Buccaneers strive for first points at the Bay
FOOTBALL: A new-look Wide Bay Buccaneers have left no stone unturned in its quest for the first Football Queensland Premier League point in the club's short history.
The Buccaneers' interim coaches have made several changes to the starting XI that fell 8-1 to FQPL heavyweights Peninsula Power last week.
Former KSS Jets stopper Chris Merrison will start at goalkeeper as Joel Amodeo gets his first opportunity to start in the attacking midfield against Sunshine Coast.
It could also be the first Ben Wilks plays for Wide Bay.
The Englishman arrived at the Wide Bay in February, but has been forced to watch his team struggle from the sideline as he awaited an international player clearance.
The former Europa Point FC player, who prefers winger but could slot into any attacking position, will be an enormous inclusion for the Buccaneers' first game at Hervey Bay Sports Club.
Captain Jacob Chapman said his side approached this clash the same as which they did for the Power.
The Buccaneers frustrated the unbeaten Peninsula during the first half of last week's game, and had several close chances to score.
While the Power dominated the second half courtesy of Oliver Smith's five-goal haul, Chapman said the gameplan would be similar when they play tomorrow afternoon.
"We've approached this game the same way; we haven't changed our structure or shape," Chapman said.
"The boys played really well for the first half. The shape and structure we played, we held and frustrated them for most of the first half."
Sunday afternoon's clash with the Wanderers shapes as yet another challenge from one of the top FQPL teams.
The Wanderers have won four and drawn one in its first five games, and the Sunshine Coast club will strive to keep that record intact.
The club's joint leading goalscorer Kobe Fuller, who has scored five goals so far, and Michael Scarff, who has three goals, shape as the Wanderers' most dangerous weapons.
The Sunshine Coast's joint leading goalscorer Benjamin Lynch has not been named, but it will be little saving grace to the Buccaneers as they face a side that strives on broken play and a never-say-die attitude in attack.
"We expect it to be full-on," Chapman said.
"We haven't seen much of their game but we know they push forwarded and pressure.
"Joel will get the opportunity to start. We've trained together but haven't played just yet. He's earned a chance to start as an attacking midfielder, and we'll need his touch and strong passing ability."
Wide Bay's goal is to secure its first point of the club's inaugural FQPL season, but Chapman said the deeper focus was on improving how the side applied its shape and structure on the field.
"We want to hold and frustrate their team," he said.
The Buccaneers' junior teams will play before the seniors take the field, with games on both the Sports Club's main field and at Tavistock St's junior fields. The main game kicks off at 3pm.