Tweed Valley Kings’ Luke Craig.
Tweed Valley Kings’ Luke Craig.

Kings cook up a winning recipe

AT the end of the day, pre-season form counts for very little.

It's what a team produces when it counts that will ultimately decide their fate.

However, trial matches do provide an indication as to how a side is progressing as the season approaches.

For some teams it may be a reality check that they are way behind the eight-ball.

But for others, like the Tweed Valley Kings, it can provide a huge confidence boost.

The Kings have endured a baptism of fire since their promotion to premier league in 2009. They have survived two relegation play-offs to remain in the top tier and have no intentions of being there again in 2011.

And if their first three trial matches are anything to go by, Craig “Gordon Ramsay” Madden may have found a winning recipe. Having dusted off the cobwebs in a 3-1 loss to the notably more match fit Magic United in their first pre-season clash, the Kings have made a royal return to the winner's circle.

The 6-0 annihilation of Mudgeeraba a fortnight back, coupled with the 3-0 drubbing of Nerang last week, has loyal fans eagerly awaiting the Kings' round one match with perennial finalists Gold Coast Knights next Saturday.

Madden, too, is quietly confident of what lies ahead entering the Kings final trial with Tugun at Walter Peate Oval tomorrow from 4pm. “I'm pretty positive about the way we're travelling but there's still a lot of work to do,” Madden said.

“We've had two solid wins back to back and played quite well but it's still early and we must keep building.

“There's still a lot of improvement in us and a bit of work to do before round one, but overall we're moving along nicely. The main thing we need to work on this week is not just playing well in patches, but concentrating for the entire game.”

As expected seasoned striker Luke Morley has already had a major impact on the club.

When Morley left the Kings in 2009 to link back up with the Brisbane Strikers in the Queensland State League, he left a massive void up front the club have been unable to fill.

However, with a double in his last two outings, GCS's 2008 Golden Boot is already spelling toil and trouble for opposition defences.

That is a trait skipper and good friend Luke Craig is pleased to welcome back to the pack.

“Everyone knows what Morley brings to the team and it's irreplaceable,” Craig said.

“He's a quality goal scorer and bags plenty of them.

“But he does more for the side than just find the net. He trains hard, motivates everyone and brings out the best in players.

“Our problem the last two seasons was putting away chances, but hopefully Morley will nail a few and help us climb out of the relegation zone.”

While attacking dynamo Kenta Shimizu has departed due to study commitments in Brisbane, the Kings were also pleased to welcome back creative mid-fielder Chris Edwards, the man who fashioned many of Morley's 70 goals in 2008.

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