Sport

Fired up to dominate

Sunshine Coast Fire captain Greig Henslee is keen to get amid the action in the Australian Premier League.
Sunshine Coast Fire captain Greig Henslee is keen to get amid the action in the Australian Premier League. Warren Lynam

FOOTBALL: Sunshine Coast captain Greig Henslee is convinced the Fire can transfer its dominance to the new Australian Premier League.

The APL's 12-team Queensland Conference is the dawning of a new day for football in the state - the Fire's four championships and three premierships having come in a defunct, supposedly weaker competition.

A new-look Coast side will take the field in round one in March, but Henslee says a winner's mentality is ingrained in the Fire's DNA.

He is relishing the prospect of competing in the new competition.

"We're going to be right up there. We're going to be as good as any team in that league," he said.

"And it's going to be like a real league, where you have to fight every single week.

"That's going to make it really exciting. You'll really have to be on your game every single week if you're going to come away with the points."

The Fire starts pre-season training this week.

For the first time since the side's inaugural season in 2008, inspirational midfielder Tyson Holmes and striker Shaun Blackman will not figure in the build-up to a new season.

Holmes has joined South Melbourne FC and Blackman is retired.

Defender Ryan Smith is the sole remaining member of the 2008 premiership and championship-winning side.

The Fire will also have to cull its foreign-player list.

Under APL rules, each team is permitted only three overseas players.

Six foreigners featured in the Fire side that beat the Whitsunday Miners in last season's State League grand final.

Forward James Verdin may also be gone as it is understood he has a trial with a Melbourne-based Victorian Premier League side, and skilled Kiwi striker Dakota Lucas is recovering from knee surgery in New Zealand and is no certainty to return to the Coast.

Henslee said that while midfield general Holmes, in particular, would be "sorely missed", the Fire was used to starting each season with plenty of new faces.

He said: "We'll be fine. We've lost good players in the past … the truth is we've always come up with the goods in the end and I don't see how that will change."

Henslee "can't wait" for the APL to start.

He said the State League had become stale and burdened with too many under-performing sides.

"With this new structure they're not going to put up with teams just being in there and getting by," he said. "That's really going to push the whole state forward and push the youth to improve."

New Coast coach Kevin A'Herne-Evans has invited some of the best local strikers to pre-season training in a bid to plug the goal-scoring hole left by Blackman, Holmes and potentially Lucas.

Those players include Matt Thompson (Noosa), Luke Alderson (Woombye) and ex-Fire player Ryan Delahunty (Kawana).

FORMER Noosa mentor A'Herne-Evans - Richard Hudson's replacement at the Fire - said: "It's an opportunity for some of the local boys.

"I've played against them and with them the last couple of years and I know their strengths.

"Whether they can commit to the amount of training that goes with it and the expectancy that they're going to take one step further and be more professional (has to be determined)."



Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Plenty of likes for 'Sliding Home'

'Sliding Home'

Here is this week's Facebook cover image as chosen by you.

Bikie killer sentenced for bashing child sex offender

Shane Michael Oulds, faced Rockhampton District Court charged with grievous bodily harm over an assault at the Capricornia Correctional Centre last year.

In a vigilante move, this murderer committed a 'violent attack'

Local Partners

Show legend returns to post after being run over by float

FOR absolute total dedication to the Ipswich Show look no further than 85-year-old Kalbar farmer Syd Haag.


Paddinton Bear is coming to Ipswich

IN TOWN: Annette Kitching plays the part of Paddington Bear in The Cute Little Bear From Peru at the Incinerator Theatre.

FAVOURITE children's character set to delight in new show

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

IPSWICH SHOW: What's on at the showgrounds today

Ipswich Show 2017. Sasha Bondzulic and Kirra Peel.

THE show fun continues today with plenty of rides, games and stunts

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!