Heat Focus Returns To PS4 NPL
Words: Michael Flynn
Image: Pine Creek Pictures
FNQ Heat coach Tim Campbell says his side must apply the lessons learned from their Westfield FFA Cup defeat in their push for PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues glory.
Heat exited the national knock-out tournament at the Round of 32 stage for the third straight year on Wednesday night after being outclassed 3-0 by PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW outfit Edgeworth Eagles.
The result left Campbell – and the 1300-strong Cairns crowd – disappointed, however the Heat gaffer says the silver lining is his charges are now free to focus solely on the task of winning their first PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues silverware.
“I think it would’ve been a distraction if we were still in the cup – thinking about where are we going next, is it home or is it away,” Campbell explained.
“It would be a stretch to think we could win the FFA Cup – not that we didn’t want to win, because of course you do – but now that it’s gone we can focus back on the league.”
“I suppose that if you’re going to lose one then that’s the one to lose, but if we don’t learn the lessons then we will be in trouble in the league.”
With Heat eyeing a return to the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Finals Series this year, Campbell said his young side would benefit from the experience of playing in front a large crowd with high stakes.
“I think the boys got a bit stage struck last night and no matter how much you try to prepare them it’s hard if you’re not used to that.”
He added, ““Certainly in the first half Edgeworth came out and played really well and stuck with their game plan and we struggled a little bit to execute ours.”
“We regrouped a little bit and first twenty minutes of the second half was our best part of the game. But we needed to score and we just couldn’t create that chance.”
Heat will now play two matches that could well define their season in the next fortnight against Redlands United and Brisbane Strikers.
Campbell said he was looking forward to preparing his side for a different challenge this weekend – a home-away-from-home trip to Innisfail, south of Cairns.
“I know it’s a cliché but we’ve just got to take it one game at a time from here.”
“It’s an enormous game for us on Saturday because Redlands are a very good side. And, we’re playing in Innisfail, which we have not done before, so it’s going to be a big test for us.”
Heat can still return to the national stage this year if they can maintain their position atop the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland standings until the end of the regular season.
The PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2016 Premiers will be one of eight clubs from around the country to compete in the knock-out PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Finals Series against the top clubs from seven other Member Federations.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2016 – Round 19
FNQ FC Heat v Redlands United FC
Saturday, July 30 | 7:00PM
Callendar Park, Innisfail