Scottish duo harden Eagles
IN THEIR second season for the Emerald Eagles, Scottish fullbacks Gary McDougall and Steve Patterson will bring a William Wallace-style tenacity to the CQ Premier League.
Round one of the FFA Cup kicks off next weekend with the Eagles up against Gladstone's Boyne Island and Tannum Sands team (BITS), with the pair expected to line up along the backline.
The game kicks off at 4pm on Saturday, March 5, at Emerald's Morton Park.
The duo's boyhood club Glasgow Rangers have a proud history of cup runs, winning 60 titles, providing ample motivation ahead of their must-win game.
"We are in it to win it - everyone needs to put 110% into it," Patterson said.
"We definitely seem to be a lot fitter at this stage compared to last season and a lot more committed."
"I played lower grades at St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League before I snapped my groin," McDougall said.
"Australian's are pretty soft compared to back home - a wee tap and they fall off the ball, especially strikers.
"It's a lot more physical job back home, so much tougher."
Central Queensland could not be more different to Scotland, where 13 degrees is seen as hot.
"You would have to smash the ice off the pitch and avoid the puddles," McDougall said.
"You see the sun for two or three weeks of a year. Being over here and playing in sun is brilliant."
It was just chance the pair both came to Emerald, with Patterson the first in 2012.
"I was over here and Gary told me he was coming over. I asked him 'where are you going?' and he said 'to a place called Emerald'.
"It's a bizarre coincidence really."
Eagles captain Glenn Gilmour said the competition was a great way to start the season.
"They will be a tough opponent, being a well- known and respected club who had a good year winning the minor premiership," Gilmour said.
"It is a great opportunity and advantage having it at home for the first time.
"With a few changes to our squad and coach, it will give us an indication that what we've been doing in the off-season is on track or not."