Sport

Why national football match so important for Ipswich

Western Pride footballer Dylan Wenzel-Halls.
Western Pride footballer Dylan Wenzel-Halls. Chris Simpson

FRESH from working with even younger players of the future, Graham Harvey is thrilled about another opportunity for his senior men's team.

Western Pride will host a match in the hotly-contested national FFA Cup competition next month.

The date for the clash against National Premier League heavyweights Brisbane Olympic is to be confirmed. It is most likely May 3/4 or May 10/11 at Pride's Briggs Road Sporting Complex home base.

"I'm really excited,'' the Pride coach said.

"Knockout football is a little bit different for the boys.

"I think it's a really positive draw for us and it's great to be home.

"It's a great opportunity for the boys to go out carefree against Olympic who are top of the league. But when we play them at home, we can more than match them as well.''

The Tuesday or Wednesday night FFA Cup game will be Pride's first home clash in the national series, having previously played away at Lions and against the Ipswich Knights at their Bundamba field.

The match news came through after Harvey helped run a successful Pride holiday clinic at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

Overseen by Pride technical director Gabor Ganczer, the junior clinic attracted 35 players who gained a taste of higher level coaching.

"The clinic was really good, really happy with that,'' Harvey said.

"The really positive thing was there was all different levels of kids and seemed like they had a good time. There were kids there that Gabor was quite impressed with.''

Harvey always enjoys working with younger footballers, playing an important role with teenage talents in his Pride men's NPL side.

That team is preparing for its latest home clash against Sunshine Coast on Saturday night at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

After giving his players the Easter long weekend off, the team reunited on Tuesday for conditioning before the usual Thursday night session leading into the game.

Harvey expects to have a near full strength side available to choose from with strikers Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Ollie Smith likely to receive some game time.

Wenzel-Halls has been cleared to play after knee surgery.

Smith is a newcomer who has been battling some back problems.

"Over the last two weeks, he's just got the all-clear as well,'' Harvey said of Smith.

"They both actually have come at a good time.''

Saturday's 7pm game is a chance for Pride to end its series of recent draws against a team three places below them on the NPL ladder.

Pride has one win and four draws from seven games with Sunshine Coast in 11th place with two draws and four losses from six encounters.

The Ipswich Knights travel to Logan for their latest Brisbane Premier League match on Saturday night.

Game day

NPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

NPL women: Saturday (2pm) - Western Pride v Easts at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

BPL: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich Knights v Logan at Cornubia Park.

CL2: Saturday (4pm) - Western Spirit v Toowong at Kippen Park. 6pm: Ipswich City v New Farm United at Sutton Park.

Topics:  ffa cup graham harvey ipswich football npl queensland western pride western pride football club western pride junior clinic



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