Winning more 'Ezy' with players like Emmanuel
FOOTBALL: In his fifth season with the Knights, Emmanuel "Ezy'' Peter has become one of Ipswich's most valuable players.
He's lined up in all of the Knights' 11 Queensland Premier League matches, scoring four goals and setting up many more.
That's why the popular and personable midfielder is so important to Knights coach Andy Ogden, especially at a crucial stage of the QPL season.
"Ezy is in a really good vein of form,'' Ogden said preparing for Saturday's battle with Rochedale at Underwood Park.
"At training and in games, he's a real good leader, a really good person for us.''
Peter will have added responsibility this weekend with the Knights having six first-team regulars unavailable. They include leading goal scorer Lachlan Munn (overseas), Ben Taylor (injured), Matt White (injured) and Jack Mcgrath (18th birthday).
However, as he has done successfully this season, Ogden will call on a number of rapidly rising under-20 players.
"They've done really well in the past so I'm not worried to be honest,'' Ogden said, looking to bring players like wide left Lucky Joe into the top side.
Ogden's main concern was draining some starters from the Knights under-20 side, which are third on the table after 11 games.
With the Knights first team in sixth and just one point behind fourth-placed Rochedale, Saturday's duel has added importance.
"These are games we really want to get something out of it and not let them (Rochedale) get away,'' Ogden said. "If they were to beat us, they'd go four points ahead of us with a game in hand.
"It's really important that we go there to win the game but it's probably important we don't lose the game as well. There will be a little bit of game management, depending how the game is going.''
The Knights are coming off a bye weekend, where the players had a pool recovery session before focusing on following up their previous 2-0 win over second-placed Logan.
While the break was less than ideal after such an encouraging performance, Ogden knows the Knights depth will meet the challenge.
With the under-18 side playing tonight, Ogden was hoping some of those exciting players could bolster the under-20 team on tomorrow afternoon, reducing the flow-on effect.
Joining Peter in attack will be Nahom Waldo and Nick Edwards, who have both made significant contributions this season.
"I'm happy with that. I think it's a good team,'' the head coach said.
QPL: Saturday (5.15pm) - Ipswich Knights v Rochedale at Underwood Park.