Cougars miss out on tough hit-out
HOW good are the CQ Cougars?
Coach Joe Fenech was hoping to find a few answers to that question when his team lined up against a Gladstone invitation team at Wolves ground on Saturday evening.
With the Queensland State League season five weeks away a tough match was required to test the young side but instead Gladstone could not provide that kind of competitive game.
To be fair to Gladstone, it is difficult putting together a team before the season and ask them to perform against a side that has been in training since November and has called together all the best players from around Central Queensland.
Fenech admits the 12-2 winning margin was immaterial and expressed his own disappointment about conceding goals late in the match.
"We lost discipline after a while," he said.
"We conceded two late goals because the boys were selfish and wanted to get on the scoresheet.
"It is one thing having a killer instinct but you have to show respect (to opposition).
"I was more interested in our transition play and, when we lose the ball, how quickly we get it back.
The Cougars have now played against Nerimbera, Emerald and a Gladstone selection.
The team will meet Berserker on Thursday evening followed by Bluebirds the following Thursday before facing their only QSL opponent, Whitsunday Miners, in pre-season matches.
"We need to be playing tougher opposition," Fenech conceded.
The coach would like to have run his team out against one of the better Brisbane Premier League teams as they are strong and experienced footballers.
Also if some Cougars players are feeling complacent after convincing wins over local teams, a match in Brisbane would bring them back to reality.
Five goals to Johnathon Sauer and a couple to Sander Waterland gave Fenech hope that he may have found an alternative striking combination after discovering Michael Cay will be unavailable for the opening two games of the league program.
Cay was not considered for selection for Saturday's game at Gladstone.
Jarrod Lancaster, playing on the right flank, was one who impressed Fenech.
Despite the one-sided scoreline Fenech saw a couple of players in the opposition team who are worth noting.
Goalkeeper Jordan Cypih produced a number of good saves while a Brazilian striker with the impressive name of Jose Anderson Claudino Da Silva worked hard all afternoon.
"He works at the meat works at Biloela," Fenech said. "With a name like that I know why Pele (Edison Arantes do Nascimento) changed his name."
More useful for Fenech was the curtain-raiser where a Gladstone team beat a Rockhampton side 1-0.
The coach said due to numbers available the teams were mixed and contained many of the promising 15-16 year-olds from around the region.
Gladstone players Mitchell Tansky and Andy Maynard caught his eye while centre midfielder Jacob Zanda had his best trial game, Jackson Ward was outstanding and Ryan Cook and Matt Harrison each showed, for periods, their potential.
"With a name like that I know why Pele (Edison Arantes do Nascimento) changed his name."