Pride joins passion in club's gift

ALL Western Pride coach Kasey Wehrman wanted for his 37th birthday was another National Premier League victory.

Well not quite. He wants to win every state league match.

But a home ground victory in difficult conditions would have been a fitting reward for the supportive mentor and the regional club for its efforts on and off the field.

Wehrman stood in Saturday night's rain at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex watching his team lead 1-0 before trailing 3-1, getting back to 3-2 and finally losing 5-2.

Top-five contenders Far North Queensland Heat had too much firepower and class up front.

"They battled really hard," Wehrman said of his youth-laden side. "They worked as hard as they always do for me. I can never complain about that."

Wehrman is leaving the club at the end of the season, returning to Norway where he spent a decade playing.

While he hasn't received any concrete coaching offers, he's starting to realise his two-year stint at Pride is nearly over.

His main focus is trying to maintain a positive environment at the club, something he has done developing a number of players and earning widespread respect.

The coach again fielded some under-20 players who benefited from the higher level experience.

"We've struggled to keep the numbers up this year and we've had injuries and stuff like that," he said. "But it is what it is and they can hold their heads up high. They are still learning and still progressing."

Although Pride had little to celebrate on the field in Saturday's dreary conditions, the club stood tall for its community support.

The Yellow Hearts Day to raise money for the children of the late Allison Baden-Clay was a huge success.

The auctions proved popular, yellow was worn by the Pride players and fans and even the fireworks show continued as the rain continued to tumble.

The final amount was still being tallied. However, many people braved the conditions to offer their support to an initiative driven by general manager Pat Boyle, chairman Kym Wickstein and the family-minded Pride club.

"It's great," Wehrman said, as fireworks crackled overhead.

"The weather didn't help us but the people that turned out can be really proud of their efforts to stay here the whole evening.

"It was a really good cause. They (Pride) put a lot of work into stuff like this."

NPL: Far North Queensland 5 d Western Pride 2 (Lincoln Rule 2 penalties).



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