Magpies Crusaders player Denzel Bobongie, 16, knows his side will be hunted when the Mackay Premier League kicks off this weekend.
Magpies Crusaders player Denzel Bobongie, 16, knows his side will be hunted when the Mackay Premier League kicks off this weekend.

Denzel ready to dazzle Mackay Premier League

YOUNG Magpies Crusaders midfielder Denzel Bobongie says his side will embrace the title of “hunted” ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the Mackay Premier League competition.

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Bobongie, 16, will suit up for the same club but in a different competition than the one he envisioned when 2020 started.

The talented teen made his National Premier Leagues Queensland debut for Magpies Crusaders against Peninsular Power in Round 1 this season – a crushing 8-1 defeat.

Bobongie remained sidelined after the opening round loss, but watched and waited for his chance to rejoin the starting XI as coach Tom Ballantyne’s squad began to find form.

Then COVID-19 came to our shores, the season was postponed and, ultimately, Mackay was removed from the state league competition.

Suddenly Bobongie’s NPL dream was put on ice – but he is not one to wallow in what-ifs.

“It will be good (to play against) the local boys even though we’re not in the NPL anymore. It will definitely be a challenge still,” the 16 year old said.

Though some Magpies Crusaders flew the coup in search of other NPL opportunities this season, many stayed in Mackay and recommitted to coach Ballantyne’s brand.

With the likes of NPL regulars Jordy Vleugels, Carlos Lewong and Ezra and Isaiah Kennell, the young but supremely talented side is expected to give the Mackay Premier League a shake this season.

“As a team – as Crusaders – everyone will be hunting us. It definitely gives me more motivation,” Bobongie said.

The new-look Magpies Crusaders will open their campaign at home to City Brothers on Saturday night.

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Bobongie expects a tough Round 1 contest against a City Brothers side ready to prove a point, with former NPL player Jayden Connor in its midst.

“They’ve brought some new players in so they’ll definitely be a good challenge,” he said.