FOOTBALL: Sunshine Coast captain Tom Land saw enough promise in the Fire's defeat to Far North Queensland last weekend to suggest his largely inexperienced side has turned the corner its state league campaign.
The 3-0 outing was just the latest loss in a string of losses for the state league cellar dweller but it was an improved showing.
The youngsters put up a fight in Cairns and he expects it was the breakthrough they needed.
"That was the first time I've seen the young lads actually play like men," he said. "They got stuck in, they tried, they stuck up for themselves and that was the first time that's happened this year."
Land said the team was essentially working to gain the respect of opposing sides.
"Everybody wants to score against us. They think it's going to be a free-for-all," he said.
But the Fire's better showing against the Heat has left the skipper feeling optimistic about the remaining rounds.
"It was really encouraging and I'm really looking forward to the second half of the season because I think we've learned a little bit more and it might be a little bit different," he said.
"I'm not saying we're going to win every week because we're not but there's going to be a few upsets and score-lines are going to be a lot tighter."
The Fire hosts Brisbane City - fourth of 12 teams - on Sunday (2pm).
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