It was disappointing to have a loss last weekend after our first-up win but it was an ‘encouraging loss’ if I can put it that way.
In the first half, we gave our opposition far too much space. We backed off, didn’t press, had poor distribution and, of course, their one goal came from our mistake. But the second half was a complete turn around, and that’s why I am encouraged.
We kept pressing, put them under a lot of pressure and earned 18 corners. The challenge now is make sure that domination turn to a positive result for us.
This weekend we travel to the Gold Coast for a match against last year’s premiers, Palm Beach, who are still a strong side. We had a very good encounter against them on their home turf last season. We played well – but got nothing out of it.
If we can play as well as we did in the second half last weekend for the full 90 minutes, and stick to our game plan, we should come away with something.
In the two rounds so far this season, I have noticed an improvement in the quality of the competition, which augurs well for the development and growth of the game.
It has long been the case that one of the keys to quality improvement on the field are coaches – but another important part of the mix are referees.
If you’re a fan of the A-League, you’ll know there’s been some ‘howlers’ of decisions taken by referees this season. The game struggles with part-time, almost amateur referees and it is an area that FFA and the state federations must address.
Players and coaches have taken giant steps in professionalism. Referees must do so too.
Don’t forget – our first home game is in two weeks time against Sunshine Coast. Hope to see you there!
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.