Future bright for club's U20 grand finalists
FOOTBALL: Being the polished young coach he is, Jordan Manning congratulated Brisbane City for completing their powerhouse year as National Premier Leagues under-20 champions.
However, he was proud of how Western Pride fought so hard until the final whistle, especially with five players backing up from the club's under-18 grand final success earlier that day.
Brisbane City won Saturday night's NPL under-20 grand final 6-1 after Pride had Ben Barratt controversially sent off early for an aerial tackle resulting in a head clash.
The competition frontrunners only led 1-0 at halftime at their Newmarket headquarters before they stamped their mark on the game.
Mitch Herrmann scored a late consolation goal for Pride.
"City are pretty much all 20 year olds except for a few,'' Manning said.
"I grew up playing with the boys being a Brisbane City junior and they have an exceptional side.
"They won the league last year and they've kept the same squad this year.''
Manning said while City deserved their latest reward, Pride had plenty to look forward to in that age group, where players were often moved between under-18s and the senior team.
"From our perspective, how many of those (City) boys will stay around having done the double twice?'' Manning said.
"We've got one of the youngest squads in the league.
"For us to even be in that (grand final) position is unreal, with a young squad and every-thing that's gone on.
"We've had lots and lots of challenges throughout the year and they just had to come in and work hard and got ourselves in that position.''
NPL U20 grand final: Brisbane City 6 def Western Pride 1 (Mitch Herrmann) at Newmarket.