HIGH HOPES: Ipswich Knights goalkeeper Damon Wenck flies high to take the ball during a recent Queensland Premier League under-20 game. The Knights play Sunshine in Saturday's grand final at Rochedale.
HIGH HOPES: Ipswich Knights goalkeeper Damon Wenck flies high to take the ball during a recent Queensland Premier League under-20 game. The Knights play Sunshine in Saturday's grand final at Rochedale. Rob Williams

Promising young footballers calm before shot at major glory

FOOTBALL: Preparing to coach his first Ipswich Knights team in a grand final, Bob Maclot was typically relaxed.

Having been involved with previous grand final sides at Brisbane Force and Inala City in the past, he knows what big matches require.

Why he's so calm about the current Knights under-20 side is because he's worked with a quality group of young footballers all year.

After finishing the regular season in third place, the Knights have progressed confidently through the Queensland Premier League finals, winning seven games in a row.

The Knights are keen to put the icing on the proverbial cake when they tackle Sunshine Coast at 3.30pm on Saturday at Underwood Park.

With Sunshine Coast having also peaked after eliminating top side Logan last weekend, Maclot said Saturday's challenge suited his side.

"We seem to switch on when we play the big teams and switch off when we play the lesser teams,'' Maclot said.

"Everyone is focused this week because the nucleus of the team played an (under 20) grand final last year and lost (to Rochedale).''

 

QPL U20 soccer match between Ipswich Knights and Southside Eagles played at the Ipswich Knights home ground in Bundamba. Mathew Drummond.
Ipswich Knights under-20 footballer Mathew Drummond. Rob Williams

Maclot said the Knights had a fun session on Thursday night, working on set moves after last weekend's 2-1 victory over Rochedale.

He said the only issue was who to leave out of the grand final team being captained by centre midfielder Flyn Park.

"It will be a tough game,'' Maclot said, having watched them oust Logan last weekend.

"They've been on a very good run the last half of the season.

"They have a lot of older boys too. I don't think any of them can back up next year for the 20s whereas all of our side could.

"If the boys turn up and play to their potential, I'm confident we will win the game.''

QPL U20 grand final: Saturday (3.30pm) - Ipswich Knights v Sunshine Coast at Underwood Park.