Bluebirds confident of chances in FFA Cup inter-zone final
FOOTBALL: They might be in uncharted waters but Bluebirds are confident they can spring a surprise on their highly fancied rivals in the inter-zone final of the FFA Cup.
The talented young outfit will face off against NPL team, the Magpies Crusaders, at 7pm tomorrow at Webber Park.
It is the first time Bluebirds have gone this far in football's national knock-out competition and they are keen to maintain their winning run.
The Rockhampton team knew it would be a big step up in class against the semi-professional Crusaders, but coach Gary Skinner said his charges were up for the challenge and would not be overawed.
"It's going to be a big challenge but I think the boys are confident they can put in a good performance,” Skinner said.
"We only need the bounce of the ball to go our way a couple of times and who knows what can happen.
"If they play their best football they know they could cause an upset.”
Skinner expected the Magpies to bring a high-tempo, possession-based game and a priority for Bluebirds would be containing their prolific goal-scorer Michael Lyle.
"We need to keep the ball and limit their opportunities,” he said.
"If we can be strong in the midfield and deny them opportunities in and around our back third we're in with a show.”
Skinner said Bluebirds defender Ryan James would be instrumental in organising the backline, skipper Jordan Polkinghorne, Darren Holmes and Brad Dillon needed to control the middle as much as possible, and striker Liam Mclean had to be on song.
The coach also has the luxury of having a full complement of players to select from.
"The boys' frame of mind has been that it doesn't matter who turns up to our field on Saturday night, they won't get an easy game,” Skinner said.
"We're not in there to just say we've played in the final, we're in there to try and win it and get to the next level.”