Knights hope to get back on track with North Star
IT'S just as well Ipswich Knights coach Mark Dykman is a positive person. Otherwise, he'd be pulling his hair out in frustration.
With a growing injury list, suspension issues and player unavailability, the team running onto Eric Evans Reserve tomorrow will scarcely resemble what the Knights fielded in the first few weeks of the Brisbane Premier League competition.
Preparing to play North Star at Bundamba, the Knights have lost fleet-footed captain Igor Sao Jose (suspension), hard-working defender Alex Anderson (sore back), midfielder Victor Fenehia (hamstring injury) and striker Matt Taylor (in Sydney).
Defenders Jonas Rasmussen and Alistair Wallis are also in doubt, and recently acquired midfielder Dan Liddy didn't train this week.
All that happened in the week following the Knights uncharacteristic poor defensive showing against Peninsula Power.
The out-of-sorts BPL side was thrashed 6-0 by the third-placed Power, having matched all the top sides up until that away game.
"Power's front three are unbelievable,'' Dykman said.
"It shows if you don't turn up on the day, you can get damaged.
"It's that time of the season where you pick up suspensions and everyone's got colds and flus and hamstrings.
"It's really unfortunate for us at the moment.''
On the positive side, the Knights welcome back key striker Mitch Davis and classy utility Peter Hinks for tomorrow's 3pm home clash.
Dykman was also impressed with the training efforts of midfielders Adam O'Sullivan and Matt Christensen.
Meanwhile, the Ipswich City Bulls are keen to climb up the Capital League 2 ladder by winning tonight's game at Park Ridge.
The seventh-place Bulls can move back into top four finals range by beating their fifth-placed opponents at Hubner Park.
Midfielder Lucas Wilson has one more match to complete his suspension.
Striker Liam Mercer is anxious to continue his form after netting a hat-trick last weekend.
After losing 2-1 to Park Ridge in the first round, coach Nev O'Sullivan said the Bulls were focused on an improved second round showing.
"We're just going to try and claw our way up and fly under the radar,'' he said.
"Everyone should be raring to go.''
The Bulls also have two catch-up games to improve their position.
Western Spirit are chasing their second win of the Capital League 1 season against eighth-placed Pine Rivers at Kippen Park tonight.
National Premier League - Tonight (6pm) - Western Pride (9th) v Northern Fury (7th) at Eric Evans Oval, Bundamba.
Brisbane Premier League: Tomorrow (3pm) - Ipswich Knights (7th) v North Star (10th) at Eric Evans Oval, Bundamba. Reserves at 12.45pm.
Capital League 1: Tonight (6pm) - Western Spirit (12th) v Pine Rivers United (8th) at Kippen Park, Goodna. Reserves at 4pm.
Capital League 2: Tonight (6pm) - Ipswich City (7th) v Park Ridge (5th) at Hubner Park. Reserves at 4pm.