AFTER playing his first full National Premier League game for Western Pride, coach Kasey Wehrman was feeling the effects in Rockhampton.
"I'm pretty sore this morning," he said waiting at the airport for his return flight home.
The former international footballer stepped up to help his side with regular Joel Hancock (suspended), captain Niall McCarthy (work), Peter Drager (groin soreness) and Russell Woodruffe (illness) unavailable.
All season, Wehrman wanted to give his young players as much game time as possible as part of their NPL development.
While willing to assist his depleted side, Wehrman conceded he wasn't at his best against Central Queensland in Saturday night's game. Western Pride lost 4-2 after some fine performances in recent weeks.
"I tried to take too much on myself," he said. "It was a good learning curve for me as a player/coach."
Filling in at the back, Wehrman said Pride were unable to build enough momentum to challenge the home team.
"The pitch was quite hard and we probably weren't patient enough," he said. "We tried to force it too much."
Tenacious defender Devon Munn scored his second goal of the season from a corner.
Reliable midfielder Lincoln Rule also took his tally to two. But the second half goals were unable to spark a Pride revival.
"I thought everyone battled hard but individually and not as a unit," Wehrman said.
"They (CQ) deserved to win. We didn't match them."
While happy with many aspects of his new side's first NPL season, Wehrman said improved road trip performances were something the side could build on.
"We take the positives out of it and just learn from it," he said.
"Hopefully we can put it back into place again next season."
Western Pride return to North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday night to tackle Moreton Bay Jets.
State of Play
National Premier League: Central Queensland 4 (J Miller 2, J Hardwick, J Crowley) d Western Pride 2 (Devon Munn, Lincoln Rule).
Capital League 1: Western Spirit played Bayside United in a catch-up game last night.
Capital League 2: Grange Thistle 4 (S Somerville, E McGrath, A Shortman, B Paget) d Ipswich City 3 (Ben Robson). Reserves. Grange d Ipswich City 3-0.