Top Trio Re-Commit For 2018

Oct 15, 2017 by

The Brisbane Strikers have laid the first foundation blocks for an ambitious 2018 PlayStation ® 4 NPL Queensland campaign by agreeing terms with three key players from their history-making 2017 squad.

Skipper Michael Angus, defensive lynchpin Greig Henslee and dynamic midfielder Jake McLean will all be back at Perry Park next season to take up the challenge of building upon Strikers’ on-field achievements of the past two years, which saw them become the first club to win back-to-back PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland premierships.

Midfielder Angus, 27, first joined Strikers in 2010 so is returning for his ninth season. He is also the club’s Skills Development Officer, working extensively with junior footballers, so it will surprise few that he has chosen to re-commit for 2018.

While acknowledging his dual role, Angus said that his decision in football terms had to do with the club’s onfield ambitions, his belief in the players around him and his desire to help the club’s younger footballers flourish in the first team environment.

“I’ve got a unique situation at the club, but in terms of playing you look at the successes that we’ve had over the last few years and the way that the squad is being built in terms of players coming in, and it seems to be only getting stronger,” said Angus.

“With me being captain, I have a vested interest in the players that are there at the moment and obviously the younger players that are coming through.

“Peanut (Ryan Palmer) has come right on to the scene and there’s a couple of other boys coming through the 18s and 20s that are exciting as well.”

At 34, Henslee will be going into his fourth season as a Brisbane Striker. The centre half whose competitive drive and organisational know-how have been integral to the team’s transition from title challengers to the real deal shows little sign of tapering with age.

Henslee, a Sunshine Coast resident, has clocked up massive mileage driving to and from Brisbane for training and games over the previous three years and said it was the club’s passion for continuous improvement that keeps him motivated.

“It’s the ambitions of the club,” he said. “They’re always looking to improve and to keep pushing the envelope and continuing trying to be the best team in Queensland. I just want to be part of that, basically”.

Henslee said that as he enters his mid-thirties his appreciation for what it is to play football – and Strikers part in helping that to continue for him – is keener than ever.

“I’m not getting any younger and I think Strikers is the perfect club for me,” Henslee said.

“The club and all the backroom staff look after me as well as anyone. All the physios and high performance unit make sure my body is in the right shape and I think once you get into your mid-thirties it is very much one season at a time.

“You go into every season thinking ‘is this going to be my last?’ I have no set date on when my last year is going to be – I’ll know when that is going to be. But every season is very precious and you just want to do the best that you can for the club. I’m just loving it”.

At 24, McLean (pictured) is at the other end of his career. A stellar 2017 season saw him emerge as one of the best midfielders in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues – certainly in the Queensland competition and arguably in the national context – as he carried his form into the PlayStation 4 NPL Finals Series and impressed against interstate opposition.

McLean is a rising talent and was understandably a target for other clubs. However, he said he had no hesitation in re-committing to Strikers.

“I had a couple of offers, but Strikers have looked after me well and I’ve been playing good football there and all the boys are really fun to be around. It was a pretty easy decision in the end to stay where I was,” McLean said.

“At the age I am, I’m improving every year. I’m just in my prime and I’ve never felt as if I’ve dropped off the year after, so hopefully next year can be even better.

“Next year I want to score more goals and get more assists and just be more consistent every single game. I want to be as good as I can be – that’s the main goal – but definitely go further in the FFA Cup, NPL finals and things like that”.

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