Baker’s Young Squad Set To Rise

Jan 25, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Owen Baker says his new look National Premier Leagues Queensland squad has the potential to excite the Perry Park faithful in 2019.

The upcoming season marks Baker’s first full campaign in charge of the Brisbane Strikers first team after taking the reins midway through the 2018 season.

His elevation to the top job means the 28-year-old Baker is overseeing his first complete recruitment and pre-season program for the Brisbane Strikers, who have twice previously won the NPL Queensland Premiership title.

Baker explained that his reinvigorated senior squad will brim with youthful energy after the club fell short of finals football last season for the first time since the 2003/04 season of the former National Soccer League.

“I learned a lot of lessons last year, but I have also been at the club for seven years now and I truly understand how the club wants the first team to look, operate and perform,” Baker said.

“We were able to keep a few experienced players, but we have added to that with some quality younger players that are looking forward to the new season.”

Amongst the new signings announced so far are former Australian Under 20’s goalkeeper Bon Scott, promising attacker Andy Pengelly (from Western Pride) and emerging midfielder Scott Halliday (from Brisbane City).

Baker stressed the Brisbane Strikers’ hard-earned reputation for developing and promoting young talent was a primary consideration in his recruitment process.

“We want a young squad that will get good results in the NPL but we also want to help those players get to the next level and give them a genuine chance to play first team football.”

“We have signed technical players, but it is important they also carry themselves well, work hard on-and-off the pitch and conduct themselves in the right way.”

Baker added that the on-field qualities that have long defined the Brisbane Strikers style will also not change under his watch.

“The club has a strong belief in playing an attacking brand of football. People that come to Perry Park want to see exciting games of football,” he said.

“We want to play fast and free-flowing football where we get numbers around the box and score lots of goals. We will aim to win every game we play – home or away.”

To that end, Baker said he has focused on fitness and player cohesion in pre-season, citing the club’s sluggish start to last year’s NPL Queensland campaign as a motivating factor.

“We realised at the start of last season that we weren’t as fit as we wanted to be and we had a slow start because of that.”

“This squad are working very hard to be ready for start of the new season and my hat goes off to them.”

Brisbane Strikers commence their National Premier Leagues Queensland season at Perry Park against Toowoomba’s South West Queensland Thunder on Saturday, February 2.

Fans can follow Brisbane Strikers squad announcements via our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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