NPL Preview: Blockbuster opening game in Queensland as Brisbane Strikers host Gold Coast Knights

The start of nine months of National Premier Leagues (NPL) action around the country begins this weekend with Queensland kicking things off with their start of their 2020 campaign.

And the Queensland NPL begins with a bang as there will be six matches on a bumper Saturday night of football.

And arguably the match of the round kicks off first with defending champions Gold Coast Knights travelling to Perry Park to take on Brisbane Strikers.

Both clubs are regarded as two of the title contenders in 2020 and would love nothing more than to get off to a winning start and land an early psychological blow on their rivals.

While the Strikers missed out on finals football in 2019, they still enjoyed a superb campaign on the national stage.

Owen Baker’s men became the first-ever Queensland club to reach the FFA Cup Quarter Finals, a run that included a win over Hyundai A-League opposition in Wellington Phoenix.

Brisbane Strikers
Brisbane Strikers reached the last four of last year's FFA Cup

Much of their success came on the back of goals from star striker Andy Pengelly (41 goals in 26 league games).

Pengelly is one of seven departures from Perry Park in the off-season, moving to the Singapore Premier League on a professional contract.

But they still have the platform of a competitive squad with the likes of keeper Bon Scott and attacker Jake McLean back, while they have also recruited ex-Brisbane Roar player Emilio Martinez and Edgeworth FC’s Oliver Smith.

The Knights are still riding high after their sensational Grand Final win over Olympic FC last season and will be eager to start their title defence in style.

Gold Coast Knights celebrate last season's title win
Gold Coast Knights celebrate last season's title win

It’s been an interesting off-season for the club, seeing six players move on including Grand Final hero Oskar Dillon, who has joined Hyundai A-League outfit Western United FC.

Skipper Sam Smith has also defected to rivals Gold Coast United but they have added the likes of Lions FC midfielder Jheison Macuace and Heidelberg United’s Paul O’Brien for the new campaign.

With former Hyundai A-League players Mitch Nichols, Matt Smith and Jarrod Kyle on board again, expect the Knights to be a powerhouse again.

HEAD HERE for the full opening round fixture list in Queensland.