Knights break drought in style

Ipswich Knights v Western Pride competing in the Silver Boot competition soccer match on Friday night at Lions Stadium, Richlands. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times
Ipswich Knights v Western Pride competing in the Silver Boot competition soccer match on Friday night at Lions Stadium, Richlands. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times Sarah Harvey

ONE coach was thrilled to break a losing drought as a character-testing season approaches.

The other mentor said his side received a reality check.

First-year Ipswich Knights coach Mark Dykman was clearly relieved after his dramatically different side overran Western Pride 3-0 in the Silver Boot match at Richlands on Friday night.

It was the Knights' first win in the pre-season competition involving football teams from the new National Premier League and Brisbane Premier League competitions.

"What we got out of it was the increase in the tempo in games and a lot of our guys weren't used to it," Dykman said.

"A lot of players that I've got played last year in Reserve sides and Division 1. It's a big step up.

"It's unbelievable what we've achieved so far.

"It was important for us to win tonight because we've been improving and improving and improving."

The Pride team, featuring a number of Ipswich's most talented up-and-coming players, remained winless from their three Brisbane Roar-backed Silver Boot games.

"I reckon it was a good kick in the bum," Pride player/coach Kasey Wehrman said after watching the entire game from the sideline.

"We've got that measuring stick and where we are and how much we need to do."

The former A-League player said the Knights played some sharp football, providing a lesson for his youngsters.

"Maybe some of the (Pride) players thought that we were progressing further than what we were," Wehrman said.

"It was a good wake-up call for them to say 'that's what it takes'.

"We started a little bit too cautious and that kind of went through the whole game. We were on the backfoot too much."

The Knights side which played on a wet Friday night was almost unrecognisable with only Stephen Hughes and Alex Anderson playing from last year's Division 1 outfit.

Former Western Spirit player Matt Flick and Ipswich junior Mitch Davis added some local flavour to a team of newcomers.

Striker Davis scored two impressive goals.

Dykman said some other Ipswich players would come into contention for the BPL season. They include Andy Drager, Adam O'Sullivan and Matt Savini.

"We lost a few significant players," Dykman said, mentioning former regulars like Matt Christensen (Lions), Peter Drager (Western Pride), Alex Jimmink (work) and classy goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg (Brisbane Force).

"I haven't finalised the squad. I always want to give people opportunities," the new coach said.

"They have to get used to this new speed of the game and get their confidence up."

Dykman was impressed with some of the promising Pride players.

"I don't want a rivalry between us. We've got to support each other," Dykman said.

"If we've got a strong Ipswich region, we're going to do well."

Western Pride and Ipswich Knights officials are planning a return trial match this weekend at a venue to be confirmed.

Topics:  ipswich knights, silver boot, western pride football club



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