Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Sportspics
Gold Coast City coach Grae Piddick will not blame the schedule should his charges fail to take maximum points from two away matches over the next five days – including a tricky away trip to Townsville.
City face the quicker than customary turnaround after their Round 5 match against defending PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Champions Redlands United – originally slated for last Friday - was rescheduled for this Tuesday night.
The team is then scheduled to travel to the state’s north for a Saturday night showdown with early season surprise packet Northern Fury in Townsville.
However, Piddick said despite the scheduling and travel challenges he is confident his squad has the necessary depth to take six points from the encounters before the Easter break.
“We’ve got a big enough squad that we can cope with these games,” he explained.
“Considering there’s no games the weekend following with the Easter break, the message to the boys is clear – it’s a busy few days and two tough games and let’s make sure we get out there and win both of them.”
He added, “It’s not ideal and it’s not how you want to be preparing for games but we’re not going to use the scheduling as an excuse for any bad performances.”
“The boys have to learn that you need to push through these kind of things and not let it affect your performance or preparation.”
Piddick’s first challenge is accommodating the midweek travel time to the bayside, which will see some players’ pre-match schedule hampered by work commitments.
Added to that is City’s unwanted record of never defeating Redlands at Cleveland Showgrounds in four prior PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland visits.
“It’s certainly not our ideal kick-off time but we have to make sure it’s not going to be a distraction either,” Piddick explained.
“As far as I know all our players can make it, but some will be late compared to our normal set-up time for a game. But it’s a case of get there when you get there and we will try and be prepared as best as possible for the kick-off.”
The task doesn’t get any easier ahead of a flight to the state’s north this weekend and a match against a Fury side that will benefit from three extra days rest following their third straight home win on Saturday night against SWQ Thunder.
That result saw last year’s winless wooden-spooners move level on points with second-placed City in the current league standings.
“It’s always a concern when the other team has more recovery time than yourself. And, obviously, we have to do the travelling too. But again there will be no excuses,” Piddick concluded.
City will be without striker Jarrod Kyle and defender Eoghan Murphy for the clash with Redlands after the duo were sent-off in the team’s last start win over Strikers. However, they are expected to return for the Fury clash.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 6
Redlands United FC v Gold Coast City FC
Tuesday, April 4 | 7:15PM
Cleveland Showgrounds, Redland City
Gold Coast City FC Squad: 1. Ryan MESKELL, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 8.Curtis STOLLERY, 9. Justyn MCKAY, 10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA, 11. Nik MIRKOVIC, 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS, 15. Sam KING (IN), 16. Thomas MILLER (IN), 20. Josh LANGDON, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
OUTS: Jarrod KYLE, Eoghan MURPHY