Maher, Knight Back For Strikers
Words: Steve Pitman
Image: Steven Gibson Photography
Defensive utility Chris Maher and fullback Sam Knight will return in Brisbane Strikers colours for the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2016 season.
Maher, 24, and Knight, 27, join skipper Michael Angus and central defender Greig Henslee as the latest players to recommit to last year’s Grand Finalists as they seek to go one better in 2016.
Maher enters his third successive year in Strikers’ senior squad, emerging through the club’s youth ranks prior to spending a season with Strikers’ partner club Rochedale Rovers in the Brisbane Premier League in 2013.
Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans said Maher’s maturity and confidence continues to improve after a total of 43 league appearances for the club over the past two campaigns.
“When I first came into the club (prior to last season) he was very critical of his performances in training and in games, and really hard on himself,” A’herne-Evans revealed.
“But I think he has matured a lot as a player and stopped beating himself up so much and, as result of that, we actually had a really solid season out of him.”
A’herne-Evans also pointed to Maher’s adaptability as a key asset for Strikers in 2016.
“He was really reliable for us on either side as fullback and is an exceptional centre back, where he will probably end up playing longer term.”
“And last year, in the semi-final against Redlands, he finished the game off as a right winger where he scored a goal for us.”
Knight joined the Strikers after the start of last season but quickly established himself as one of his team’s most reliable defenders – ultimately making 17 league appearances for the club.
“Considering he didn’t have any pre-season at all it was quite remarkable the level that he got to,” A’herne-Evans explained of the former Sunshine Coast FC player.
“He really prides himself on the ability to man-mark in particular. So when we came up against Redlands he would always have the job on Nico Bechar and when we were playing Moreton Bay he’d have the job of marking Charles Mendy.”
“He has a desire to keep clean sheets and is really defensive-minded and is an important player to have in the group,” he concluded.