Fire faces another week on the sidelines – but the break will give key players time to recover.
Fire faces another week on the sidelines – but the break will give key players time to recover. Renee Pilcher

Fire still waiting to play

THIS weekend will bring another unfortunate non-event for the Gympie Fire.

Just like the local ladies team the Miners, the football side had its game cancelled last weekend, and are busting to get back on the field, however they will have to wait until next week as the side has a bye this week.

The Fire missed last Saturday's game after the opposing team, the Gold Coast Stars, forfeited the match.

The Gold Coast Star's owner Ahmed Sokarno officially withdrew the team from the Queensland State League mid-June which impacted the Fire's season.

In place of the Gold Coast game, the Fire had arranged a friendly game with a local senior side, however plans for the game fell through and the team was left without a good on-field workout to maintain match fitness.

The side was rested this week and will meet this weekend for a training session.

Assistant coach Andrew Catton said the bright side of the no-play situation was the break had given injured team-mates Tim Hollingworth (hamstring) and Brady Cronk a well-needed rest.

"It will have done Tim especially the world of good," Catton said.

Hollingworth's hamstring injury appears to be the repeat of the same injury sustained earlier in the season, and Catton says this weekend's training will be a good gauge of his fitness for upcoming games.

"He will show up and we'll see how he goes.

"I'm hoping he's not too bad," Catton said.

Catton said his plans for the training session would be maintaining ball possession, something with which the side had had trouble.

"In the last few games we've given the ball away too easily at the last minute," Catton said.

He said the team had been dropping their guard just when they thought things were safe, then lost the possession.

He said that kind of play was demonstrated in the Fire's recent Sunshine Coast clash, where Gympie had a strong lead taken in the second half, after a stellar first half effort.

"We need to be more consistent," he said.

"We've been making silly, sloppy passes."

Fire is hoping to have its defensive game tightened up by next Saturday when they play Brisbane Strikers at One Mile Oval.

Catton said the Fire's first-half success against the Sunshine Coast showed they had the skill to beat the mid-ranked Strikers, and last time the two clashed, they drew 3-all. He also classified the win as vital to help the Fire work towards a safety net on third place of the ladder.

"The Strikers haven't been playing as well as they have in recent years. Hopefully we can play our best because this is a game we need to be winning," Catton said.

"If we want to be in this competition then we need to win this."

The Fire play Brisbane Strikers on Saturday, July 14, at One Mile Oval.

The Ladder

  1. South West Qld - 22
  2. QAS - 18
  3. S/Coast Fire - 17
  4. Logan Strikers - 17
  5. Gold Coast - 13
  6. Brisbane Strikers - 10
  7. Gympie Fire - 8
  8. Bundaberg Spirit - 2

Round 16:

  • July 7: Brisbane Strikers v Spirit
  • July 8: QAS v S/W Qld
  • July 8: Sun Coast Fire v Logan Strikers
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