We’re looking forward to our game tonight in Brisbane against the Roar Youth team. They’re just behind us on the NPL Queensland ladder with a game in hand. They are a good team to meet because they are well-organised and wanting to play football, whether it’s their more experienced players or their genuine youth side.
Last week’s 5-2 win against league leaders, Brisbane Strikers, was pleasing not just for the result. For a start, it was good to give our home supporters something to cheer about. It was good to be back home at Townsville Sports Reserve. But more importantly, I was pleased with the way we played for most of the game.
Brisbane Strikers are a very good football side, and they controlled the game for the first 20 minutes. They looked sharper and brighter. But we hung in there; and we gradually took control of the game, pounced on their mistakes, and played some good counter-attacking football. We also kept pressing forward rather than going back – and it worked.
Jake Perry – who scored a hat-trick – had a good game, and Jonathan Bagley and Joe Thornton also created some good chances.
The challenge, as I’ve said before, is consistency. If a team we’re playing is a more physical side, we must learn to take the battle to them. If a team is a good football side, such as the Strikers, Olympic and our opponents tonight, Roar Youth, we have to be patient, keep our shape and make the right decision.
Tonight is also the kick-off of the English Premier League season. It may be a big call, but I’m tipping Chelsea. They haven’t had a good pre-season, but they’re a very good side that hasn’t had too many personnel changes and - without labouring the point - they are very consistent.
When the season starts, the players - which include stars such as Eden Hazard (pictured), Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to name a few - will switch-on. Giving Chelsea a run for their money for the top four positions will be Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City.
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.