Tonight is a massive game for us. It’s an FFA Cup match at the same stage where, last year, we were knocked out.
Obviously, we’re aiming to go at least one better this year. With knockout competitions like the FFA Cup, it’s possible for any team to go quite a long way. For example, last year one of the other teams in the NPL Queensland competition, Palm Beach, went all the way to the quarter-finals before being knocked out by A-League team, Central Coast Mariners.
For the players, there are so many reasons for them to be on form and to put on a really good show.
Putting aside that we’re playing our ‘local’ rivals in FNQ FC Heat – who we always like to beat - the opportunity to keep going in this competition means that it gives the players a chance to be in the ‘shop window’ of A-League clubs. It’s also good for the club, for North Queensland and Townsville; if we make it to the round of 32, we may well host a game and have it broadcast nationally which is of benefit to our region and city.
But first we have to get there.
We go into the game with a few injuries after last week’s heart-stoppingly narrow loss to the NPL Queensland leaders, Moreton Bay. I was really proud of the way the boys held well to the basics in that game, even though the result didn’t go our way.
We’ve got striker Michael Eisenhut out for a few weeks; Joe Thornton is out for a few weeks after he was injured warming-up last weekend; and our substitute player for Joe, Sean Karambasis, is also injured.
But that’s the lot of a football coach! And it’s also an opportunity for other players to step into the breach and take their chance.
Hope to see you tonight – 7pm at Brolga Park.
Ian Ferguson is Director of Coaching of Northern Fury FC and Head Coach of the NPL team. He has previously coached Perth Glory and the former NQ Fury in the A-League. His playing career spanned 18 years, mostly with Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. He was capped nine times for Scotland.