Western Spirit players celebrate a goal during a recent trial for the Division 1 season starting this weekend.
Western Spirit players celebrate a goal during a recent trial for the Division 1 season starting this weekend. Griffith Thomas

Spirit up for tough challenge

LAST season, Western Spirit were able to catch everyone off guard and sneak under the radar on their way to leading the competition for several weeks.

Not this year.

Although having a similar Division 1 combination that almost lifted Spirit into Premier League, coach Nev O’Sullivan knows his team will face extra pressure this season.

However, he’s satisfied his stable Spirit combination can meet the challenge despite losing its Kippen Park field and training base due to the January floods.

“We’re right,” O’Sullivan said preparing for tomorrow night’s season opener against Toowoomba at Clive Berghofer Stadium.

“It’s never easy bringing points back from up the range. We’ve got to really work hard or come home empty-handed.

“But we’re definitely not underdone.

“I’m quite confident we’re ready.

“They’re not peaking but I don’t want them to peak at the moment.”

Spirit go into the match having lost their most recent trial 4-1 to Premier League side Rochedale.

“It wasn’t a bad hit-out,” O’Sullivan said, settling on a 4-4-2 formation to kick off the new season.

While having some experienced players and quality youth, O’Sullivan’s main concern this week centred on captain Richie Armstrong.

Armstrong remains in doubt with calf problems that have tormented him in recent seasons.

Goalkeeper Chris Morrall will assume the captaincy tomorrow, hoping to continue his superb form from last season.

The Western Spirit Reserves open their season in tomorrow’s 3.45pm clash in Toowoomba.

O’Sullivan will be watching players like top side contenders Michael Looms and Dean Barnes.

Spirit players are still training at Dale Road, Camira. The senior sides hope to return to their home base for their March 27 clash against Beenleigh.

The club also has a new home and away strip this year, unaffected by the floods.

Western Spirit squad for tomorrow’s 6pm clash at Berghofer Stadium: Chris Morrall (goalkeeper and captain), Josh Walton, Joel Hancock, Alex Anderson, Tim Cassey, Steve Lennon, Gerard Sanfruentes, Dan Liddy, Jay Kitching, Phil Randal, Luke Haydon, Brent Richardson, two to be added.



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