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  • Angela Bacic

Starting the next half afresh


Injuries and player departures have continued to hurt Redlands United as they now battle relegation after a 3-0 loss to SWQ Thunder on Saturday night.

The team now sit in 13th and sit two points behind North Queensland United and Magpies Crusaders United with 11 rounds to go.

Goalkeeper Andy Ralph, who had made the NPL Queensland Team of the Week for Round 14, missed the game against Thunder through injury and will be out for four to five weeks after sustaining a stress fracture.

The side wants to start afresh after the first half of the season saw departures, injuries including a season ending one to Dan Varma and players returning from injury.

There were five players who have left Redlands since the start of the season started in early February but were all out of the hands of the club.

"Mikey Dalton had to move on because of personal reasons back in England, being one of our visa players it was a very sad to see him go, Mikey didn't want to go but it was something that was out of his control," Redlands United coach Nick Dibbs said.

"We've also have the leavings of Carlton Westerdale and Jason Park, they were both players trying to fight their way into the first team and wanted starting positions, I completely understand that.

"With JJ [Prasad] it was not regarding the club but a logistics problem, JJ is an hour and 15 minutes away from where we are and the traveling to training two to three times a week, was just too much for him and his commitment for what he is doing outside of football," he said.

However, the departure of players, while not what the team cannot control, has sort of been a silver lining with four players from last years under 16's NPL squad having made their debuts for the men's team including Angus Broderick, Byron Mcleod, Jackson Hart-Phillips and Robert Kramer.

"Seeing these players come on and hold their own has been fantastic," Dibbs said.

"Hopefully all the boys can see there is a progression and pathway for the young players," he said.

Dibbs has also signed four players; Bobby Irving, Jake Sherwood, Craig Peck and Chad Swieca.

So heading into the last 11 rounds of the season Dibbs has instilled an attitude change in the team and they know where they need to improve.

"Obviously it is important that boys acknowledge that we need to improve on the first half of the season," Dibbs said.

"It is something we spoke about and discussed and they know we come into a period of games where we can make a change," he said.

Redlands have one more game away from home as they face Gold Coast United before they return to the Showgrounds against Cairns FC on June 16.

#NPLQLD #NPL #SWQThunder #AndyRalph #MikeyDalton #Carltonwesterdale #Jasonpark #JaydenPrasad #BobbyIrving #JakeSherwood #NickDibbs #NorthQueenslandUnited #magpiescrusadersunited #RobertKramer #JacksonHartPhillips #ByronMcleod #AngusBroderick

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