Words: Thibault Berthier | Image: Angela Mussell
Gold Coast City midfielder Jacob Boutoubia says he is pleased with his side's early season progress ahead of Saturday’s clash with SWQ Thunder.
City are chasing a third straight win when they host the Toowoomba-based club in their PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues clash at Sports Super Centre.
Off-season recruit, Boutoubia, who arrived at City from Playstation 4 NPL New South Wales powerhouse Sydney Olympic looks set to make his senior competitive debut for the club after recovering from a long-term knee injury.
Fans were given a glimpse of the playmaker's abilities last weekend when he scored a hat-trick for the youth team in an 8-2 victory over Sunshine Coast.
Having watched the first three rounds from the sideline Boutoubia has been impressed by his new teammates.
“We’re gelling really well, we’re starting to get some nice combinations going,” he said.
“The first couple of weeks were a bit shaky, but now we’re starting to know how we play, it’s coming along well.”
The winless Thunder currently sit bottom of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland table after three rounds.
However, Boutoubia is under no illusions as to the threat Thunder will pose.
“They’re going to be strong, they’re going to be fit, it’s going to be a battle, if we can get over them in the first 45, we should run away with it,” he said.
“But they can cause an upset so we have to be careful,” Boutoubia concluded.
City will be without influential midfielder Lochlan Reus for the clash after scans confirmed he sustained torn ligaments in last weekend's game.
However, City's squad has been bolstered by the return of Jason Campbell from overseas.
The midfielder will regain match fitness in the Youth team over coming weeks before a likely promotion to the senior side next month.
A win over the Thunder will see third placed City continue their pursuit of top spot in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland ladder.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland – Round 4
Gold Coast City FC V South West Queensland Thunder FC
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Kick-off at 6:30PM
Sports Super Centre, Runaway Bay
Gold Coast City FC Squad (one to be omitted): 1. Ryan MESKELL, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 8. Curtis STOLLERY, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA (in), 11. Fraser ELLER (in), 14. Ben LYVIDIKOS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 18. Sam KING, 20. Joshua LANGDON, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
Outs: Lochlan REUS