Knights in mood to set standard
IF the Ipswich Knights had any pre-season anxiety, new coach Ian Carson quickly dispelled it preparing for tonight’s Division 1 season-opener against Southside Eagles.
Despite recent problems due to the flood and not knowing a lot about the newly-promoted Eagles, Carson was bubbling with enthusiasm.
“Just bring it on. We’re raring to go,” Carson said.
The Knights were one of the hardest hit clubs, losing their clubhouse and only being able to return to their Bundamba base to train this week.
However, Carson has backed his side to set a high standard this season, starting with tonight’s 6.30pm clash at Memorial Park, Bulimba.
“We’re on track now,” said Carson, who replaced last year’s Division 1 mentor Billy Livingstone.
“We’ve had five pre-season trials and I was pretty happy with four of them.
“I haven’t heard much about Southside. They are flying under the radar.
“We’ll just go out and play our own game.
“We don’t want to change our game plan. We want teams chasing us this year.”
Carson was thrilled everyone was putting in 100 percent, especially stalwart Stu Hinks who co-captained last year’s Reserve grade side.
“I’ve never seen a man so fit. I can’t believe how good he is,” Carson said.
“He’s just stood up like you wouldn’t believe.”
Hinks will start in the midfield working with the Knights’ established backline of captain Stephen Hughes, Nick Parfitt and Alex Jimmink.
Brodie Kenyon will also slot into the midfield, having returned to the club after a season with Premier League club Taringa.
With Ben Hunt and Phil Brown supplying Peter Drager and Trent Griffiths up front, the Knights have plenty of strike power.
The Knights showed good form in their past two trials – beating Beenleigh 5-1 and Brisbane Athletic 7-1.
“That (last Friday night’s game against Beenleigh) was probably the best I’ve seen them play in 12 months,” Carson said. “They just clicked.
“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but we’ll take that.”
The Knights also have playmaker Peter Hinks, the durable Wayne Adams, skilful Matt Flick and handy Andy Drager to return.
The Knights Reserves, under new coach Nick Paterson, kick off their season in today’s 4.15pm match at Bulimba.
Knights squad for tonight’s 6.30pm clash at Bulimba: Zayne Freiberg (goalkeeper), Damian Hoffman, Stephen Hughes (captain), Nick Parfitt, Alex Jimmink, Stu Hinks, Brodie Kenyon, Phil Brown, Ben Hunt, Peter Drager, Trent Griffiths, Justin Smith, Andrew Korner, Travis Arnold, one to be added.