Teammates Spur On Rising Brisbane Strikers Defender

May 10, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers defender Matt Richardson says his game is thriving with the help of his experienced teammates ahead of this weekend’s clash with Western Pride.

One of several young off-season recruits by coach Owen Baker, the 21-year-old Richardson has secured his place in the Brisbane Strikers starting line-up for the trip to Ipswich following a successful return from injury in recent weeks.

Playing alongside the vastly experienced Michael McGowan and Chris Maher, Richardson has proved a crucial contributor in strong Brisbane Strikers defensive performances in recent weeks that have frustrated opponents in the National Premier Leagues and FFA Cup.

Despite gaining confidence in his recent showings in his first year in the national second tier, Richardson acknowledges the need to continually improve – and cited sources of inspiration either side of him in the backline.

“I have Michael McGowan beside me in the centre but also Chris Maher on the right. I am learning from their experience every single week,” he explained.

“I really feel I can model my game off a player like Michael McGowan and hopefully use that to take my own game to the next level.”

“He is competitor and that is certainly rubbing off on me. It is good to be alongside players you can trust and who give it their all every game.”

“It makes for a good feeling to walk off the pitch together knowing you have all done your jobs as defenders and preventing the other team from getting through.”

However, an unwanted lesson for Richardson this season was how to regain a place in the starting line-up after being sidelined with a hamstring strain just weeks into the campaign.

“It was very frustrating. I have never had a soft tissue injury like that and I didn’t really know what to expect,” he explained.

“You really do realise just how much you miss football when you are out for a bit then make a return. It is also really great that we are playing well again and I am part of that.”

That return to form has seen Brisbane Strikers firm in their mid-table position with just a single defeat in their past six games in all competitions.

It stands in stark contrast to a Western Pride side that comes into this weekend’s clash with just two wins in the National Premier Leagues this season.

However, Richardson stressed that he and his teammates will not underestimate their bottom of the table opponents on their home patch.

“We really don’t pay attention to where other teams are on the table because we go into every game like we are playing against the Champion team,” he explained.

“Teams that aren’t doing so well are always getting closer to being due a win, so you cannot afford to switch off against them ever.”

“We will treat it like a big game and we will bring in the same mentality that we did when we played Lions and Olympic.”

MATCH DETAILS

National Premier Leagues Queensland
Round 15

Western Pride v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday, May 11 @ 7:00PM
Briggs Road Sports Complex, Ipswich

Entry – Adults $5, Children FREE

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