

"He's played at a professional level and he's actually bringing down his academy.

"He's a guy with a lot of football knowledge.

"He's bringing a lot of experience but he can teach other kids in the Ipswich community.''

Having taken over the head coaching role earlier this year, Malesevic was getting a new group of players settled before the Football Brisbane shutdown.

He said Spirit had lost some more players in recent weeks but picked up some exciting Brisbane Knights youngsters to bolster their playing stocks.

After doing their own training during the lockdown, Spirit's players have been back training as a squad in recent weeks.

Having plenty of skill to work with, Malesevic said Spirit were keen to see what they could salvage from the second attempt to kick off a 2020 season.

Every team is each to play each other once under the revised format.

"We're starting fresh,'' the Spirit coach said, having played one match before the competition shutdown in March.

"It is a bit of a frustrating one but for me, I found it positive because I was able to actually get some time into building the squads.

"It's a fairly young squad. Average age is about 20 years old.

"We're just going to see how all the other teams go and we'll try and aim as high as possible.''

 

Francis Patricio is one of the Western Spirit first graders remaining from last season’s squad.
Francis Patricio is one of the Western Spirit first graders remaining from last season’s squad.

Spirit head into the season restart after a much-needed trial against Moggill last weekend.

"It was very good to get the boys out and get some minutes in their legs because with the COVID, everybody's had such a large break from the game,'' he said.

Saturday's CL1 match at Kippen Park kicks off at 5pm.

The Western Spirit top team squad: Nikko Brown, Joel Fernandez, Monty Oukelo (captain), Tyler Baker, Anthony Menendez, Kaylum Brown, Stefan Vrbesic, Adrian Kasas, Francis Patricio, Ronal'd John, Charls Kenyi, David Rodriguez, Gabriel Menendez, Anson Huang, Matt Parks, Prefina Mabelo, Luis Woodrow (Reserve Grade goalkeeper).