KICKING ON: Western Pride striker Peter Drager outruns a Sunshine Coast player during their first round clash. Pride are looking to improve their away record in tomorrow’s National Premier League game on the Sunshine Coast.
KICKING ON: Western Pride striker Peter Drager outruns a Sunshine Coast player during their first round clash. Pride are looking to improve their away record in tomorrow’s National Premier League game on the Sunshine Coast. Claudia Baxter

Socceroos victory motivation for Pride

FORMER international midfielder Kasey Wehrman knew it was only a matter of time before the Socceroos found the net against Iraq to qualify for another World Cup.

Having played in national teams alongside captain Lucas Neill, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and playmaker Mark Bresciano, Wehrman could see enough quality build-up to produce a vital goal.

"It was one of those games that you just know that we were going to score," said Wehrman, who represented Australia 12 times between 1998 and 2006.

"Bresciano was the one who pulled everything together over the last three games. He's really got them to where they are."

While sharing in the excitement of Australia's latest achievement, Wehrman saw another benefit in the result.

The Western Pride head coach gave his players Tuesday night off training so they could learn from the best and aim for higher goals.

"It's important that they watch that," Wehrman said, preparing for Sunday's National Premier League match against Sunshine Coast.

"They go 'I want to get there, I want to do that'. They dream and think about it.

"We try to use that to our advantage for sure."

Wehrman hopes that inspiration rubs off on his players who are keen for an important away victory after a series of promising home results in recent weeks.

"They (Sunshine Coast) have had a couple of losses in a row so they're looking to rebound," Wehrman said.

However, the Pride players have a chance to show how much they have improved in the return game at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

"At the moment, they haven't really grasped away games," the coach said.

"We'll keep it tight for as long as we can and see if we can exploit them with our pace at the front with Will (Jordan) and Peter (Drager).

"If we can pinch something and get a goal, we know we can defend for long periods."

Pride proved that in holding competition leaders Olympic to a 1-0 win last month.

Captain Niall McCarthy returns to the bench for Sunday's game after a long absence recovering from a groin injury.

However, midfielder Jeye Comerford is yet to complete his suspension with last weekend's game against Palm Beach washed out.

The Pride players also benefited from a bonding session at last weekend's Ipswich Cup where the club had a strong contingent enjoying a day together.

Three training sessions through the week assisted their preparation for Sunday's 2pm clash.



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