This weekend offers a chance for the contenders to further separate themselves from the pretenders in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
FNQ FC Heat v Brisbane Roar FC Youth
Saturday, April 16 | 3:00PM
Barlow Park, Cairns
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Heat 2, Young Roar 2, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Heat won 3-0 via forfeit (11/7/15)
Following last year’s controversial forfeit, Heat play host to Young Roar for the first time in over two years in the opening match of the round.
The league-leading Heat are proving the team to beat early in the season and will be eager to further extend their club-record run of form to seven matches undefeated.
However, Young Roar look set to offer a stern test after keeping their first clean sheet of the season last weekend against Western Pride.
Regardless of the result, Heat will retain top spot in the league, however Young Roar can move into the top four if they snag all three points, dependent on other results.
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, 10. Kieran SANDERS, 11. Darcy MCCORMACK, 12. Cameron NUCIFORA, 13. Mqondisi NKIWANE, 15. Matthew FILIP, 16. Bronson KOPPEN, 20. Joshua WILSON
(IN – Matthew FILIP | OUT - none)
YOUNG ROAR SQUAD – 1. Andre JANNESE, 2. Jaiden WALKER, 3. Cameron CRESTANI, 4. Mark RODIC, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Joe CALETTI, 7. Dane INGHAM, 8. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 9. Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 11. Jayden PRASAD, 12. Joseph CHAMPNESS, 15. Jesse DALEY, 20. Tomislav BILIC, 21. Tommy JARRAD, 23. Nicholas PANETTA
(IN – Joe CALETTI | OUT – Daniel DRIVER, Daniel LECK)
MATCH OFFICIALS- Lara LEE (referee), Chris DAWSON (assistant), Chris DOHERTY-FISHER (assistant), Lee MCMASTER (fourth)
Gold Coast City FC v SWQ Thunder FC
Saturday, April 16 | 5:00PM
Duncan McKenna Field, Gold Coast
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – City 4, Thunder 0, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – City (as Palm Beach SC) won 5-1 at Duncan McKenna Field (25/7/15)
Thunder are out to add another scalp to the burgeoning collection when they head to the Glitter Strip to take on a City outfit undefeated since the opening round.
While Thunder’s rise from also-rans to mid-table has grabbed headlines they are still yet to break their hoodoo of never winning a league game away from home.
Conversely, City are looking to record their first home win of the season after escaping with battling draws in their last two matches at Duncan McKenna Field against Strikers and Jets.
For both sides this match serves as an early season indicator of their respective claims as genuine finals football contenders - three points for either side likely to see them push into the top four.
CITY SQUAD (one to be omitted) – 1. Shane VIITAKANGAS, 2. Matthew JONES, 3. Tim Jackson, 4. Drew JESKEY, 5. Riley DILLON, 6. Jason CAMPBELL, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 8. Roman HOFMANN, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 10. Benjamin LITFIN, 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC, 12. Lachlan REUS, 13. Rhys SAUNDERS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 16. Rees DUNCAN, 18. Daniel DRAGICEVIC, 21. Jordan LAMPARD
(IN – Eoghan MURPHY | OUT - none)
THUNDER SQUAD – 1. Luke BOREAN, 2. Keagan SHERIDAN, 4. Benjamin BARROWCLIFT, 6. Jackson HAUSSLER, 7. Thomas FANNING, 8. Lachlan ATKINSON, 10. Mustafa JAFARI, 11. Majok PIOK, 13. Silde CANDA, 14. Anthony GRANT, 15. Kevin DOYLE, 16. Nykodah SMITH, 18. Jacob BIGBY, 19. Jackson FRANKE, 20. Jace HUDSON
(IN – Jacob BIGBY, Jackson FRANKE, Anthony GRANT, Jackson HAUSSLER | OUT – Reec ACHIEK, Jackson COURTNEY, Wade HALL, Kimba KIBOMBO, Rowan SALOMON)
MATCH OFFICIALS - Trent SLEEMAN (referee) Noah REYNOLDS (assistant), Danielle POTTICARY (assistant), Renae Coghill (fourth)
Brisbane Strikers FC v Sunshine Coast FC
Saturday, April 16 | 6:00PM
Perry Park, Brisbane
PS4 NPL Head-to-head – Strikers 5, Fire 1, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Strikers won 5-0 at Sunshine Coast Stadium (23/8/15)
Strikers are hoping to further their rise up the league table when they meet long-standing rivals Fire for the first time this season.
Boasting home ground advantage, Strikers are coming off the back of consecutive 4-0 wins that have seen the three-time Semi-Finalists surge to third in the standings – their high-water mark this season.
Meanwhile, Fire have proved markedly inconsistent so far in 2016 as exemplified by their ‘game-of-two-halves’ defeat at the hands of Redlands United last weekend.
In addition to form history also heavily favours the hosts, who have not lost to their former Queensland Soccer League foes since 2013 in PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues.
STRIKERS SQUAD – 1. Sebastian USAI, 2. Christopher MAHER, 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, 16. Fraser STEVENS, 18. Trent CLULOW, 19. Luke MARSH, 20. Michael WEIER
(IN – Luke MARSH, Fraser STEVENS | OUT – Jake MARSHALL, Jesse WIEMERS)
FIRE SQUAD – 1. Samuel NICKOLLS, 2. Timothy HOLLINGWORTH, 3. Giacomo MELLINO, 4. Christopher JANCEVSKI, 6. Connor HANCOCK, 7. Cameron NAIRN, 8. Grant DE CHASTEL, 9. Brady CRONK, 10. Kobe FULLER, 11. Jeremy STEWART, 13. Blake HUSTON, 15. Jordan LOY, 16. Matthew LYELL, 17. Paul BROWNLIE, 18. Paul MIKULA, 19. Shoichi KOSHIMIZU
(IN Shoichi KOSHIMIZU, Paul MIKULA, Cameron NAIRN | OUT – Jordan LLOYD, James VERDIN, Kyle TOWNSEND)
MATCH OFFICIALS - Jason CROW (referee), Ben COOK (assistant), Brodie MAIN (assistant), Justin TEMPLE (fourth)
Western Pride FC v Redlands United FC
Saturday, April 16 | 7:00PM
Briggs Road Sporting Complex, Ipswich
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Pride 2, Redlands 4, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Redlands won 6-1 at Cleveland Showgrounds (10/7/15)
Redlands can keep the pressure on league-leaders Heat with a third straight win when they travel to Ipswich on Saturday night.
The Red Devils earned a hard-fought three points over Fire in their last start and another three points on the road could well prove valuable come season’s end.
Meanwhile, the up-and-down Pride are looking to bounce back from their last start defeat to Young Roar – the 1-0 result marking the first time Pride have been kept scoreless this season.
Redlands could prove vulnerable following a raft of changes - including the omission of alway reliable goalkeeper Brendan White from the named squad.
PRIDE SQUAD – not submitted
REDLANDS SQUAD – 3. Grant BRIX, 4. Kai HALLIDAY, 5. Paul O’BRIEN, 6. Daniello ROMANO, 7. Michael LEE, 8. Russell WOODRUFFE, 9. Tyler BRAYLER-COMBE, 10. Nicolas BECHAR, 11. Graham FYFE, 12. Adam CHANDLER, 14. Nicholas DANICIC, 16. Igor SAO JOSE, 17. Samuel LANGLEY, 18. Michael MCGOWAN, 20. Matthew LUGO
(IN – Tyler BRAYLER-COMBE, Samuel LANGLEY, Daniello ROMANO | OUT – Doyle BISSETT, Stephen GREEN, Gregory WARDEN, Brendan WHITE)
MATCH OFFICIALS - Andrew LINDSAY (referee), Max CRANE (assistant), James MAINEY (assistant), Alex HOHN (fourth)
Northern Fury FC v Brisbane City FC
Saturday, April 16 | 7:30PM
Ingham Showgrounds, Ingham
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Fury 1, City 5, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – City won 3-2 at Townsville Sports Reserve (25/7/15)
Fury are hoping a change of scenery kick-starts their stuttering campaign when they play host to City in the regional town of Ingham, north of Townsville.
Fury are still searching for their first win of the season as they seek to turn around their worst ever losing run in the league.
Similarly, City are seeking to arrest a series of poor returns after two straight defeats saw them drop out of the top four – and will be eyeing the cellar-dwellars as vulnerable.
History favours the visitors. City have never lost to Fury in tropics over the past three years and are expecting their fair share of support from Ingham's plentiful Italian-Australian community.
FURY SQUAD – not submitted
CITY SQUAD – 1. Timothy ALLEN, 2. Greg KING, 5. Joshua CRONK, 6. Luke PAVLOU, 7. Nathan BIRD, 8. Mathew BIGGINS, 9. Antonio MURRAY, 10. Scot COULSON, 13. Jason PARK, 15. Kai BARNES, 16. Jean-Mike JABO, 17. Samuel SIBATUARA, 18. Motoki KAKEHI, 19. Mitchell HORE, 20. Jake CLANCY
(IN – Mathew BIGGINS, Motoki KAKEHI, Greg KING | OUT – Nicholas BUCKLEY, Jayke CUSCHIERI, Luca JANNESE, Kai SMITH)
MATCH OFFICIALS - Graham BUZZI (referee), Jack NICOLOSI (assistant), Patrick HARTSUKYER (assistant), Liam O’CONNER (fourth)
Olympic FC v Moreton Bay United FC
Sunday, April 17 | 6:00PM
Goodwin Park, Brisbane
PS4 NPL Head-to-Head – Jets 2, Olympic 5, Draws 0
PS4 NPL Last Meeting – Jets won 3-1 at Wolter Park (5/9/15)
Both Olympic and Jets are desperate for three points for differing reasons in what promises to be a hard-fought close to the round.
The defending Champions are guaranteed to drop out of the top four if they fail to arrest a three match winless run and record their first ever win at Goodwin Park.
They will get no better chance than against an Olympic side second from last and in the midst of the club’s worst ever PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues losing streak which now stands at four games.
With plenty on the line, both sides are keeping their cards close to their chest - neither club confirming their squads for the match at time of publication.
OLYMPIC SQUAD – not submitted
JETS SQUAD – not submitted