Maltby Ready To Tackle Knights Challenge

Aug 10, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers attacker Zach Maltby is adamant his side won’t fall victim to an FFA Cup hangover against Gold Coast Knights.

Just days after their headline grabbing penalty shoot-out win over Wellington Phoenix, Brisbane Strikers return to National Premier Leagues duty on Saturday night at the Croatian Sports Centre.

It will mark a distinctly different challenge to their mid-week Hyundai A-League opposition – with the third-placed Gold Coast Knights pushing for the National Premier Leagues Queensland Premiership.

While some might forgive Brisbane Strikers for being off the pace following over 120 minutes of football on Wednesday night, Maltby said the team is determined not to let their high standards drop.

“Obviously it’s going to be a bit different to playing in front of nearly two thousand people, but we want to get the victory in every game we play and that won’t change,” Maltby explained.

“Knights are obviously going to be up for this game for their own reasons – they are a chance at a title – but we are ready to play our football and take what they come at us with.”

Wednesday’s win was extra special for the 20-year-old Maltby as he was recognised post-game for notching 50 competitive appearances for Brisbane Strikers.

However, he dismissed suggestions fatigue may be a factor for he and his teammates after the drawn out drama of the FFA Cup.

“We’ve taken an extra day of rest but everyone in this team wants to play whenever they can and do their best whenever they do play.”

“We want to keep getting good results in the league. You have to be in form for the next cup game because you can’t just turn it on and off.”

Playing an impact role off the bench in Wednesday night’s win, Maltby was one of many young Brisbane Strikers talents that more than held their own against Hyundai A-League opposition.

This weekend he is again relishing to prospect of testing himself against Gold Coast Knights’ high-profile duo in former Socceroos and Hyundai A-League title winners Mitch Nichols and Matt Smith.

“As a player you want to challenge yourself and playing against the best defenders that you can is the best way to learn,” he explained.

“I’ve been getting hints and tips off our defenders – especially Michael McGowan and his experience – about what he finds hard to mark against.”

Maltby added, “I have learned a lot this year generally with new teammates, new formations and new positions.”

“I think as footballers we are all trying to play the best we can, keep improving and trying to earn our spots every week and I’m no different.”

But as he matures his game that doesn’t mean Maltby will forego his exciting tendency to run at defenders with the ball at his feet.

“I always try to be positive on the ball and it was something my dad taught me growing up.”

“Of course, you have to do it at the right time and in the right areas but I really love to take players on in the attacking third.”

Brisbane Strikers and Gold Coast Knights have shared the spoils in their two previous matches this season – Brisbane Strikers winning their most recent meeting in the FFA Cup 5-1.

MATCH DETAILS

National Premier Leagues Queensland
Round 27

Gold Coast Knights v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday, August 10 @ 6:30PM
Croatian Sports Centre, Gold Coast

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