Power's new look for new season

Published 4:00pm 15 February 2024

Power's new look for new season
Words by Nick Crockford

Peninsula Power has a new look to its senior squads this season after a sizeable turnover of players ahead of their NPL campaigns.

The club's men, who went 14 matches unbeaten last year to reach the play-offs, have brought in experience and promoted youth.

Power's women have also strengthened after finishing third last year and reaching the play-off semi-finals.

Josh Phelps, 30, signed from Melbourne Knights, will bolster the men's defence and ex-Brisbane City striker Yuta Hirayama has joined after a year in Thailand.

Josh Phelps who has joined Power from Melbourne Knights. Picture: Peninsula Power

Players to have re-signed include captain Hayden McHenery, veteran defender Michael McGowan and Brenton Fox, entering his sixth year at AJ Kelly Park.

The likes of young midfielders Josah Hitchcock, Rhys Messina and Kane Gibbs are also back.

“It’s a different squad,” coach Aaron Philp said, “but a good mix of experience and young players.

“We had momentum (in the second half of) last year, but we’re starting afresh again.

New signing Yuta Himayara in action during Power's pre-season fixtures. Picture: Peninsula Power

“This is a new group with different ways of doing things. Everyone’s looking to improve for what I think will be a good league again this year.”

In the pre-season Kappa Pro Series, Power opened Group C with 6-0 wins over Capalaba and Ipswich, They travel to Mitchelton on Friday, kick-off 7.30pm.

The NPL Men's season starts against Lions on February 24 at AJ Kelly Park, at 6.30pm.

Power’s women, who lost last season’s semi-finals in the dying seconds of extra time, have more depth with new signings and A-League players returning.

Kirrily Phillips gets a pass away against Lions in pre-season. Picture: Peninsula Power

Highly-rated forward Anna Kirakawa has moved from Virginia, joining ex-Olympic defender Sophia Cuba, former Brisbane City player Ashlee Hummels and Jolianne Cruz, from Mitchelton.

Captain and defender Kirrily Phillips has re-signed, Sienna Powell has been promoted from the Under 23s.

They will be joined by Bonnie Davis and Tish Woods who will return to Power, from Brisbane Roar, after the A-League Women’s season is completed.

“We have had a big turnover, but there’s more depth to the squad this season and competition in every position,” said women’s coach Mick Gallo.

Kane Gibbs driving Power forward during preparations for the 2024 NPL. Picture: Peninsula Power

“We have added more pace and will be more technical. We’re still not happy with how last season ended, but our focus is on this year.

“We like to win everything, that’s the nature of the squad and if we put in the effort every week, I think we’ll be a match for any side.”

Power had a good re-season “hit out” against premiers Lions - only losing 2-1 despite missing a number of players.

Their NPL Women’s campaign began with a 5-3 home defeat to Mitchelton on Saturday. Power travel to Sunshine Coast Wanderers on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.

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