Working squad into winning shape

LIKE a lot of coaches at this time of the year, Ipswich City Bulls mentor Trent Abel is still finalising his team line-up and formation.

However, he hopes to this week have a clearer idea of what’s needed for the Football Brisbane Division 1 season starting on March 5.

“It’s pretty hectic at this time of the year,” Abel said, blending pre-season trials with intensive training.

“We’re just trying to work out our shape at the moment and everything like that.

“But we’ve got no troubles. We didn’t get affected by the floods.”

The Bulls failed to finish the QT Cup tournament strongly and lost recent trials against Palm Beach (4-2) and Albany Creek (5-2 on Saturday night).

“Maybe we thought we might have been a bit further ahead than we thought we were as a group,” he said.

But Abel believes his squad is coming together.

“We’ve got a few little injuries but it still wasn’t a bad side.

“We’re working on things.

“Hopefully it should be right by next week.

“There’s still a few little question marks.”

Among the injured are key player Zygan Condie, who is expected to return in a month after an ankle problem.

Brad Hyland is also a couple of weeks away (knee) and some players are on holidays.

The coach is happy to have picked up handy players like Shaun Kitching (from Western Spirit), Joel Munn and Aaron Willmann (Ipswich Knights).

Abel said the Bulls had a squad of 20 realistically vying for top grade spots.

“The main thing with us is the stability,” Abel said.

“From the coaching to the president, everyone is working on the same page. Everyone knows what is going on.”

In his fifth season as head coach, Abel is being assisted by experienced campaigner Danny Wilson with loyal clubman Dan Burnell guiding the Reserve Grade side.

“It’s really good. Kyle Miller (football operations manager) is still on board,” Abel said.

The Bulls have another trial on Thursday night before an interclub game this weekend.

The Bulls are also planning an Old Boys get-together for their season opener at Sutton Park on March 5.

With senior games from 4.45pm at Brassall, the club is hoping for a good crowd to help the Bulls making a winning start against Queensland Lions.

The club also wants to remember former official Brendan Madden, who recently passed away.

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