SEQ Futsal Premier League heavyweights South Brisbane will have to contend with the weight of expectation when Queensland’s premier futsal club competition commences next Saturday.
The only club with Puma F-League experience is expected to be the team to beat across the league’s senior age groups having competed at national level since 2013.
Boasting quality in depth, South Brisbane’s away trip know-how is expected to prove a factor in the six-club, home-and-away format.
Men’s captain Caleb Urlich, who scored five goals in the recent F-League campaign, acknowledged there will be a target on the back.
“I think they will all be looking out for us,” Urlich said.
“It will put a bit of pressure on the boys, especially the new boys coming in that haven’t played at that high level before.
“Having played in the F-League I think we’ll hopefully be able to handle it.”
While the new competition involves plenty of unknowns, Urlich expects a familiar rival to emerge as South Brisbane’s toughest opposition.
“I have to say Sunny Coast. Every time we play them it’s always a good rivalry,” he said.
“They’re a very strong team and it always gets physical. That’s a bit of fun.”
Fresh from an F-League premiership and back-to-back Grand Final appearances, South Brisbane’s highly-respected Women’s side is equally expected to translate its national form to the SEQ Futsal Premier League.
The bulk of that squad is backing up for the exciting new initiative, which strengthens the link between community-level futsal and the national top tier.
Shannon Tathem, a long-term member of South Brisbane’s squad, believes the SEQ Futsal Premier League will create new opportunities for players to reach the next level.
“I think it’s pretty cool that it’s expanding and you’re representing your region,” she said.
“It will really open up and bring new talent towards the F-League and will overall make Queensland more competitive in that sense.”
Despite the heavy travelling schedule of playing at the top level for several years, Tathem’s love of futsal continues to burn brightly.
“It’s a really fast-paced, exciting game. There are never any dull moments really,” she explained.
“The skill and everything in futsal keeps it entertaining for me, so I think that’s why I keep coming back to futsal compared to outdoor.”
The inaugural SEQ Futsal Premier League season kicks-off on Saturday, 8 October and runs until February 2017, when the top four from each junior, youth and senior competition converge for a finals weekend.