Crowd to lift Bulls for local duel
HAVING ambushed Western Spirit once already this season, the Ipswich City Bulls are bracing for a home ground repeat performance in tonight's Division 1 local derby at Brassall.
However, after coming from 2-0 down to win their season-opener 3-2 at Goodna, the Bulls are anxious to score first for a change.
Bulls co-coach Nev O'Sullivan was keeping his final line-up under wraps for the showdown at Sutton Park.
With an expected vocal crowd willing on the Bulls, O'Sullivan was confident of another tenacious effort against Spirit.
"We've got everyone on deck and there's no injury problems," O'Sullivan said.
"It's just picking a starting 11."
O'Sullivan said Scott Hyland would probably start on the bench as a fresh impact player in an unchanged team from last Saturday night's 3-1 loss to Albany Creek.
But he's guarding his team formation until match day.
The Ipswich City Football Club sponsors night is being held to coincide with the local derbies at 4.45pm and 7pm.
Sponsors nights in recent years have attracted excellent crowds, adding to the local derby experience.
"The guys are jumping out of their skin," O'Sullivan said, being a loyal Ipswich footballer who loved playing in local derbies for St Helens.
"The guys are keen to win at home. They want to show our crowd what's going on. They're very loyal supporters we've got."
O'Sullivan said players like Zygan Condie were eager to impress after playing well without finding the net in recent weeks.
"He's working hard. He knows he's just a little bit out of luck like the whole team is at the moment," the coach said.
The Bulls had shooting practice through the week to sharpen up their radar for tonight.
"Everything is going sweet. Pretty confident this week," O'Sullivan said.
Tonight's match is the official start of the second round.
O'Sullivan said winning the first local derby against his former club had little bearing on tonight's preparations because the teams are different.
But he has a plan.
"If we lose the ball, Spirit are going to hold on to it for long, long periods," he said.
"We've just got to be patient and make sure when we get it back to enjoy the football."
O'Sullivan is keen for his players to keep the pressure on Spirit rather than trying to score with every attacking move.
"If we can get the first goal, I think we will go on with it," he said.
Ipswich City squad: Dean Stenzel, Andrew McWaters, Luke Slater, Ronan Geoghegan, Norbert Duga (c), Scott Hyland, Aaron Willman, Joel Munn, Chris Gale, Josh Broadrick, Zygan Condie, Matt Grassick, Nathan Mantan, Josh Gallagher.
Western Spirit: Unavailable yesterday.
Tonight: Local derbies - Ipswich City v Western Spirit at Sutton Park, Brassall. Reserve grade kicks off at 4.45pm with main game at 7pm.
Tomorrow: Ipswich Knights v Albany Creek at Eric Evans Reserve, Bundamba. Division 1 game at 3pm after Reserves clash at 12.45pm.
Latest points (games played in brackets):
1. Mitchelton 29 (12),
2. Albany Creek 25 (12),
3. Southside Eagles 24 (12),
4. Pine Rivers Utd 20 (10),
5. Logan 20 (11) ,
6. Moggill 15 (12),
7. Ipswich Knights 15 (11),
8. Pine Hills 15 (11),
9. Rocklea Utd 15 (13),
10. Western Spirit 14 (11),
11. Brisbane Force 12 (11), 12. Mt Gravatt 11 (12),
13. Ipswich City 9 (13),
14. Slacks Creek 5 (11).