Forget bragging rights, points more precious in local derby
THE Ipswich City Bulls rate securing three points more important than bragging rights in Sunday night's Capital League 1 local derby at Brassall.
The Bulls organised a last minute friendly with the Brisbane Knights after their SEQ FFA Cup opponents from Toowoomba forfeited.
Bulls head coach Norbert Duga hopes that provided extra momentum preparing to tackle Western Spirit, who won their opening premiership match 2-0 against Pine Hills.
"It's just another round in a long season,'' Duga said.
"Forget that it's a derby. It's an opportunity to pick up a valuable three points and kickstart our season (after losing 2-1 in the first round).
"We're hoping to come out injury and suspension free.''
Western Spirit co-coach Matt Raub also had a number of injury concerns. He gave his players last weekend off with no SEQ FFA Cup match.
"It should be a good test of our depth, to see where we are,'' Raub said of the derby, working with an 18-strong first-team squad.
Duga said getting fitter was an early focus for his squad with goalkeeper Zayne Frieberg, Nick Parfitt, Jimmy Allison and Tom Satiriadis still out.
Valuable leader Ronan Geoghegan has been away with the RAAF and flies in this weekend. Duga was still deciding whether he would play.
The Bulls coach was pleased to welcome former Premier League players Trent Griffiths, Ben Hunt and Phil Brown into this year's side. The ex-Knights regulars add plenty of quality and experience.
The full Bulls squad is: Zayne Freiberg, Brent Witney, Dean Stenzel, Ben Hunt, Ronan Geoghegan, Joel Munn, Daniel Dionysious, Nathan Manttan, Tom Sotiriadis, Michael Ward, Jimmy Allison, Phil Brown, Alex Kitching, Nathan Gee, Dane Grant, Jay Kitching, Zygan Condie, Jack Ryder, Trent Griffiths, Ronald Batal, Nick Carson, Nick Parfitt.
The Western Spirit squad was unavailable.
Duga said the main Sutton Park field was looking great after some off-season maintenance.
CL1: Sunday (5.15pm) - Ipswich City v Western Spirit at Sutton Park, Brassall. Reserve Grade at 3pm.
Women's BPL: Saturday (5.15pm) - Ipswich City v The Lakes at Sutton Park, Brassall.
CL3: Sunday (5pm) - Springfield v Bethania Rams Athletic.