Kai Barnes will wear the captain’s armband when ACE make their FQPL 1 debut tonight at Wolter Park.
It’s a role the midfielder knows well having been in the leadership group at Redlands and skippered tonight’s visitors Mitchelton.
Goalkeeper Harry Royley has deputised for Kai on occasions during preseason and will be his vice-captain.
“Being new to the club I thought it might not be straight forward,” said Kai, 26, who signed in the summer.
“But all the players in this group are willing listen to each other, all have a good attitude and respect each other’s opinions, which is great.”
The waiting is finally over and ACE are just a few hours away from kicking-off their first FQPL 1 campaign with a local derby.
There are many new faces in coach Steve Glockner’s squad which has had six pre-season and Kappa Pro Series matches since returning to training before Christmas.
“I think we’re in a good position,” skipper Kai said. “The results on paper may not have been the best, but we’ve taken positives from each game which is important.
“We have come a long way in the four months or so that we’ve been together and obviously there is room to improve – there always is.
“Right now I’m buzzing …. really excited. Round one, at home, against Mitchy – great way to start this season.”
Kai, who plays in a central midfield role, grew up in Sandgate and spent his junior years with Brighton, North Star and Brisbane City.
His senior career has taken in NPL and FQPL football with Peninsula Power, Brisbane City, Redlands, Mitchelton and last season, just down the road at Pine Hills.
There have been several times in recent years that he considered joining ACE and finally put pen to paper late last year.