Ipswich goalkeeper secures trial with A-League outfit
WESTERN Pride captain Kirsten Veeren has been handed a two-week trial with Brisbane Roar.
Over the past two seasons, the goalkeeper has set high standards at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex, resulting in a second chance to impress the Roar coaching staff.
Veeren spent the 2015/16 W-League football season training alongside Roar's squad, before joining Pride at the start of last season.
Preparing for Saturday's latest National Premier Leagues match at home, Veeren said she had been working hard on feedback she received at Roar.
"After my original training stint, Roar asked me to to keep working on my tactical side of the game," Veeren said.
"Being in a leadership role at Pride for the last two seasons has really allowed me to develop that tactical side, as has doing some coaching licenses."
Veeren's development has been boosted by Pride's female football program being led by two goalkeepers in the form of senior women's coach Belinda Kitching and assistant Brayden Hoffman.
"Having Belinda as a coach has been amazing because she actually understands goalkeeping which I believe is a very rare trait for a head coach to have," Veeren said.
"She has been working with me on my decision making and I know she'll always tell me if something I'm doing isn't good enough."
Veeren is the third goalkeeper at Pride to receive recognition this season. Elli Chapple has been away with the Queensland NTC squad and Lateisha Wilkins recently played for Queensland's under 15 team at the National Youth Championships.
The ex-Lions junior said the fact Pride could attract such talented young keepers reflected greatly on the coaching.
"I think it shows how much goalkeepers can develop when they're a priority and not just an afterthought," Veeren said.
"So many coaches plan their sessions around the outfield players and don't consider what that's going to do for the goalkeepers. Either the keepers just join in what the field players are doing or they're sent off on their own to do goalkeeper training without any real aim.
"Having a head coach and assistant coach who are both goalkeepers shows what can happen when you truly understand the position and give keepers the same amount of thought as the rest of the team."
The Pride women play Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Saturday afternoon before the club's men's team head to the Sunshine Coast for Sunday's clash.
Victory over the Sunshine Coast would propel the Pride men into the top four.
The Ipswich Knights are at home on Sunday afternoon against Logan.
Ipswich City and Western Spirit have away matches this weekend.
NPL: Sunday (2pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Women's NPL: Saturday (3pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
BPL: Sunday (3.15pm) - Ipswich Knights v Logan at Eric Evans Reserve.
CL2: Saturday (6pm) - Western Spirit v Toowong at Dunmore Park. Sunday (3pm) - Ipswich City v New Farm United.