Litfin To Captain U23 Select Team
Words: Michael Flynn
Image: Chris Simpson
Gold Coast City star Benjamin Litfin says he can’t wait to lead the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Under 23 Select team onto the pitch against Brisbane Roar this Saturday.
Litfin has been confirmed as captain of the team for the match which pits 18 of Queensland’s best young players against the three-time Hyundai A-League Champions.
The match serves as important preparation for Roar ahead of their season, while also offering the chance for PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland’s aspiring talents to impress Roar coaches.
Litfin, whose 19 goals with City this year lead the league, said being captain was a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, while at the same time acknowledging the limitations of the role.
“I’m really honoured that I have the opportunity to captain the team but it’s important these days to have a lot of leaders on the field as well,” Litfin said.
“As captain, it will be up to me to do the coin-toss and ask questions of the referee, but other than that it’s just about all of us doing our jobs and showing leadership in each of our roles.”
Litfin said a high priority for the team was to avoid the blow-out that happened in the corresponding fixture last year, which Roar won by eight goals.
“Some of the boys were in the team last year and obviously they, and the rest of us, don’t want a repeat of that kind of scoreline”
“We’ve had three weeks of training to prepare and we want a really good showing. A lot of these boys have a lot to prove and we’ve put in a lot of effort to get ready for the game.”
Amongst those with points to prove are a plethora of players that were previously part of Roar’s Youth system, including Litfin, Sam Cronin, Samuel Sibatuara, Jaiden Walker, Benjamin Lyvidikos, Mitchell Hore and Luke Pavlou.
Litfin said the motivations of those players – and the previously established on-field connections they have – can only benefit the Select team.
“We’re lucky that a number of the boys have played together before and know each other on a personal basis - so that will certainly help on the pitch.”
“But there’s also no negative feelings towards the Roar in any way and we’re all just looking forward to playing in front of the Roar coaches again.”
“The reason we didn’t get picked (for the A-League team) is because of many of the very good players that we are against playing this weekend. So there will be a lot of personal battles out there and I’m sure it will be a very competitive game because of that.”
Litfin added that he and his teammates are hoping their prior inside knowledge could help disrupt the Roar’s rhythm on match day.
“I had about two years playing training games against and with most of the Roar midfield. I know how players like Matty McKay and Thomas Broich like to play and I’m keen to use some of that knowledge against them and put them off their game a little bit,” he concluded.
PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Under 23 Select v Brisbane Roar FC
Saturday, September 24 | 3:00PM
Queensland Sport & Athletics Centre, Brisbane
Admission is FREE
PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Under 23 Select Squad
1. Shane VIITAKANGAS (Gold Coast City FC), 2. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS (Gold Coast City FC), 3. Kai SMITH (Brisbane City FC), 4. Kai HALLIDAY (Redlands United FC), 5. Grant BRIX (Redlands United FC), 6. Luke PAVLOU (Brisbane City FC), 7. Sam CRONIN (Olympic FC), 8. Benjamin LITFIN (Gold Coast City FC), 9. Joseph DUCKWORTH (Western Pride FC), 10. Mitchell HORE (Brisbane City FC), 11. Finn BEAKHURST (Moreton Bay United FC), 12. Scott HALLIDAY (Brisbane City FC), 13. Matthew CAPELO (Moreton Bay United FC), 14. Cameron NUCIFORA (FNQ FC Heat), 15. Jaiden WALKER (Gold Coast City FC), 16. Samuel SIBATUARA (Brisbane City FC), 17. Bonventure THOMAS-REMIJO (Western Pride FC), 18. Samuel NICKOLLS (Sunshine Coast FC)