Hassall keen to turn back clock
BYRON Hassall has dusted off his football boots and is eager to put them to use.
Central Queensland FC Energy recruit Hassall is determined to find the back of the net tonight when the Energy take on the Mackay Crusaders five years after he first pulled on a Central Queensland shirt.
A former Capricorn Cougars player, Hassell said it had been a while since he'd played in a state level competition, but was confident he still had the magic touch on the football field.
"I haven't played representative football since the Cougars inaugural year back in about 2008," Hassall said ahead of tonight's pre-season friendly.
"I think my last representative game was against Townsville back in 2008. Coming back has been a bit of a dare for myself.
"I have a few mates down south who are still playing at high levels successfully so I thought I'd come back and dust off the boots."
Hassall joins CQFC Energy in their debut as an official side against Mackay tonight and said after spending the last six years raising a family of four with his partner, was looking forward to the new challenge.
"I've had a couple of years playing here and there and even played some rugby league for Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks as football got a bit stale for me for a while," he said.
"I'm pretty excited for the game as it's going to be a good test for us as a team, and a chance for some of the young ones to play against an experienced representative side."
The 30-year-old said he was a utility on the field and with years of experience was hoping to raise the bar for the region this season.
"I have been playing a couple of roles on the team so far, through the midfield, out wide and in defence," Hassall said.
"I'm a bit of a utility and I don't think Ray (Wood) has decided a position for me yet. My main goal is to show that we can be competitive at this level.
"CQ has been just below par in the past, so we want to impress the crowds and get them coming back."
He was especially excited about going up against the new Malaysian and Brisbane Roar teams in the Queensland National Premier League contest.
"It's going to be awesome," he said. "Brisbane Roar is going to play a different style. They'll be technical and classy, but I'm not sure how they'll rank physically as they are still young. As for Malaysia, that's just a whole different level."
CQFC V MACKAY CRUSADERS
Where: Brothers Football ground, Mackay