Words: Michael Flynn & Thibault Berthier | Image: Sportspics
Kristian Rees knows what it takes to win Premierships and the Gold Coast City assistant coach is encouraging his charges to maintain their fighting spirit as the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Premiership race draws to a close.
Top of the league since April, City are looking to build on their three-point lead over second-placed Brisbane Strikers this weekend.
City host Brisbane Roar Youth at Duncan Mckenna Field on Saturday in rescheduled Round 19 clash, while Strikers will resume their pursuit the week after.
Rees won the inaugural Hyundai A-League Premiership with Adelaide United as well as being a crucial part of the last City side to take out a major title in 2014 - winning the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Premiership-Championship double under the club’s former moniker of Palm Beach SC.
As assistant to head coach Grae Piddick, Rees said his experiences tell him that resilience and perseverance are crucial to finishing the season on top of the pile.
“Individual work ethic, and also together as a team, is one of the biggest things (to winning a title). Working hard over a 90 minute game has got to follow on in every game,” Rees explained.
“Teams have got to be prepared to fight every minute of the game and be prepared to battle and fight for one another on the pitch and those things can turn games.”
“Individual leadership on the pitch is really important as well. You’ve got to have experience within a team to win premierships and we had that sort of thing with Adelaide and Palm Beach as well.
“I think you’ve got to have those sort of individuals that will step up and lead when the pressures on.”
Rees believes City’s experience will again prove crucial against Young Roar this weekend, who City defeated 4-1 in their meeting earlier this season.
“You know what you’re going to get (from Roar). They have some young boys who are fit, very sharp, know how to play and they’re well-structured.”
“So this type of game is where our experience could come in handy and allow us to go at them – winning balls in tough areas to turn the game and create opportunities to win the game.”
Rees added that playing their fixture a week before their rivals due to their upcoming Westfield FFA Cup fixture, allows City to be set the tone as the Premiership race draws to a close.
“We’re playing the game before some of the other teams so it’s a chance for us to put a lot of pressure on those other teams around us,” he concluded.
A win in Saturdays game will see City extend their lead to six points at the top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland ladder.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 19
Gold Coast City FC V Brisbane Roar FC Youth
Saturday July 22 | 6:30PM
Gold Coast City FC squad: 1. Matthew STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON, 5. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 10. Jacoub BOUTOUBIA, 12. Joshua MUSSELL (in), 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 18. Jason CAMPEBLL, 19.Ethan GRIMLEY (in), 20. Joshua LANGDON, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
Outs: 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC