Wanderers player Brodie Boyce. PHOTO: Warren Lynam
Wanderers player Brodie Boyce. PHOTO: Warren Lynam

Wanderers buoyed ahead of clash with heavyweight

With improved defence and an injection of confidence, captain Jeremy Stewart says the Wanderers are in a good position to tackle a competition heavyweight at home.

After months of waiting due to COVID-19, the Sunshine Coast outfit finally got their season back underway last week and snared their first point in the state’s National Premier League in the process with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Strikers.

While they’re still yet to taste victory after six games, the result buoyed the playing group ahead of their clash with 2019 grand finalists, and currently fourth-placed, Olympic FC at Ballinger Park this weekend.

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“It’s (draw) going to give everyone a heap of confidence moving into our game this Sunday,” Stewart said.

“It’ll be our first home game since COVID-19 and with this new side and a few tactical changes I think we’re definitely going to be better for it.

“It’s going to be a massive game and we need to make our home pitch a bit of a fortress for the remainder of the year and pick up as many points as possible.”

Stewart praised the Wanderers’ improved defence on return to competition and said it would be key in games to come.

“Our back three or five were outstanding (against Strikers),” he said.

“I think Brodie Boyce and Sammy Knight coming back (from injury) into the side and both playing 90 minutes (was great).

“They were superb at the back and I suppose that’s (defence) what let us dow in the first five games, we conceded something like 24 goals.

“Defensively we were very strong and I think that’s something that we need to maintain for the remainder of the year and in this weekend’s game.

“Then, hopefully, us forwards can put the ball in the net, that’s our job.”

Wanderers will host Olympic FC at Ballinger Park on Sunday at 4pm.

Meanwhile, rain hampered Sunshine Coast Fire’s return to the field in the state’s second tier, the Queensland Premier League, last week.

They’ll host Southside Eagles this Sunday at Kawana Western Fields at 4pm.