Mecca Bah Brisbane Strikers Man of the Match Round 15: Nathan Archbold

Jun 01, 2018 by

While his Mecca Bah Man of the match award for Round 15 was richly deserved, it’s hard not to get the feeling that Brisbane Strikers goalkeeper Nathan Archbold was almost apologetic for winning it when we caught up with him on Thursday.

Archbold’s heroics in making several outstanding saves to keep his team in the contest against Lions FC last Saturday were rewarded by Brisbane Strikers fans who voted him their team’s best player.

But Archbold (pictured in action against Lions) sounded as though he would rather the prize of a meal for two at a Mecca Bah Restaurant had gone to an outfield teammate in happier circumstances than those which saw them lost 1-0 to fall out of the NPL Queensland top four.

“The reality is we are still conceding goals and whether that falls on my shoulders, or us as a team, it still doesn’t seem right that the goalkeeper receives the man of the match award,” Archbold said.

“It’s a nice thing to recognize a good individual performance, but individual performances don’t mean too much if we’re not getting the three points at the end of the game.”

That said, Archbold swas reasonably happy with his own performance and saw it as a sign that he was, after half a season of adapting his game, becoming more confident between the goalposts for the club he joined late in the pre-season.

“I thought I played at a standard that I know myself I can play, in regard to making a couple of pretty crucial saves to keep us in the game,” Archbold said.

“I feel like it was a culmination of a long couple of months of learning to adapt to the Strikers’ style.

“I have not played at a club that emphasizes so much ball retention. That’s such an integral part of how the Brisbane Strikers play, and that was the first thing I noticed when I first came to the club.

“Largie and Owen (David Large and Owen Baker) said how much they wanted to play out from the back and how much they wanted to involve the goalkeeper in our play, and you don’t really realise how true that is until you play nine or ten games and you realise how integral you are in that back line.

“You’re not just a goalkeeper, you’re an extra player. You hold the ball, you essentially create plays from the back. And it’s a very hard thing to adapt to especially if, like myself, you’ve come from a lot of teams that pump the ball long.

“I feel like now I’m definitely starting to adapt to that style of play.”

Archbold will be hoping, however, that he is not needed to turn in a man of the match performance again this Saturday when Strikers, now in fifth place on the NPL Queensland table after losing their past two league games, and one in the FFA Cup, travel to Wolter Park to play third-placed Moreton Bay United.

After breathing down the necks of league leaders Olympic FC a few weeks ago, Strikers now sit ten points behind Olympic in the quest to defend their premiership. They know they cannot afford to drop more points to a Moreton Bay team who have slipped into the top three on the back of their own six-game winning streak.

Archbold said the Strikers’ players are keenly aware of the club’s proud record and that they need to turn their poor run of results around quickly.

“I’ve only been at the club since the start of the year, but you quickly learn that the Brisbane Strikers rarely lose more than one game at a time and to lose three is a massive pressure-builder,” Archbold said.

“This weekend’s game is hands down the biggest game of the season for us, because we still strongly believe that we can contest for the title and a win this weekend is absolutely crucial.”

Both Strikers and Moreton Bay crashed out of the FFA Cup qualifiers midweek, with Strikers humbled 3-0 by FQPL club Peninsula Power, and Moreton Bay beaten 3-2 by Olympic FC.
Saturday’s match will therefore feature two teams looking to jump up off the canvas and Archbold said he had every confidence Strikers have the resolve to do just that.

“We believe that we have the best playing group of thirteen or fourteen players in this competition and all it takes is one good performance for us to get back on the bandwagon to win the next ten or eleven games in a row and win the competition”, Archbold said.

Photo: Roze Gallo

Club News, News, Player Interviews

About the author

Marketing Brisbane Strikers