Unbeaten Ripley’s mission to rise for football showdowns
WITH battles against two promotion contenders coming up, Ripley Valley are focused on preserving their unbeaten record this weekend.
In their first season of Capital League 2 competition, Ripley Valley have won all four matches preparing for Saturday night's latest game against North Brisbane at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Ripley Valley are in second spot (12 points) with North Brisbane five points behind them in a cluster of chasing sides.
While keen to continue his team's winning run, Paterson also has one eye on Ripley's upcoming clashes providing extra motivation.
"To be fair, I honestly think it's a race in three between Pine Hills, ourselves and Metro (Logan) as teams really pushing for that promotion spot,'' he said.
Ripley beat North Brisbane 3-1 in the first round of scheduled CL2 matches before the COVID shutdown resulted in the season being restarted.
"We weren't convincing but having said that, we haven't been very convincing all season,'' Paterson said. "We're slugging away and getting results.
"I suppose it's a good sign when you're not playing exceptionally well and you're still getting results.''
Among Ripley's shining young stars early in the season is former Springfield striker/winger Madison Elrick.
He scored a hat-trick in Ripley's previous 3-0 victory over Westside Grovely.
"He's taking chances and he's developing well as a young player,'' Paterson of the exciting 21-year-old recruit.
"He has got a bright future.
"He's in the right environment too. There's a lot of old heads in there that will point him in the right direction.''
As in previous weeks, Ripley Valley have a number of injury issues preparing for their latest game.
However, Paterson was hoping Andy Drager could return via Reserve Grade on Saturday.
His brother Peter, another former Ipswich Knights Premier League player, was being monitored.
"I'm cautious, with his hamstring injury, about rushing him back too soon,'' Paterson said.
Challenging weekend ahead
A week after losing the local derby 2-1 to the Ipswich Knights, fifth placed Western Pride travel to Cornubia Park for their Saturday night clash with second-placed Logan.
After some positive recent results, Pride will be looking to secure a top four spot in this year's Football Queensland Premier League competition.
The Ipswich City Bulls need to regroup for their latest Sunday away match against UQ after going down 5-1 to Capital League 1 leaders Annerley last weekend.
Western Spirit return home against North Pine on Saturday night after losing 6-2 to Brisbane Athletic last weekend.
The Bulls and Spirit need to string some victories together to qualify for this season's CL1 top six series.
FQPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v Logan at Cornubia Park.
CL1: Saturday (7pm) - Western Spirit v North Pine at Kippen Park. Sunday (5pm) - Ipswich City v UQ at University of Queensland.
CL2: Saturday (6pm) - Ripley Valley v North Brisbane at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
CL3: Saturday (7pm) - Springfield v Brighton at the Springfield Central Sports Complex.
BWPL: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich City v Robina City at Robina.