Loyal player to fulfil new role
WESTERN Pride has received a major boost with one of its most experienced players re-signing for the 2016 National Premier Leagues season.
Ipswich born and bred midfielder Lincoln Rule is committed to his fourth year with the state league club after considering other offers.
The valuable footballer has decided to continue his career in the NPL, accepting a more senior role in the team he helped build in its inaugural season.
"I'm very proud of Ipswich and have been very proud to be playing with Pride since they were formed,'' Rule said.
"It's something I certainly regard highly.
"I get great pride out of representing Ipswich and that's why I decided to stay.''
Aged 24, Brassall-based Rule is at the top end of the playing group involved in the NPL development league.
However, after a frank chat with head coach Graham Harvey, Rule recognised the important role he can play with so many promising teenagers coming through.
"Graham said something along the lines that you've only got one football career so you should try and play at the highest level you can,'' Rule said.
"That's certainly the NPL in Queensland.
"My Pride teammates are fantastic and they are great to be around, and everyone at Pride gets along, on and off the field.
"The club has been fantastic to me the last three years so I just want to repay the faith.''
Having graduated from his business management studies, Rule welcomes an increased leadership role at Pride while he pursues new employment.
"For the young players to progress and for them to develop, they need a few experienced heads around them,'' the popular Ipswich footballer said.
"I want to help the younger players develop as much as I can.
"That's something I'm looking forward to. For me, I've never been the experienced player in the team before.
"This season I really want to step up and try to be as influential as I can on the younger players.''
Rule knows he has plenty of future opportunities when he chooses to play again in the Brisbane Premier League.
"I did have a look around,'' Rule (pictured) said, having recently played futsal with some Knights friends for fun and fitness.
"I thought about going back to Knights.
"There's a lot of things that attracted me to my junior club. I've got a lot of mates and I've got a lot of respect for Troy (club president Troy Beahan) and I think Stewart Drinkeld is a fantastic coach and is someone I look up to a lot.
"I thought about going back and playing Brisbane Premier League but it was ultimately unfinished business I felt I had at Pride.
"While I've still go ambitions to go further, I think the NPL is the league that I have to be in.''
Rule's decision to remain with the Ipswich-based NPL club comes as Western Pride's roster of coaches is being finalised for the 2016 season.
A number of Pride coaches involved with the Skill Acquisition Program (SAP) worked with young players at yesterday's latest morning session at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Western Pride technical director Gabor Ganczer was encouraged by the quality of coaches already building teams for next season.
"Coaching, in my opinion, is similar to player development,'' Ganczer said.
"With the experienced core of people we have, we will be maybe one of the stronger clubs around.
"I'm very happy. With the SAP coaches joining in, we will have the whole range to develop Pride and also the foundation clubs.''
Pride's important development role was highlighted when 2015 player Harry Sawyer scored his first goal since being recruited to the Brisbane Roar National Youth League team.
Sawyer converted a penalty in Roar's 3-1 weekend win over Melbourne Victory at Cleveland.
Sawyer, goalkeeper Bon Scott (Newcastle Jets National Youth League) and Ajdin Fetahagic (Bosnian club Velez Mostar) secured higher level opportunites in the NPL off-season.
Western Pride's 2016 coaching staff
- Seniors teams: Men - Graham Harvey (UEFA A Licence). Goalkeeper coach: John Garside (AFC and UEFA accredited). Dan Burnell to assist. U20/Youth men: to be appointed. U18 men: Krishneel Maharaj (AFC B Licence).
- Technical director: Gabor Ganczer (AFC Pro Diploma, UEFA A Licence).
- NPL boys U12: Jacob Minett (AFC C Licence). U13: Jamie Dixon (AFC B Licence). U14: to be confirmed. U15: Kerwin Jean-Pierre (AFC C Licence). U16: Jamie Dixon (AFC B Licence) and Gabor Ganczer (AFC Pro Diploma).
- NPL girls U13: Tiffany Morris, Annie Leyland. U15: Peter Fay (AFC C Licence). U20: Len Manwaring (AFC C Licence).
- SAP and skill development teams: U9 boys - Jacob Minett. U10 boys: Kerwin Jean-Pierre. U11 boys: Jamie Dixon. U10/11 girls: Callie Manwaring.