Magpies one win away from qualifying for the FFA Cup
MAGPIES Football Club is now just one win away from qualifying for the inaugural FFA Cup.
They trounced Gladstone-based club Clinton FC 7-0 at the weekend, in their round five FQ Cup tie, with striker Michael Lyall helping his side out with a handy hat-trick.
That takes his tally to 10 FQ Cup goals in four games, establishing him as one of the competition's top strikers thus far.
"He must be hammering in about two or three goals a game at the moment (in all competitions); there's no one in Mackay who can handle him," Magpies coach Ricky Carroll said.
"He's finally getting noticed. He was doing it for us last year as well but people are just starting to catch on to him now.
Carroll said the weekend's game was a tense and nervy affair, but he said once Magpies got into their groove they couldn't be stopped.
They'll now face a National Premier League club - the winner of Far North Queensland Heat v Northern Fury - in round six of the competition, and if they win that they'll be one of 32 teams to contest Australia's first FFA Cup, which will include 10 A-League clubs.
Facing a state league side is a test most of the Magpies squad has never experienced, but Carroll insists there is enough strength and experience in the squad to go all the way.
He said he'd start planning for the next round immediately, but wanted his players to focus their attention on their Mackay Premier League commitments first.
"It's got to be at the back of our minds, but we've got games to play in the meantime," he said.
"We'll lift training another 10%. They (Heat of Fury) might be a bit fitter than us, because they would train a lot more than us, so I'll be ramping up training a little bit and trying to get us a little bit fitter.
"We'll go in as underdogs, but we're winning everything we play at the moment so confidence is definitely high."
Magpies 7 (Lyall 3, Hearne, Shipton, Thompson, own goal) d Clinton 0
North Queensland semi-final game two: Far North Queensland Heat v Northern Fury