Young Buccs are carving up the QPL competition
FOOTBALL: Dale Paxton, the coach of Wide Bay Buccaneers' under-15s team, attracted attention when he declared he wanted his team to the pride of the Buccaneers.
As the Queensland Premier League enters its final third, Paxton's declaration could be viewed as a coaching masterstroke: the right amount of praise and pressure to ensure his team performed at their best while achieving their season's goals.
The young Buccs have not lost since a 2-1 loss to Sunshine Coast Wanderers on March 25.
Seven wins and three draws have fired Wide Bay into a comfortable fourth on the ladder with seven games left.
The Buccaneers travelled to Logan in their last start seeking an act of redemption before the three-week mid-season break.
They returned that afternoon, with a declaration of "mission accomplished" and a three important competition points against the then second-placed Logan Lightning.
Paxton said the game was significant for his troops as the last time these two teams met, a March 11 fixture at Bundaberg's Martens Oval, the chance of a positive result was taken away from Wide Bay.
The goalkeeper was sent off for an apparent hand ball outside of the box, and a penalty was awarded for the same offence. The hungry Buccaneers didn't disappoint, serving a 2-0 loss to Logan at their Cornubia Park home.
Goals to Bailey Paxton (10th minute) & Brandon Catarro (16th minute) proved decisive as the second half turned into a battle of which neither side could take control.
This win puts the Buccs nicely in clear fourth: a four-point deficit to third and six-point buffer to fifth, and the side is well in finals contention in the club's inaugural season.
"The travel and commitment shown by these boys and their parents to travel to Brisbane every second week, and to travel to train across the Wide Bay region is to be commended," Paxton said.
"The professionalism and determination shown is beyond their years.
"We knew at the start of the year we had a team that would be competitive, what we didn't know was whether we would stay that way for a whole season. "We know with all this we can still compete for the trophy, this team has the grit, determination, unselfishness and fire power required to successful at any sport.
"For now we have to keep fighting to stay in the top four and be there at the end come finals time, from there anything can happen.
"We are creating our own history for this club."