Spirits high despite reshuffle

WESTERN Spirit will field a reshuffled line-up at Goodna tonight due to injury and having a group of key players unavailable.

However, coach Stewart Drinkeld sees the Division 1 clash against Moggill as an early chance for fringe players to impress.

Spirit has lost regular starters Richie Armstrong and Luke Haydon, who organised an overseas holiday some time ago.

Goalkeeper Matt Baker is still to serve a two-game suspension after being red-carded in Spirit's opening 3-2 loss to Ipswich City.

"A couple of boys are making their first start for the season," Drinkeld said.

"We've got a few injuries as well. We've got seven out from our squad.

"We'll certainly be utilising our depth this week and it's a good opportunity for the boys who may not have got a go at the start."

Among the players thrust into action include Matt Taylor, who'll play a vital role up front, Spirit midfielder Gerard "G" Sanfuentes and former Knights speedster Matt Flick. Another ex-Knights player Aaron Christensen will start off the bench.

"Matt is a big strong boy signed this year," Drinkeld said. "He's probably lacking a bit of fitness but we'll give him a go as a target man because Moggill have got a couple of big strong defenders.

"G had a bit of a hamstring niggle at the start of the year and we've just been putting him in cotton wool to slowly build him up.

"He's probably come in a week earlier than what I like but he won't let me down."

Drinkeld said last Saturday's local derby washout against the Knights was a mixed blessing.

A rare weekend off gave the coach another chance to review his side after such an early start to the Division 1 competition.

However, it delayed the return of number one goalie Baker, meaning it is three weeks he won't play.

However, Drinkeld was glad the match was not played in muddy conditions, given both sides are capable of attractive football.

Moggill tackle Spirit after a first-round draw against Mt Gravatt.