Noosa's Matt Thompson in action last year. Photo: Patrick Woods
Noosa's Matt Thompson in action last year. Photo: Patrick Woods

Noosa veteran eager to rip into another season

While admitting age may slowly be catching up to him, veteran Noosa striker Matt Thompson says he’s feeling in good shape ahead of yet another season in premier grade.

The Lions will have the chance to officially get their season underway on Saturday, after it was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in March.

They’ll hit the road to battle Caloundra in the opening clash.

While the shutdown of sport had been tough, Thompson said Noosa were rearing to go.

“It was hard because everyone sort of got fit and we were all ready to go and then you just didn’t know what was happening (when the pandemic hit),” he said.

“So, we sort of had to go back and mentally prepare for it again and try and get fit again.

“But we’ve been training for probably three or four weeks now so everyone is really keen to get kicking and get into it.”

Thompson, 35, has been with the club since 2001 and has enjoyed about 15 seasons in the top Sunshine Coast football grade.

While he wasn’t as quick as he used to be, Thompson said he was “excited” to lace up for another season.

“I’m feeling pretty good, it’s getting a bit harder as I’m getting older but I’m feeling pretty good,” he said.

“(Coach) Kev (Aherne-Evans) knows how to use me so I’ll probably come off the bench here and there and start some games.”

Thompson, who is the oldest in the side, said his game had evolved in recent years to maximise his influence among the attacking ranks.

He’s been a prolific scorer during his premier grade career, notably bagging 30 to his name in 2012 and regularly notching well over 13 goals a season since.

“You’ve just got to use your head a bit more and not your body,” he said.

“When I first started out I used to play on the wing and I’d be all guns blazing running around like a maniac but now I sort of just hang around the box up front and try and use my head a little bit more.”

There won’t be any finals in the restructured fixtures this year, with teams playing in a league-only style format.

While some clubs had hit out over the lack of finals, Thompson said it suited Noosa just fine.

The outfit has won the main regular season premiership for the past three years in a row and a fourth in their sights.

“Grand finals I guess is just whoever turns up on the day but a premiership is the better team over the whole season,” Thompson said.

Noosa will take on Caloundra at Meridan Plains from 6pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Coolum will host Buderim, Maroochydore will welcome Nambour Yandina United and Beerwah Glasshouse will travel to battle Woombye.

Gympie and Kawana both have byes.