A fresh-faced Nerang Eagles Premier League squad faced off today against experienced National Premier League side Brisbane City FC in a testing pre-season match up on Bob Jeffrey Field at home.
Alongside incoming coach Lee Vernon, the squad fielded a bevy of new faces including a mix of up-and-coming Nerang youth players alongside former Broadbeach United players who have joined Vernon in making the move to Nerang.
Slow out of the blocks, the Eagles conceded a throw-away goal early in the piece to then rally and hold the visitors to a 1-nil lead into half time, despite having fewer touches and less possession on the ball.
The first half of the second period saw some of Nerang’s best football as the red shirts pressed forward and created multiple opportunities, frustrating the visitor’s defence. The pressure paid off with Brisbane City conceding a penalty which was promptly put away off the post, levelling the scores with 25 minutes to go.
A standout on the field was Nerang stalwart Max King who made several threatening runs through the middle and up the right side, causing problems for the City defence. In what is his swan song of sorts for the club, King leaves next week for his 2020 posting in Japan and we wish him all the best.
Ominous clouds rolled in and Nerang were unable to hold the pressure forward, with the visiting side quick to respond with a skilfully executed attack netting them a second goal.
The fitness element showed soon after as Nerang began to drop off late, allowing Brisbane to put two more in for a 4-1 finish in the pouring rain – deserved winners on the day.
Despite the loss, the friendly game left coach Lee Vernon optimistic with the newly formed Nerang side showing many signs of quality football and confidence during the game against a stronger opponent on the day — with plenty of opportunities created and plenty to like from the style of play, intelligence and enthusiasm shown by the entire squad.
The games progressed on despite the downpour with the Reserves kicking off shortly after, only to see their match abandoned half way through the first half with no let up in the rain.
After many months of intense dry weather, it was clear that nobody was disappointed in the water falling from the sky and the terrace at the clubhouse was once again abuzz with spectators and players sharing a few after the games.
There’s little doubt as the Nerang squad puts more petrol in their fitness tank in the coming weeks they’ll emerge as a contender again in the 2020 Football Gold Coast Premier League competition ahead.
A big thanks to the Brisbane City FC team and crew who made the trip today, not easy given the shutdown of the M1, and we hope they all had a safe journey home and wish them all the best for their NPL season ahead.