Redlands vow to continue bringing youth players through
Despite the National Premier Leagues Queensland competition being up in the air as to who will compete in 2019 but Redlands United will be looking to continue to bring through young talent.
Redlands escaped relegation after losing in surprising fashion up in Townsville to North Queensland United but they defeated Magpie Crusaders and Western Pride to ensure they would be staying up in the NPL for next season.
"It's been character building," Redlands coach Nick Dibbs said.
"It's probably been the toughest eight to nine months I have ever experienced personally. You live and breathe it, it consumes your life a little bit but from it, the young players we've brought through have been exceptional.
"I probably haven't said enough that without that spine of Graham Fyfe, Jake Sherwood, Scott Sargent, Andrew Ralph and Sam Langley, they are the experienced players helping these young boys," he said.
Redlands have seen the debuts of seven young players including Angus Broderick, Bryon Mcleod, Craig Peck, Hayden Ibrahim, Jackson Hart-Phillips, Robert Kramer and Ryan Hughes.
The results have seen Peck and Hart-Phillips becomes regulars in the side, with the later starting in Redlands last six games for the season.
However over the past week, both Cairns FC and North Queensland United have announced they will not be part of the NPL or FQPL competitions next season after handing their license back.
Football Queensland have stated that while promotion from FQPL, which sees Peninsula Power and Easts come up, will not be affected, they are set to make a decision on this in the coming days about relegation. North Queensland was meant to be relegated alongside Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Gold Coast Knights are set to bypass the FQPL and join the NPL, however, this has not been re-confirmed by Football Queensland after recent news.
However, despite not knowing what the NPL might have install for them next season, Dibbs is hoping to continue bringing through the young players involved in the club into the senior team.
"Obviously, as a club, we don't really want to be putting ourselves in that position every year, where it becomes a case of survival," he said.
"For me, if the club is winning, if we remain in the NPL and keep playing our homegrown players, I think we become a winner because we are playing those young boys, they are getting that experience and if they go onto bigger and better things then that's fantastic," Dibbs said.