Striker's influence is telling at title contender Lions
FOOTBALL: Noosa captain Grant de Chastel says players at the club have been inspired by stalwart Matt Thompson this season.
The Lions will collide with Kawana at Sunshine Beach on Saturday (6pm) when the top-of-the-table clash could prove telling in the race for the regular season premiership.
The influence of Thompson is likely to be crucial to the home side's chances of leap-frogging the Force on the nine-team standings, through 25 of 27 rounds.
"Matty's a great player and very experienced player at the club. Everyone looks up to him, being the most senior player of the club," De Chastel said.
"And his goal-scoring record speaks for itself. His quality of finishing and what he gives this team is something very special."
Thompson's bagged 17 goals from 20 outings this campaign,
The Lions' six-game unbeaten streak was snapped last weekend with a shock 2-1 loss to Caloundra and the result saw the side lose its grip on the competition's top spot.
But De Chastel was undeterred.
"You lose a game, it happens," he said.
"You just move on to this week and we've been training well and it's a big game and we're looking forward to it."
The Lions' last home game of the regular season will double as a special night for past players and members.
And with the premiership almost at stake, De Chastel said it would be a significant occasion.
"With a big night we need a good performance and it will be a great game between (teams) one and two going for the premiership. It will be a very good spectacle," he said.
Last time the teams met there in June, the Force emerged 4-1 victors.
"We didn't get the result that day so we'll be looking to get the result this time," he said.
In other matches, Gympie hosts Woombye, Beerwah Glasshouse entertains Caloundra and Nambour Yandina hosts Buderim