Ipswich-based teams to test early form in FFA Cup
HAVING a grand final rematch to open the FFA Cup preliminary competition is just what coach Nick Paterson wants.
Back for his second year in charge of the Capital League 2 side, Paterson welcomes tomorrow night's knockout series encounter against last year's champion side Souths United.
"It will be a good hitout for us,'' Paterson said.
"It's probably what we need leading into round one.
"At this stage, we want to the get boys through unscathed, fit and ready for round one. That's our main focus this year.''
The Football Brisbane premiership kicks off on February 20 for Spirit, with a Saturday night home match against The Gap.
Tomorrow night's FFA Cup clash is also at Kippen Park, set down for 7.15pm.
Paterson is heartened by Spirit's pre-season progress having had trials against teams like Bayside, Holland Park, Logan Metro and the Knights Reserves.
Spirit also played Capital League 4 team Springfield United, who host Park Ridge at Woodcrest College on Saturday afternoon in their opening FFA Cup game.
Spirit's Capital League 2 opponents Ipswich City tackle Tarragindi Tigers in their first FFA Cup match at Sutton Park on Saturday night.
For last year's grand final runners-up Spirit, Paterson is confident of another competitive season assisted by experienced football mentor Paul Milne and Reserve grade coach Kevin Rozynski.
"I'd say we are on par with our squad last year,'' Paterson said.
"We've lost a few but we have replaced them quite well and maybe added a little bit of depth.''
Among those switching clubs or unavailable are Corey Lucas (Western Pride), Robbie Livingstone (osteitis pubis) and last season's player of the year Damien Andison (travelling).
One of the club's handy additions is former Moggill holding midfielder Josh Murphy.
Meanwhile, the Ipswich City Bulls have also been building for the new season with trials against the Knights Reserves, Pride under 20s and Centenary.
With new coach Norbert Duga away for the next few games, club stalwart Trent Abel is running the side.
"I'm pretty happy with it (how they are going),'' Abel said. "The numbers are starting to pick up now, getting close to the season.''
Among major acquisitions are former Western Pride speedster Jay Kitching, who is reuniting with his brother Shaun.
The Bulls have lost Ronan Geoghegan (Western Pride) and Liam Mercer (transfer) for the 2016 CL2 season.
Some Bulls players started working on their fitness before Christmas, stepping up their Tuesday and Thursday night training in the new year.
Jamie Beahan will coach the Bulls Reserve grade side which has a trial against Tarragindi's Reserves before Saturday night's FFA Cup clash at Brassall.
FFA Cup preliminary rounds
Tomorrow (7.15pm): Western Spirit v Souths United at Kippen Park, Goodna.
Saturday: 5pm - Springfield United v Park Ridge at Woodcrest College, Springfield. 6pm: Ipswich City v Tarragindi Tigers at Sutton Park, Brassall.