Spirit to take on QAS
BUNDABERG Spirit will need to weather the might of the visiting Queensland Academy of Sport this weekend if it is to stand a chance of crawling from the QSL cellar.
With only five games remaining in the regular season, each fixture is vital if the team is to achieve its goal of climbing from the last rung of the competition ladder for the first time in three years.
Coach Richard Mitchell said it was now do-or-die time for his team, which suffered a heartbreaking 4-1 defeat at the hands of North Queensland Bulls last weekend.
“We're trying to take it one game at a time at the moment,” Mitchell said.
“There's no easy wins in the competition and we'll be trying to play each game like it's our last.”
Spirit may have QAS outclassed in the experience department but what the young-guns lack in age they make up for with skill and speed.
Mitchell said the side had made a name for itself with a nimble-footed midfield and aggressive strikers.
“They're a good team, to be sure,” he said.
“They've got some of the best young footballers in Queensland.”
He has braced his team for a tough Marten's Oval encounter and has warned it is not a time for individual performances.
“We're not going to be able to rely on sole players,” he said.
“It's going to take a collective and committed effort from every man on the field.”
Besides the absence of Corey Haack due to suspension, Mitchell will have the full Spirit complement at his disposal.
The resurgent Spirit will be boosted by the talents of Central Coast Mariner recruits Adam Ormsby and Nick Fitzgerald and FC talent Ray Miller.
Long-term campaigners, midfielder Brett Kitching and striker Elliott Causer, will look to continue a strong partnership which was a saving grace of Spirit's disastrous northern encounter last week.
“With only one out we'll be fielding a pretty strong side,” Mitchell said. “It's up to the boys to take ownership of their position and give it their best,” he added.