REASSURING: Sunshine Coast Fire skipper Paul Arnison is back in the side following suspension.
REASSURING: Sunshine Coast Fire skipper Paul Arnison is back in the side following suspension. Warren Lynam

Arnison returns to Fire after a two-game suspension

SUNSHINE Coast Fire coach Kevin A'Herne-Evans believes captain Paul Arnison will bring much-needed calmness to his young team.

Arnison returns to the paddock tomorrow, following a two-game suspension, for the Fire's third round National Premier Leagues match against the Western Pride at Kawana.

The 36-year-old received the ban after a tussle with a Brisbane City player during the Fire's semi-final loss, which ended the team's 2013 season.

A'Herne-Evans said he expected Arnison's return to inspire a better performance from the team.

"He brings a reassurance and guidance to the younger players," the coach said.

"In every game there is always a period, no matter who you are playing against, when the moment is against you.

"One of the unspoken qualities senior players have is the ability to get the best out of the players around them, and that's what Arnison brings you."

The Fire has missed the cool head of Arnison, going down to Palm Beach 5-0 and 4-2 to the Brisbane Strikers in their opening matches.

The Coast struggled to gain any momentum in both matches, after losing 13 players from their 2013 starting roster.

A'Herne-Evans said his side had learned a lot from those losses and would greatly benefit from Arnison's influence.

"We looked good against the Strikers for 50 minutes, so I believe by him coming in we will see some of the guys step up who haven't played to their potential yet," he said.

"If he sees the opposition is pressing high, he has the ability with his passing range to put it on a winger's chest 60 or 70 metres away.

"What gives me most security as a coach is when we haven't got the ball ... the information he gives to defenders."

A'Herne-Evans said he expected Pride coach Kasey Wehrman to have his players primed for a strong showing.

"Wehrman used to play for Perth Glory and the Newcastle Jets as well as having a successful stint in Europe and he's a real gritty character who would earn everything he got on the football field," the Fire coach said.

"His teams are exactly the same."



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