Frenchville begin their run home
AFTER a long and arduous, but ultimately rewarding (in terms of experience), FFA Cup campaign, Frenchville SC's assault on the CQ Premier League has well and truly begun. As they approach round 12 of the 21-round season this weekend, Frenchville lead the CQ Premier League on 27 pts, three clear of Clinton FC. And they still have a game in hand. But it has taken them a while to get there.
"We have only lost the one game, against Clinton 2-0 in the opening round," Frenchville coach, Justin Kilshaw explained.
"But we have had so many games postponed due to FFA Cup and representative commitments, we had hardly played any regular season matches, so we didn't have many competition points to show for our efforts. With all of that out of the way, we are only now just getting back into the regular season."
Aiding Frenchville's rapid rise up the ladder have been double-point fixtures. Last weekend's game against Berserker, which they won convincingly 12-1, a case in point.
"Some of the games which have been rescheduled, the opposition can't make up that match mid-week," Kilshaw noted.
"So it's been a joint decision between both clubs that instead of playing the mid-week, catch-up match, our next game will be for double points."
And so it was again last night. Frenchville were due to play Nerimbera, but Nerimbera couldn't field a team, so that became another double-points fixture for Frenchville. And on form, it should be another easy win.
Heading into Saturday night's clash with Bluebirds United, who are sitting fourth behind Cap Coast, Clinton and Frenchville, Kilshaw is taking nothing for granted. Concerning the coach is the loss of home ground advantage and the absence of Robbie Day in the Frenchville goal. Day is ruled out with a tendon injury and will be replaced by reserves goalkeeper Ronan Turley. Slated as home game for Frenchville at Ryan Park, a rugby union fixture there has seen the game move to Norbridge Park
"Bluebirds are a strong side," Kilshaw said.
"Their results prove that. Making the job more difficult will be the surface at Norbridge. We like to play a fast-moving, short-passing game. The uneven, bumpy and hard surface makes that difficult. So, no doubt it's going to be a tough assignment on Saturday night."
Bluebirds have shown their ability to score goals this season, with some powerful strikers and gifted midfielders, who know how to find the back of the net, in their line-up. Frenchville's defensive lapses and no Day in goal are something of which Kilshaw is acutely aware.
"Robbie would be in the top two or three keepers in the region, so he is a loss," Kilshaw conceded.
"Also, defensively we can switch off. It's a concern for us that we can leak soft goals. It's a concentration thing. When we have the game in control the boys can take their foot off the pedal. It's something we have to work on. We have to improve."
It remains to be seen if Frenchville will gain control of the match against Bluebirds on Saturday night. But if they do, they can't afford any lapses in concentration. Because Bluebirds have the firepower to punish them.
CQ Premier LeaguePremier Division Ladder
Clinton FC 24pts
Capricorn Coast 20pts
Bluebirds United FC 20pts
Southside United FC 17pts
Emerald Eagles FC 6pts
Nerimbera Magpies 5pts