The Brisbane Strikers are set to play international opposition in the true sense of the word, in the form of Papua New Guinea’s national team, on Thursday 9 June at Perry Park as one of a series of extra games the club is negotiating to provide extra match practice for their senior squad.
The Papua New Guinea match, which will kick off at 7.00 pm, will form part of PNG’s preparation for their World Cup qualifiers which commence later this year and for the Pacific Games, also later this year. The team, known at home as the Kapuls, will be in camp on the Gold Coast next week under the tutelage of new coach, former Brisbane Strikers, Brisbane Roar and Socceroos coach Frank Farina.
Commenting on the game today, Strikers coach David Large said he was keen to take up the opportunity because his team needed extra football. In a QSL season that has had a stop-start nature so far because of washouts, byes and the Easter holiday break, Large said that he felt his team had struggled to keep match-fit and settle into a rhythm.
“For us it’s all about getting game time’, Large said. “It’s very important to us at the moment because we are at a point where we need more football to get more practice for our methods and systems, so that they become automatic instead of spasmodic.
“It’s also an opportunity give fringe players a bit more game time to keep them up with the other players and an opportunity to look at some of the younger boys and bring them off the bench to see exactly where they are at in their development”.
Large said that the Kapuls are looking to play about four games while they are in camp had approached Football Queensland with a view to gaining QSL opposition. Football Queensland had then contacted the Strikers.
While the Kapuls are currently ranked 203rd in the world, along with six other nations, on international football’s lowest rung this was primarily because they had not played any internationals since 2007. Large said he had no doubt they would provide very strong opposition for his team.
“I know one thing for sure – they are very exciting players”, Large said. “Coupled with Frank Farina, who will put some organisation and methodology into their game, they will be a forceful unit. I would certainly not suggest a win for us, but if we put into practice what we are working on I think we will achieve what we want to achieve against a team that will probably be quicker and more organised”.
The Brisbane Strikers are likely to open the social club bar for the game, with limited food choices.
Further games for the Brisbane Strikers that will be additional to their QSL fixtures will be announced as soon as they can be confirmed.