Knights 2016 head coach Stewart Drinkeld (left) with 2017 replacement Danny Wilson.
Knights 2016 head coach Stewart Drinkeld (left) with 2017 replacement Danny Wilson. David Nielsen

How new Knights coach wants to achieve goals

NEWLY-appointed Ipswich Knights head coach Danny Wilson has wasted little time preparing for the 2017 Brisbane Premier League season.

He's hoping to work more closely with National Premier Leagues club Western Pride as he recruits more talent to support the quality Ipswich players he has.

"I'm definitely keen,'' Wilson said. "I have a lot to offer the Ipswich Knights football club.''

Raceview-based Wilson is one of Ipswich's most loyal campaigners having come through Coalstars junior ranks, before playing Premier League for the Knights.

He gained valuable experience during stints with QAS, Brisbane City and Brisbane Force before returning to the club two years ago as an assistant coach. He has learnt from elite mentors like Frank Pimblett and Bruce Stowell.

Wilson, 32, replaces former Premier League teammate Stewart Drinkeld who has stood down for family reasons.

"Stewie is definitely a good mate,'' Wilson said, happy to build on what has been set up.

"Stewie and I were working together and things changed with Stewie and whatnot, which was probably a little bit unexpected but definitely with discussions with Troy (club president Troy Beahan) the club is very supportive.

"I'll be doing my best to try to keep the progression the club's been on.''

In other key appointments for the new season, Bob Maclot will remain as Reserve grade coach after his team made the finals.

Andrew Ogden will oversee the Knights' under-18 side with Danny's brother Lucas guiding the Knights' under 16s.

Lucas was the Knights' Player of the Year this season.

For older brother Danny, the new appointment comes with added responsibility.

Next season, the BPL first grade becomes a promotion-relegation system where the top two Division 1 sides go up and the bottom two BPL teams are demoted.

This year, the Knights were in the danger zone finishing 10th out of 12 sides.

"The foundation is there,'' former defender Wilson said.

"I think we have to slightly change our game plan, our training and what- not. Looking to make sure we instil a hard-working ethic into the team and making sure we get ourselves extremely fit.

"The things we've done last year haven't quite clicked.''

Wilson hopes to retain Ipswich-bred players he's helped develop like Matt Flick, Lincoln Rule, Matt Savini, Jay Kitching and goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg.

He's also planning to bring in some exciting young players and coaching assistants to achieve his goals. That involves seeing if Western Pride have got players who can gain more experience playing BPL.

Wilson said Maclot did a fine job in his first year working the Reserves this season.

"He's definitely the right club fit to have for us,'' Wilson said.

Wilson has a long association with Ogden, keen to continue developing the Knights junior production line into senior ranks.

The new head coach has mapped out a pre-season plan for his players before the team gets back together in early December.

Wilson is setting a positive example.

"Most mornings, I'm out running, riding, trying to get myself fit,'' he said. "To make sure I can keep the boys and look after them.''



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