by Rachel Lang
SOCCER: The Bribie Island Tigers are ready to roar into the 2017 season, with a new head coach preparing to take the club to soaring new heights.
Head coach Chris Knight has entered the club in the 2017 FFA cup, making 2017 the first year the Tigers have played in the national competition, and the only Bribie club to play in a national code.
"It's a competition that's run for the past couple of years," Knight said.
"It's an opportunity to play against some bigger sides."
The FFA competition means the Sunshine Coast division four team could find themselves playing against the major league teams like Melbourne Victory - if they survive enough knock-out rounds.
"It would be a fairytale to get anything beyond the fourth round... but the boys are quite capable of doing it," Knight said.
Coming from the Brisbane Premier League, Knight has brought nearly five decades of football experience to the Tigers.
"I just want to put back into the sport and the community I live in," the coach said.
Knight said he was eager to develop the senior side.
"They've been a social football team up until now," he said.
"The demographic of the island is changing so drastically, it's getting a lot younger.
"We have a great junior set-up, but where are these kids going to go in 10 years time?
"The aspiration is to have somewhere for our juniors to go to and not leave the island."
A new resident to Bribie, Knight said the FFA team was eager and ready to go.
"They're looking forward to this game. They're fired up for it," he said
Seniors captain Ben Cox said the boys were eager to get playing in the FFA cup.
"We feel pretty good about it - it's a step up from what we're usually playing in division four," Cox said.
"All of the teams in the FFA cup are probably at least three divisions higher than us, but the team we've got at the moment is a good bunch of lads.
"We've got a lot of youth as well. We have a lot of dedicated young boys who want to do well.
"It shouldn't be too much going into the first round - you've got to have a bit of optimism going into a game.
"It's a learning curve."
The Bribie Tigers will play Wondai in their first FFA game on Wednesday, March 22, at 7pm at the Bribie soccer field.
Buderim last night travelled to Gympie and downed the battling side 2-1.