The PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Grand Final rematch headlines an exciting round of action as clubs jockey for position on the table before the Easter break.
SWQ Thunder FC v Redlands United FC
Saturday, March 19 | 6:00PM
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Thunder 0, Redlands 3, Draws 1
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Redlands won 5-1 at Cleveland Showgrounds (1 August, 2015)
Redlands are looking to bounce back after last week’s first loss of the season against Jets but will receive no favours from an increasingly steely Thunder outfit.
Thunder fought back from a goal down to draw Young Roar away last week and could move into the top four with a win this weekend. However, the hosts will again have to overcome history to take the points after failing to better Redlands in four previous encounters.
Thunder squad – 1. Luke BOREAN, 2. Rowan SALOMON, 3. Keagan SHERIDAN (c), 4. Benjamin BARROWCLIFT, 5. Xavier PRATT, 6. Jackson HAUSSLER, 7. Thomas FANNING, 8. Lachlan ATKINSON, 9. Jack PERCY, 10. Mustafa JAFARI, 11. Majok PIOK, 12. Matthew HULL, 15. Kevin DOYLE, 17. Trent BOWLES, 18. Jacob BIGBY, 20. Jayden FORMOSA
(Ins – Jack PERCY, Trent BOWLES, Kevin DOYLE | Outs – Silde CANDA, Jackson FRANKE, Nicholas TAYLOR)
Redlands squad – not submitted
Moreton Bay United FC v Brisbane Strikers FC
Saturday, March 19 | 6:00PM
Wolter Park, Moreton Bay
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Jets 2, Strikers 3, Draws 2
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Jets won 2-1 at Wolter Park (13 September, 2015)
The Grand Final rematch looms as the showpiece fixture of the weekend – with no love lost between Jets and Strikers following an at times controversial 2015 campaign.
Jets have started 2016 where they left off last year with three straight victories, while Strikers have had to settled for two frustrating draws from their opening fixtures. With both squads making several off-season signings the contest is likely to be significantly different with just thirteen players set to again appear at the scene of last year’s decider.
Three points will arguably be most valuable for Strikers, who will fall ten points off the pace in their push for a maiden Premiers title should Jets get the win.
Jets squad – 1. Matthew STEIN, 2. Reyze KELLY, 3. Scott STEWART, 4. Matthew BYRNE, 5. Raymond SCHULTZ, 6. Liam PREVITERA, 7. Jordan FARINA, 8. Matthew CAPELO, 9. Royce BROWNLIE, 10. Joey MASUDA, 12. Sebastian KALOS, 14. Alex JANOVSKY, 15. Taiga ISHIKURA, 16. Jacob FULLUCK, 18. Jonathon MARRIAYA, 20. Xander GWYNN-JONES
(Ins – Raymond SCHULTZ, Jacob FULLUCK, Xander GWYNN-JONES | Outs – Finn BEAKHURST, Jacob MITCHELL, Ryan ATKINS)
Strikers squad – 1. Sebastian USAI, 2. Christopher MAHER, 3, Tomas ROSS, 4. Jake MARSHALL, 5. Greig HENSLEE, 6. Fraser HILLS, 7. Shelford DAIS, 8. Michael ANGUS, 9. Rhys MEREDITH, 10. Alistair DAVIS, 12. Shaun CARLOS, 13. Sam KNIGHT, 14. Jake MCLEAN, 15. Jesse WIEMERS, 18. Trent CLULOW, 20. Michael WEIER
(In – Tomas ROSS | Out – Samuel BALL)
FNQ FC Heat v Gold Coast City FC
Saturday, March 19 | 6:30PM
Barlow Park, Cairns
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Heat , GCC 2, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Palm Beach SC won 3-2 at Barlow Park (22 August, 2015)
GCC make their first trip to the tropical north this year to face a Heat side that has surprised many to storm to the top of the table.
Heat’s perfect start to the season is a club best and any doubts about their resilience were put to bed last weekend in a hard-fought win over Pride.
GCC also held their nerve to hold off a fast-finishing Strikers lsat Sunday before being denied three points at the death by the woodwork. With both sides impressive in both the front and back thirds this year, the contest could well be decided in midfield where Heat’s Jamie Gosling will lock horns with GCC’s Justyn McKay in an intriguing personal dual.
Heat squad – 1. Kevin WARD, 2. Shaun OWENS, 3. Shimon WATANABE, 4, Charlie BEVERLEY, 5. Ari ISMAN, 6. Jamie GOSLING, 7. Joshua PIN, 8. Christopher O’HARE, 9. Jamie CARROLL (c), 10. Keiran SANDERS, 11. Darcy MCCORMACK, 12. Cameron NUCIFORA, 13. Mqondisi NKIWANE, 16. Bronson KOPPEN, 20. Joshua WILSON
(Ins - none | Outs - none)
GCC squad – 1. Shane VIITAKANGAS, 2. Matthew JONES, 3. Tim JACKSON, 4. Drew JESKEY, 5. Riley DILLON, 6. Jason CAMPBELL, 7. Justyn MCKAY (c), 8. Roman HOFMANN, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 10. Benjamin LITFIN, 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC, 16. Rees DUNCAN, 18. Daniel DRAGICEVIC, 19. Morgan SAUNDERS, 20. Joshua LANGDON, 21. Jordan LAMPARD
(Ins – none | Outs - none)
Brisbane City FC v Sunshine Coast FC
Saturday, 19 March | 6:30PM
Corporate Travel Management Stadium, Brisbane
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – City 4, Fire 3, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – City won 2-1 at Corporate Travel Management Stadium (31 May, 2015)
Both Fire and City are increasingly finding their feet in 2016 under new coaches – scoring three goals apiece last round - to set-up an intriguing showdown in the Saturday night’s sole fixture in the capital.
City will again benefit from home ground advantage after riding their always parochial home support against Olympic for a second straight win in their last start.
Fire will also seek to build further momentum after breaking through for their first three points of the campaign in their last outing against last-placed Northern Fury.
Arguably top of the agenda for both teams now the goals are going in is to tighten up at the back – with both sides still in search of their first clean sheet of the season.
City squad – not submitted
Fire squad – not submitted
Northern Fury FC v Western Pride FC
Saturday, March 19 | 7:00PM
Townsville Sports Reserve, Townsville
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Fury 4, Pride 2, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Fury won 2-1 at International Park (13 June, 2015)
This clash couldn’t have come at a better time for early season cellar-dwellars Fury and Pride, with both sides still looking for that elusive first three points of the campaign.
Fury played their first three matches away from home, so will be banking on a big turnout in Townsville to help them gain some much needed confidence.
For Pride the match is their first away from Briggs Road this season – coach Graham Harvey hoping the flight and overnight stay bonds his team for what is increasingly looking like a tough campaign.
The opening half hour could well prove crucial to the clash, with both outfits proving sluggish starters in their opening matches of the season.
Fury squad – 1. Luke MCDONALD, 2. Caleb HOBSON, 4. George DALTON, 5. Thomas PEARCE, 8. Jae EURELL, 9. Benjamin STANLEY, 11. Jonathan BAGLEY, 12. Joseph THORNTON, 13. Mitchell MAHER, 14. Samuel HERLIHY (c), 15. Corey WAPLES, 16. Matthew GAUCI-MARTIN, 17. Hamish CASSADY, 18. Darren WALKER, 20. Ryan MURPHY
(Ins – Matthew GAUCI-MARTIN, Corey WAPLES, Darren WALKER | Outs – Joshua VALLE, Michael EISENHUT, Matthew MITCHELL)
Pride squad – 1. Darren SHORT, 3. Joel HAACK, 4. Corey LUCAS, 5. Douglas BROWN, 6. Jesse RIGBY (c), 7. Adam ENDEAN, 8. Nielen BROWN, 9. Geoffrey MACINTYRE, 10. Joseph DUCKWORTH, 11. Jordon LAMBI, 12. Alistair WALLIS, 13. Hayden MCHENERY, 14. Gabriel HAWASH, 15. Jacob MINETT
(Ins – Hayden MCHENERY | Outs – Mitchell BIRD, Will MCFARLANE, Dylan WILLIAMS)
Olympic FC v Brisbane Roar FC Youth
Sunday, 20 March | 6:00PM
Goodwin Park, Brisbane
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Olympic 3, Young Roar 1, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Olympic won 4-1 at Goodwin Park (2 August, 2015)
A second Brisbane derby provides Olympic with a chance to return to winning ways as they host Young Roar in the final match before the Easter break.
Olympic have carried their up-and-down pre-season form into the home-and-away campaign, but were unfortunate to not pick up at least a draw against City last weekend – Daniel Byrne hitting the crossbar in search of an equaliser.
However, the Goodwin Park faithful can take nothing for granted against a Young Roar side that showed plenty of heart to overcome an early send-off to salvage a point against Thunder in their last start.
With both sides known for their attacking edge the contest could be decided by the form of two young goalkeepers – Nicholas Mooney set to continue his hold on the starting spot for the hosts following some impressive displays, while Tomislav Bilic is the sole goalkeeper listed in the preliminary squad for Young Roar.
Olympic squad – not submitted
Young Roar squad – 1. Tomislav BILIC, 2. Jaiden WALKER, 3. Cameron CRESTANI, 4. Mark RODIC, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 7. Dane INGHAM, 8. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 9. Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 10. Adam SAWYER, 11. Jayden PRASAD, 12. Joseph CHAMPNESS, 14. Daniel DRIVER, 15. Jesse DALEY (c), 22. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 23. Nicholas PANETTA
(Ins – Daniel DRIVER | Outs – Aaron REARDON, Jacob BROWN)