LEADING HOPES: Western Pride’s senior team captains Kirsten Veeron and Jesse Rigby prepare for their National Premier Leagues season opening games in Ipswich this weekend. The Pride men tackle Sunshine Coast tomorrow night before the Pride women launch their 2016 campaign against Redlands on Sunday, also at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
LEADING HOPES: Western Pride’s senior team captains Kirsten Veeron and Jesse Rigby prepare for their National Premier Leagues season opening games in Ipswich this weekend. The Pride men tackle Sunshine Coast tomorrow night before the Pride women launch their 2016 campaign against Redlands on Sunday, also at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex. Football Queensland

Captain's pre-season scare after slicing thumb

WESTERN Pride captain Jesse Rigby nearly missed the start of a new football season after slicing his thumb.

Trying his hand as an apprentice carpenter, he watched in horror as his left thumb came in contact with a circular saw.

However, with Pride about to launch their 2016 National Premier Leagues campaign at Briggs Road tomorrow night, Rigby is ready to go.

"I nearly lost my thumb,'' Rigby said.

"I was cutting a beam and the circular saw just kicked back and ran straight up the middle the thumb.

"It's all good now. I've got two nails in it.

"It's pretty much back to normal now.''

Rigby played in a number of Pride's pre-season games having retained the captaincy for his second season in the NPL state competition.

With some new faces in the Pride line-up, he's keen to play an important leadership role as he did during a major learning period last year.

Pride were in finals' contention until the final few games.

"It's looking good,'' Rigby, 18, said of the new season.

Having some older players like goalkeeper Duncan Short and Geoff MacIntyre will provide increased stability for the younger members of the Pride side.

"He (Short) is a pretty good shot stopper,'' Rigby said.

MacIntyre, 26, is a striker from New Zealand.

Rigby, last year's Pride player of the year, said making an earlier start in the pre-season was also beneficial.

"It's really has helped us,'' the defensive midfielder said.

"We're really getting to know each other now and we've come a long way with our structure and all that.''

Pride tackle Sunshine Coast in their opening match, scheduled for 7pm tomorrow.

Coach Graham Harvey is satisfied his squad gained plenty of benefit from their pre-season trials. However, he was keen to use the final training session last night to sharpen up the attack.

"I'm relatively happy with how we are tracking,'' Harvey said.

"Obviously we'd like to be scoring a few more goals and getting some more wins in the pre-season just to build some confidence.

"We're still a young side and we're going through that whole development stage.''

Harvey was also monitoring the progress of Jordan Lambi, who will most likely start on the bench tomorrow.

The Pride coach will name his team on match morning this season.

That's something players like skipper Rigby were used to under former coach Karl Dodd.

After his circular saw mishap, Rigby gave up his apprentice carpentry idea and returned to Griffith University where he's studying Commerce.

As he continues his football development, that might prove a safer option.

Game Day

  • National Premier League: Tomorrow (7pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
  • Women's NPL: Sunday (3pm) - Western Pride v Redlands at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
  • Brisbane Premier League: Tomorrow (6pm) - Ipswich Knights v Logan Lightning at Cornubia Park.
  • Capital League 2: Tomorrow (7pm) - Western Spirit v Slacks Creek at Usher Park; Ipswich City v Redcliffe at Talobilla Park.


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