THE Parkes Cobras kicked off their 2021 Western Premier League preparations with a bang - beating Barnestoneworth United by three goals in a trial at Harrison Park on Sunday afternoon.
After a sluggish start, the Cobras banged home five goals to Barnestoneworth's two in hot conditions with Brent Morgan bagging a double and Lachlan Hando, Alec Bateson and Mitch Hutchings also scoring goals.
Cobras coach Meghan Kempson was worried in the opening minutes that the Cobras were going to be thoroughly outplayed; but she was pleased with the way her charges stuck at it in tough conditions.
"It looked like it was going to be a bloodbath early; it is so typical of us to take a little while to get into the game and get our confidence up - but I was pleased with the way we finished with our tails up, our depth really stood out," said Kempson.
New recruit Marty Doherty, a much hyped Irish import, certainly delivered on the hype at first glimpse; directing the team superbly from the center of the park with a deft first touch, good vision and some exquisite passing taking the team to another level.
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Another new recruit, Mitch Hutchings, made an immediate impression as the big traditional 'Number 10' up front, setting up the first goal with a massive throw-in before his powerful frame proved too much for the Barnestoneworth defence to handle as he slot home a goal that oozed both class and brute strength.
"His confidence right from the get go was fabulous; he's caught the bug again and really been thriving in the football environment.
"He played for NSW Country at junior level so he is clearly quite a natural and talented footballer.
"He'll be here for the entire season and he exactly fits what we were lacking last year - someone with a bit of firepower up front who can finish with some polish," says Kempson.
Hayden Westcott and Brent Morgan were very strong in a new look defence, while goalkeeper Sean Noble (pictured) looked very assured between the sticks with a number of acrobatic saves.
Noble split the duties with Ryan Dunn, and the former looked like he has gained a lot of confidence since last year's inaugural season - directing the defence, alongside center back Adam Parker, with aplomb.
"Whilst we have lost some players in the defence, we have gained a lot of players up front and this means we will be able to looking to play a more attacking brand of football where we will be looking to get forward as much as possible," Kempson said.
If Sunday's game is anything to go by, the Cobras are ready to bare their fangs and give the Western Premier League a real shake in 2021.
Parkes Cobras 5 (Brent Morgan 2, Lachlan Hando, Alec Bateson, Mitch Hutchings goal) defeated Barnestoneworth United 2 at Harrison Park, Parkes
2021 Parkes Cobras Western Premier League squad
Alec Bateson, Daniel Clark, Haiden Clark, Marty Doherty, Ryan Dunn, Lachlan Hando, Mitch Hutchings, Jimmy Kuntze, Blake Medlyn, Brent Morgan, Sean Noble, Adam Parker, Shane Percy, Brent Tucker, Hayden Westcott, Jayden Wirth
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