DESPERATE DEFENCE: Western Pride goalkeeper Steve Purdy and defender Aaron Christensen scramble to stop a goal attempt during a National Premier League game.
DESPERATE DEFENCE: Western Pride goalkeeper Steve Purdy and defender Aaron Christensen scramble to stop a goal attempt during a National Premier League game. David Nielsen

Pride's rising to prove NPL worth

HAVING enjoyed a rare weekend off, Western Pride coach Kasey Wehrman looked refreshed after putting his team through another slick training session.

He walked off the Briggs Road Sporting Complex field happy everyone had a short break, including the club's junior players and their dedicated parents.

"A lot of them do a lot of school football as well so they're a 100 miles an hour most of the time,'' he said.

However, with the second round of the National Premier League kicking off this weekend, it's back to business.

Pride are playing the QAS Academy tonight at Kippen Park. Western Spirit is hosting the rescheduled game as part of ongoing community support by the region's leading clubs.

After Pride drew 2-2 with QAS in their first NPL game, Wehrman expects his vastly improved side to perform better tonight.

"I don't think QAS are going to play the same way as what they played last time," Wehrman said.

"They have been playing very much in their own half, defensive stuff. And just playing counter-attack football.

"I'm pretty confident that we're the better team over 90 minutes.

"With the way that we've been playing, the way we came through the first round, they (the Pride players) should feel confident going into the game."

After completing his session on Thursday night, Wehrman said midfielder Jeye Comerford was suspended. He was sent off in Pride's previous clash against Olympic.

Captain Niall McCarthy trained well as he prepares for a comeback following a troublesome groin injury.

"Everyone looks okay," Wehrman said.

"Devon (Munn) was the one struggling last week with his hip but he pulled through tonight's training all right."

Wehrman is happy the game is being played at Kippen Park, hopefully offering similar advantages to recent Pride matches at Bundamba.

"The pitch is a little bit the same as well," he said.

"It's nice and tight. It's compact so it's going to help the way they (QAS) are playing but it's on our own turf as well.

"A lot of the boys are familiar with it, which always helps."

Wehrman said it's up the players to respond.

"What they showed in the first 11 rounds, I expect improvement on that," he said.

"They have had their looking and seeing period.

"Now it's time to also step forward and show that we belong in this competition.

"We've mixed it with the best of them, beaten some of them and we've played well against a lot of them.

"So let's take that attitude into the next half."

Game Day

National Premier League - Tonight (6.30pm) - Western Pride (9th) v QAS (12th) at Kippen Park, Goodna. Under 18's at 4pm. Under 7 exhibition game at 5.50pm. Presidents penalty shootout at halftime.

Brisbane Premier League: Today (3pm) - Ipswich Knights (8th) v at UQFC (12th) at University of Queensland. Reserves at 12.45pm.



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