Hudson strapped in for bumpy season journey
HIS team has already played the equivalent of an entire season, but Caloundra's Richard Hudson is just "enjoying the ride".
Success in the Johnny Warren and Football Queensland cups have forced Caloundra to play 21 games since the football season opened in February.
They played six games in the Johnny Warren Cup and have so far played seven Football Queensland Cup matches on top of the eight McDonald's Premier League fixtures.
Saturday night's 0-0 draw with Kawana was Caloundra's 21st since February - a remarkable figure considering the premier league season is only 18-games long.
"We've got a lot of football and we don't have a very big squad so we've got to be a little careful," he said.
"There's a bit of wear and tear there already.
"We've played more games than anybody else, including NPL sides, in Queensland."
The extra load has taken its toll on the squad, with a hip flexor injury ruling Liam Dempster out of Saturday night's game and Christopher Cornwill-Harris sidelined by the flu.
Adding further woe is the fact Matthew Cornthwaite will miss the season after joining the navy.
Hudson said his team should have beaten Kawana, who remain undefeated at the top of the premier league table.
"We did everything right, we had the best chance of the game," he said.
"We bought a young bloke on called Max Adey and he had the golden opportunity but he just rolled it the wrong side of the post.
"It was a good game, very even. We should have three points instead of the one but that's football."
Caloundra's next major assignment will be its toughest so far - a showdown with undefeated NPL giants Palm Beach in a match that will see the winner join all 10 A-League clubs in the 32-team FFA Cup.
Palm Beach will host the match but the date has not been determined because they want to play on a Wednesday and Caloundra wants to play on a weekend.
Hudson said a Wednesday night game would not work because most of his players have full-time jobs and travelling to the Gold Coast on a weeknight would be too difficult.
Caloundra will enter the match, which must be played before June 9, knowing there is nothing to lose.
"Whatever happens this season, we've had an outstanding year," Hudson said.
"We've beaten the Fire, we've beaten Gympie, we've beaten Maroochydore, we beat Kawana in the FQ Cup.
"We'll be okay if we can carry it on but the toughest part will be maintaining it."
Meanwhile, in the weekend's other catch-up games, Brenton Fox, Jose Garcia and Ben Muzyka each scored braces as Caboolture beat Coolum 6-3 and Maroochydore's match with Noosa ended 3-3.
The final catch-up game of the first round, Woombye's week four match against Kawana, will be played on June 17.
LADDER: Kawana 19, Caloundra 16, Noosa 15, Caboolture 15, Maroochydore 14, Woombye 11, Buderim 8, Nambour Yandina 6, Coolum 4, Beegees 1