Ra­zor­backs go through lead­er­ship reshuf­fle

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Antony Ste­wart antony. ste­wart@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

M I C H A E L L a n c i n i h a s vowed to shake off dis­ap­point­ment over los­ing the Ra­zor­backs’ cap­taincy and mark his re­turn with a bang.

The tal­ented 20-year-old de­fender is set for his first Queens­land State League ap­pear­ance of 2011 tonight against new boys South­ern Cross United af­ter sus­pen­sion rubbed him out of the open­ing two rounds.

It’s an ab­sence that has put added fire in Lancini’s belly, but has come at a cost.

Af­ter Josh Evans started the sea­son with the cap­tain’s a r m b a n d , c o a c h K e n Mitchell opted against hand­ing it back to Lancini.

‘‘ Michael . . . wants to get his game right first and then we’ll as­sess it later on, but at the mo­ment he’s very fo­cused on get­ting back into the team and ac­tu­ally per­form­ing very well,’’ Mitchell said. Lancini said while he un­der­stood the ra­tio­nale it was still a blow. But he won’t let it af­fect his game at the Townsville Sports Re­serve.

‘‘ It’s al­ways a big dis­ap­point­ment, be­cause be­ing cap­tain of your lo­cal team is a huge hon­our, but I re­spect Kenny’s de­ci­sion and Josh Evans has taken over the cap­taincy role and I back him 100 per cent,’’ Lancini said. ‘‘ I have a lot of faith in Josh and I think we’ll do re­ally well un­der him. It’s been a long pre-sea­son, so I just want to play.’’

Fol­low­ing an eye-open­ing 3-nil de­feat at the hands of de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Suns h i n e C o a s t l a s t w e e k , Lancini’s re­turn is a wel­come boost as the Ra­zor­backs brace for a fit, fast and skil­ful South­ern Cross.

Mid­fielder Jay Eurell also comes into the squad.

‘‘ We’re go­ing to look at how our bench is stocked up with play­ers who can come in and change the game through the mid­field and are quite fit and mo­bile,’’ Mitchell said.

Kick-off is 7pm. laid to rest and ex­tend­ing the Brethren’s suc­cess is the only thing on Nielsen’s mind.

‘‘ I’ve been made to feel pretty wel­come,’’ he said.

‘‘ It was funny when they first came out of the dress­ing room last week and I looked at 15 guys all wear­ing the Brothers jer­sey and thought, ‘ crikey, I’m the coach’, but there are 15 blokes there . . . that I’ve formed a bit of a bond with.’’

Kick-off at Hugh St is at 3.30pm. The match will be foll o w e d b y g a m e s b e t w e e n Teach­ers West and Bur­dekin and Uni and North Ward.

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