Ripley Valley's growing threat to Logan dominance
WITH seasoned performers like Alex Weatherby, Brodie Kenyon and Rhys Jackson, new club Ripley Valley were always going to be a threat.
How far they could progress in their first Capital League 3 football season was the million dollar question.
However, Sunday is Ripley's perfect opportunity to build on a tremendous foundation and show whether they are promotion material.
Second-placed Ripley tackle competition leaders Logan Metro at Compton Park with only three points separating the competition pacesetters. However, Ripley have a game in hand that could prove crucial in the final six games as they look to improve on their 11 wins, one draw and two losses record this season.
"It's a top-of-the-table clash. We win we go equal on points at the top although they have a superior goal difference,” Ripley Valley head coach Nick Paterson said.
The top two are automatically promoted with the top four contesting Football Brisbane finals.
"Still the number one goal is promotion,'' Paterson said. "It always has been since we started the venture at the start of the year. But the icing on the cake would be the premiership.''
Before contemplating those ambitions, Ripley Valley must first tame the Logan Metro threat at 5pm on Sunday.
"They are a very good footballing side,'' Paterson said.
"If we go into the battle ready to play a physical, strong game of football we can definitely get the chocolates.
"We're almost at full strength this week. Just a couple of boys carrying niggles but all are expected to pull through and be right for the big one.''
Logan rested some key players when the teams drew 1-1 in the first round.
Since then, Ripley Valley have reached new heights built around club captain Weatherby and Jackson in the midfield, anchored by versatile former Premier League footballer Kenyon.
While club official Kenyon has played at the highest level, Weatherby was a former Ipswich Knights teammate also possessing time on the ball and class. He was one of Ripley's first signings.
"He was always going to be our club captain,'' Paterson said.
"I played with him years and years ago and I know what he can bring.
"We haven't regretted that decision one bit. He's been absolutely solid since he's taken over and he's been superb.''
Paterson is pleased how his combined first-team and Reserve Grade squad of 39 players have worked together this season.
"They are all mates with each other and it's a good little culture down there,'' he said.
Meanwhile, Western Pride and the Ipswich Knights have the weekend off with other NPL and QPL catch-up games scheduled.
However, in Capital League 1, the Ipswich City Bulls face a mighty struggle to consolidate their hopes of playing finals' football this season.
The Bulls head into Saturday's home game against Pine Hills with 17 players unavailable due to injury, other commitments and goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg's wedding.
State of play
CL1: Saturday (5.15pm) - Ipswich City v Pine Hills at Sutton Park.
CL3: Sunday (5pm) - Ripley Valley v Logan Metro at Compton Park.
BWPL: Saturday (5pm) - Ipswich City v Coomera at Viney Park.