Coach left with clawless Cougars

COUGARS coach Washington Gonzales is in a quandary as he tries to fill his squad for the Hyundai QSL season.

With the season less than a few weeks old, the coach has a squad severely under strength and lacking numbers.

Supporters said the Cougars had been unwise to play too many overseas players last season and so Gonzales opted for developing local players. Now his squad numbers just 14, with Michael Steere leaving because of work and family commitments and Bryce Ruthven announcing over the weekend he no longer had the motivation to be a member of the top squad.

As if things could not get worse, the Cougars were outplayed on their road trip to Mareeba, going down 3-0 against FNQ Bulls.

The Cougars held out for almost half an hour but Gonzales admits that was all they achieved, with the Bulls faster and stronger.

“We didn't win a 50-50 ball,” he said.

Once again goalkeeper Tim English was called upon to make a succession of fine saves, while captain Trevor Wood was another who put in a strong display.

At 40 Wood is by far the oldest in the squad and yet he has retained his enthusiasm and drive in the heart of the defence.

The coach admitted his disappointment but remained determined to see Central Queensland football's flagship continue.

“I will never run away. I will keep trying to go forward but we have no resources,” he said. “It was embarrassing travelling with just two reserves.”

David Ruiz, Steven Dunn and Josh De Nittis scored for Bulls.


FNQ Bulls 3 (David Ruiz, Steven Dunn, Josh De Nittis) Cougars 0, Whitsunday Miners 3 Southern Cross 3, Brisbane Strikers 4 NQ Razorbacks 3. Played yesterday: QAS v Bundaberg and Sunshine Coast v Gold Coast.

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