Roar Puts Bite On Sharks
A gallant Palm Beach Sharks fell 3-0 to Brisbane Roar on Tuesday night as the A-League club continued its preseason against NPL Queensland opposition at Mallawa Complex.
Dimitri Petratos and Diogo Ferreira added to an opening own goal for the visitors in a well-balanced match that saw Palm Beach fashion several chances.
Sharks striker Jarrod Kyle nearly gave the hosts the perfect start on ten minutes, the former Sydney FC and Sheffield Wednesday player shot from the edge of the box skimming the crossbar.
Another golden chance in the second half fell to Chris Lucas, who trialled with Roar earlier this season. The right winger showed a clean set of heels to the Roar defenders before forcing a superb save from goalkeeper Matt Acton.
Despite not seeing as much possession as their A-League opponents, Sharks held well until Roar benefitted from a wicked deflection to open accounts on 21 minutes – the score holding until the half.
Petratos doubled Roar’s advantage from the penalty spot on 66 minutes after the referee spotted a Palm Beach handball. Ferreira then sealed the result with a simple tap in 15 minutes from time.
Following an up and down season in the National Premier Leagues, Sharks coach Grae Piddick saw the match as just reward for his side.
“It’s a definite reward for the guys that stuck around this year. There were quite a few players that left during the year for various reasons – some because it was just too hard for them,” Piddick said.
“There were boys that played against Roar that started the season in the Under 18s, so for those guys they never would’ve thought they’d get the opportunity and they did the club proud.”
Piddick, who replaced Oscar Langone as senior team coach mid-season, said he was pleased with his side’s showing against the two time A-League champions.
“I thought our performance was quite good. Obviously Roar had a lot of possession but we hung in there and we were quite disciplined defensively.”
“To be fair the first goal was extremely unlucky on our side of things, it was a massive deflection. So to go in at half time having only conceded the one goal was really quite positive for us,” Piddick continued.
Piddick also said the match was an opportunity for his charges to learn what makes the Roar one of the best club sides in the country.
“It gives the boys a real practical lesson on movement of the ball and movement of the Roar in possession,” Piddick explained.
“I said to our boys afterwards that it wasn’t anything super fancy. It was all good movement, done quickly at a high intensity and everyone following instructions.”
Following a disappointing lower-table return in the NPL this year, Piddick said signs were good for next year’s campaign
“We’re planning for a big improvement actually,” explained an enthusiastic Piddick.
“We’re just starting to get a couple of guys back from injuries and from overseas. Unfortunately the season is over and it’s a bit late for them, but they’re back in time to have a good preseason under their belts.”
“The scope of improvement in the team this year is massive considering most of them are teenagers – there are only four in our first team squad that are 20 or over. So the potential there is massive.”
Sharks conclude their NPL Queensland season on Sunday when they travel to Ipswich to face Western Pride at Kippen Park. Kick off is scheduled for 3pm.
Words: Michael Flynn (Football Queensland)
Image: Alannah Pearson