Words: Michael Flynn | Image: FNQ FC Heat
Gold Coast City captain Justyn McKay says his league-leading team’s return to the Sports Super Centre will play to their strengths against FNQ Heat this weekend.
City return to the Runaway Bay venue for the first time since March when they host the fifth-placed Heat on Saturday night.
A win against Heat will mark a 13th straight match without defeat for City in all competitions and avenge their only defeat of the season – a 3-2 result in wet conditions in Cairns in the opening round of the league season.
McKay said after a spell at Duncan McKenna Field, the team is looking to capitalise on the different conditions presented by their home venue.
“It’s a smaller pitch at Super Sports Centre and I think that sometimes catches teams out,” McKay explained.
“It’s also a pretty good surface. With the players we got we can move the ball quickly and have quick player movement and that’s a positive for us.”
However, McKay eagerly added that avenging the opening round loss against the Heat, who are undefeated in visits to the state’s south-east this season, is not a motivating factor for City.
Instead the midfielder alluded to the high standards the team looks to maintain in every match they play.
“We don’t think we have a point to prove against Heat, as such. We’re not really thinking about the result the last time we played them.”
“We had a bit of a disappointing result last weekend in drawing with Moreton Bay and we just want to get back to winning ways and recapture that positivity in the squad again.”
He said his teammate’s willingness to continually improve sees them taking plenty of confidence into the clash against Heat, who are yet to claim a win in four prior visits to the Gold Coast.
“Last time we drew a match, it was against Redlands, we then came back strong and went on a good run and we want to do that again.”
“Judging by the boys’ attitude in training this week we are pretty confident we will bounce back strongly,” he concluded.
City are set to line-up against Heat without leading goal scorer Sam Smith, who is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards, and injured fullback Jaiden Walker.
However, they will be boosted by the inclusion of recent signing Austin Ludwik to the match day squad.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland – Round 12
Saturday, May 27 | 6:30PM
Sports Super Centre, Runaway Bay
Gold Coast City Squad (starters to be confirmed): 1. Matt STEIN (gk), 2. Riley DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY (c), 8. Curtis STOLLERY (in), 9. Jarrod KYLE, 10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA, 11. Nik MIRKOVIC, 12. Rhys SAUNDERS, 13. Austin LUDWIK (in), 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 16. Tom MILLER (in), 20. Josh LANGDON (gk)
Out: Oskar DILLON, Sam SMITH, Jaiden WALKER