Strikers Prepared For Crucial Cairns Clash

Jun 29, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Owen Baker is adamant every game from here-on is a must-win for his team as they seek to keep the pressure on their NPL Queensland Finals rivals.

Following confidence-building back-to-back away wins in Toowoomba and Gold Coast, Strikers make a welcome return to their Perry Park home ground this weekend to face in-form Cairns FC.

The match marks the first meeting between the clubs this season after their scheduled earlier season tie in the far north was postponed.

Baker said despite not yet facing their seventh-placed opponents, his charges will not be blind to the threat they pose on Saturday night.

“Cairns are in good form. They’ve won four in a row in the league and we know it is going to be another difficult game,” Baker said.

“They are a hard-working team. They have always been very competitive because when they play they represent their region as well as their club.”

“But, that being said, we have prepared well for them and the squad is feeling very positive and training was good this week.”

“Our boys know where we want to be at season’s end and what we need to do to achieve that.”

Strikers are currently five points outside the NPL Queensland top four with a game-in-hand on fourth-placed Moreton Bay United.

Baker said the equation is simple as the club seeks to secure a competition record sixth-straight NPL Queensland Finals appearance.

“Every game is a must-win,” Baker stated.

“We are taking it a game at a time and making sure we get the three points every week and waiting for the teams ahead of us to drop points.”

“There are no easy games in this league and we know what we need to do to be there at the end of the year in the Grand Final.”

Strikers rediscovered their goal-scoring form in their last-start four-goal win over Gold Coast United and, with Cairns yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season, Baker believes that augers well for his charges to again deliver in the attacking third this weekend.

“I was delighted with how the boys started the game last week. We spoke about getting ahead, laying a platform and building momentum.”

“The focus again this week is to try and get in a similar position because we had success from that last week.”

“Trent (Clulow) is in good form, (Rhys) Meredith is again getting on the scoresheet and Jake McLean and Michael Lee have also scored in recent games – so we know we have the players that can score goals.”

Strikers will be without fullback Brock Messenger for the clash following his send-off against United, with 18-year-old Jack Stevens set to step into the starting line-up.

“Jack’s had a few starts for us this year and I think could walk in to most NPL teams. He is a quality player and has shown patience which shows he has good maturity,” Baker said.

Tough-as-nails fullback Sam Knight, who was on the receiving end of a horror tackle last weekend against Gold Coast United, will undergo a fitness test before the match.

The match is the first ever between Strikers and Cairns following the demise of previous far north Queensland representatives FNQ Heat last year.

NPL Queensland
Brisbane Strikers v Cairns FC
Saturday, June 30 | 6:00PM
Perry Park, Bowen Hills

Match Previews

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet