Max Thompson is one of the teenagers learning about the game at Cougars training.
Max Thompson is one of the teenagers learning about the game at Cougars training. File

Home to heal after a licking

IT will not just be a test of their football ability but a test of character as the youthful Cougars try and put last week’s 7-0 mauling from the Strikers behind them.

Coach Washington Gonzales backed his young players despite the heavy loss, saying it was not a case of what the youngsters did wrong, but all about the quality of the Brisbane opposition.

Today, the Cougars face another team of high-quality footballers in the Queensland Academy of Sport, but this time the opposition will be less experienced than the Strikers and the game should be less one-sided because of that.

Also, the Cougars have home- ground advantage and this should help as a big part of being experienced is adapting to the change of routine when travelling away from home.

“This is a chance for us to put in a good performance,” Gonzales said.

“They are a good opponent for us to get points and perhaps the win.”

Unfortunately another promising young player, Jordan Miller, has left the top team and opted to play in the lower grades.

“He mentioned he wanted to play and not come off the bench,” the coach said.

Gonzales is in little doubt Miller will eventually be “a wonderful player” but he is still young and has yet to earn a starting position in the Cougars’ team.

“He still needs time to develop as a footballer,” Gonzales added.

“He has said he prefers to play for Frenchville. I am disappointed.”

The former Uruguay international has not named his squad, never mind starting 11, for the match.

On Thursday night the training session was disrupted as some of the players were still nursing nagging injuries and striker Michael Steere was working late.

“I wish to make some changes, but I have to see what happens,” Gonzales said.

With players injured and others pulling out, the Cougars’ squad is down to about 15 and that makes it very hard for the coach to change things around.

“This is what I expected at the beginning of the season and nothing has changed,” he said. “It is just the situation I have.”

Max Thompson is one of the young players who will get a chance to show what he has to offer against players of a similar age.

The teenager has been getting regular minutes in the opening matches after starting for the Cougars in pre-season trials.

New boy Matt Davy continues to impress Gonzales in training and it seems likely he will get a start.

Reports from Brisbane media suggest the Cougars were cut apart down their right flank and this is an area where Gonzales might make some alteration.

Tonight’s Hyundai QSL game kicks off at Jardine Park at 7pm. Two curtain-raisers will be played with the Frenchville under-14 side against a Centres of Excellence under-14 side at 4pm and then the COE under-16 team meets Frenchville at 5pm.



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