Ipswich Knights stalwart Wayne Adams (right) is being given a vital role up front in tomorrow’s Division 1 match at Bundamba.
Ipswich Knights stalwart Wayne Adams (right) is being given a vital role up front in tomorrow’s Division 1 match at Bundamba.

Challenging time for clubs

IPSWICH'S Division 1 teams playing at home this weekend are tackling frustrations sure to test their club character.

However, it's rising above tough times and winning that makes success so satisfying.

After the Ipswich City Bulls face Pine Rivers United at Brassall tonight, the Ipswich Knights are hoping to finally play a match at Bundamba tomorrow against Rocklea United.

With his team having last played four weeks ago, Knights head coach Ashley Hempstead expects his side to be short of match endurance.

Rocklea pose an added challenge, having been in good form, including a 6-1 victory over Southside Eagles last weekend.

However, Hempstead believes the return of experienced striker Trent Griffiths will lift his side - especially with last year's Golden Boot winner Peter Drager away on his honeymoon.

"When Griff plays, we are a different side," Hempstead said.

In a daring move, Hempstead is bringing stalwart Wayne "Noodles" Adams back into the top side to work up front with Griffiths.

"He talks on the park and is someone who can hold the ball up," Hempstead said.

"If we get 60 or 70 minutes out of him, I'll be happy with that."

Hempstead has concerns about captain Stephen Hughes who was troubled by bronchitis this week.

The plan was to move a fit Hughes from sweeper to midfield to strengthen the team in the middle of the park.

"It's not a good preparation but we'll just do what we can," Hempstead said.

Meanwhile, Bulls co-coach Nev O'Sullivan is making forced changes of his own with Matt Grassick (ribs) and Andrew McWaters (calf) injured.

He's planning to move captain Norbert Duga to right fullback and let the skilful Chris Gale fill Grassick's forward role, working with Zygan Condie.

Condie returned to the Bulls last weekend after receiving limited game time at the Knights.

"They (Condie and Gale) should complement each other," O'Sullivan said.

O'Sullivan said his team's main focus tonight was getting an early goal or two after the Bulls have held opponents scoreless for the first half in recent games without converting their chances.

 

GAME DAY

Division 1: Tonight (7pm) - Ipswich City v Pine Rivers United, Sutton Park, Brassall. Tomorrow: 3pm - Ipswich Knights v Rocklea United, Eric Evans Reserve, Bundamba. 4pm: Western Spirit v Pine Hills, James Drysdale Reserve.

SEQ Diamond League: Tonight (6pm) - Ipswich Knights v Toowoomba in Toowoomba.



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