Ripley football newcomers to build on experience
RIPLEY Valley FC will be a new player in town with some of Ipswich's most experienced campaigners when the Football Brisbane season kicks off on Friday night.
The newly-formed club will launch its 2019 season in the Capital League 3 competition, joining Springfield FC, which has been developing in recent seasons.
Ripley Valley FC official and inaugural coach Nick Paterson conceded his CL3 team and Reserve Grade outfit had limited training sessions as they wait for the new fields to be completed at South Ripley.
"We only got granted the fields four weeks ago,'' Paterson said. "We've had two trial games so not an ideal preparation leading into the season but we've managed to get two squads together and it's not too bad.''
With former Premier League players Brodie Kenyon, Andrew Drager and club captain Alex Weatherby among Ripley's recruits, Paterson was confident the top team would quickly settle into its stride.
"I'm excited to work with a few of the older boys but there's also a couple of good young kids there that have shown up and from Church League and various areas,'' he said.
Ripley plays the Bethania Rams Athletic in their opening games at 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Friday night at Logan Football Complex.
"We'll definitely build into the season,'' he said.
"I think Bethania will be the benchmark of the competition.''
Paterson is a former player who enjoyed coaching success at clubs like Western Spirit, the Ipswich City Bulls and Ipswich Knights.
He has played a leading role with the committee in getting the new club off the ground.
"It's a good community feel,'' Paterson said, pleased to see juniors and women players also signing on for the new club.
"That's what we've based the whole club around.''
Springfield FC tackle Logan Village in their first-up CL3 game at Woodcrest College on Sunday.
Club president Scott Harding was excited about his top team's prospects after tremendous development work the past three seasons.
Springfield finished mid-table last season.
"We're certainly getting more professional off the pitch,'' Harding said.
Springfield's first team is being coached by Michael Keating, boosted by pre-season successes against Jimboomba, UQ and Clairvaux.
"We're a lot stronger,'' Harding said looking forward to moving to the new Springfield fields later this year.
"It's the best pre-season we've ever had. We're probably hot favourites against (Logan) Village this week.''
Keating is an ex-Everton Football Club Academy development coach.
His assistant Alex Smith has strong ties to Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Mirren in Scotland.
CL3: Friday (8.30pm) - Ripley Valley FC v Bethania Rams at Logan Football Complex (Reserves at 6.30pm). Sunday (5pm): Springfield v Logan Village at Woodcrest College.