The opening month of the new season has thrown up some surprises with FNQ Heat leading the way with 10 points out of 12 to start the season, one point clear of both defending champions Moreton Bay and Brisbane City.
Rounding out the top four currently is the seasons surprise package to date, with SWQ Thunder picking up their first win in the clubs history in round one, and followed that up with a win against Redlands last time out.
At the other end of the table, it looks like being a long season for both Olympic and Northern Fury, who’ve picked up just the one win between them. Perhaps the biggest surprise however is the slow start for the Strikers, who took til round four to record their first win of the season.
After a weekend off over the Easter break, the NPL Queensland season resumes this weekend with a Northern derby and the high flying SWQ Thunder travelling to the struggling Brisbane Strikers.
Round 5 Fixtures
Redlands vs. Olympic FC
The round kicks off tonight down at Cleveland Showgrounds with Redlands looking to move back into the top four with a win over Olympic. Despite going down to SWQ last time out, the Bayside club have been playing some good football and will be confident of a win over the lowly Olympic.
Olympic meanwhile were disappointing and outclassed at home last time out by the Roar youth side, and with their sole win coming against the equally disappointing Northern Fury this looms as a tough trip across town for Olympic.
Brisbane Strikers vs. SWQ Thunder
Arguably the match of the round takes place on Saturday evening at Perry Park where the misfiring Strikers host the high flying SWQ. Strikers have struggled so far this season but a last start revenge win over Moreton Bay could be enough to kick-start their season.
SWQ however will pose a strong test, as they come into this clash with two wins under their belts –albeit at home- and possess one of the leagues better attacking combinations in Majok Piok and Mustafa Jafari. Traditionally Thunder struggle on the road, but a 1-1 draw away to the Young Roar in round two suggests they could be set to put that record to bed.
FNQ Heat vs. Northern Fury
The first Northern derby of the season takes place in Cairns on Saturday night with the league leading Heat playing host to the Fury. FNQ have started the season strongly and go into this game as clear favourites.
If Heat had the best start to the season, Fury would be at the opposite end of the spectrum as the only side yet to pick up a point so far in 2016. While a positive result here could potentially kick-start the season for Ian Ferguson’s men, it seems an unlikely proposition.
Western Pride vs. Brisbane City
The third of the Saturday fixtures sees Brisbane City travel out to Ipswich to take on Western Pride in a game which could be an interesting encounter. Pride enter the round in 9th, but the Ipswich side appear to have turned a corner with a last start win over the Fury, although this will prove to be a far stiffer test.
City have responded to their opening round loss to Moreton Bay with a run of three straight wins and John Kosmina’s side will be confident of making it four against the lowly Pride as the highly touted side continue to gel.
Sunshine Coast vs. Brisbane Roar
The first of Sunday’s games takes place up in Kawana as 10th placed Sunshine Coast play host to the young Roar. Sam Saif’s side have had a slow start to the new season, but put in a good performance away to City last time out and will be confident of picking up something at home to the Roar.
The Young Roar side put in a polished performance away to Olympic last time out and will be confident that they can continue on their solid start to the new season. Young striker Nick D’Agostino netted a hat-trick last time out -the first of the competion this year-, and he looms as the danger man for the home side.
Gold Coast City vs. Moreton Bay United
The round concludes with a clash between the two most recent winners of the competition with defending champions Moreton Bay travelling down to the Gold Coast. After failing to make the most of their chances against Redlands in round one, Gold Coast have been consistent performers this season, and a win will keep them in touch with the top four.
Moreton Bay have continued on their winning ways this season with three wins out of four, however their last start loss at home to the Strikers brought their winning start to an end. Despite going into this game as the favourites, a trip to the Coast to take on City could prove a good early season test for the defending champions.