We’re looking forward to the match this weekend against Palm Beach Sharks.
Last year’s champions are in inconsistent form and equal with us on the NPL Queensland ladder - but we’ve got one game in hand. After last week’s confidence-boosting win in Ayr, we’re hoping to shake the monkey off our backs with this team. We haven’t beaten them before but every time it’s oh-so-close. For example, when we met them early in this season, they were very fortunate to get away with a 2-1 victory.
We take a lot of positives from last week’s game. I was really pleased with the performance of Ben Stanley who had his first start of the season, as well as two of the young guys, Warrick Stuart and Hamish Cassady who came on as substitutes. The role of a substitute is to make an impact – think of Tim Cahill against Japan at the 2006 World Cup – and both these young players did that; they helped us take control of the game when it could have gone either way at 1-1 and 15 minutes to play.
I may sound like a broken record but the important aspect for this week is to be consistent. I’ll be looking to all the players, and especially the younger ones, to maintain their form. When they’re brought on to the game, make an impact. This is especially the case as we’ll be without captain Jacob Crowley in midfield for a one-match suspension and the player who marshalls our defence, Ari Isman, is also unavailable this week.
I want to make a special mention of last week’s support from the people of the Burdekin. They made us feel really welcome and the crowd was terrific. Thank you.
We’re looking forward to travelling north this week to Ingham, and I hope we can see at least as many people tonight at Ingham Showgrounds also – kick-off at 7pm. Once again, we have a local in the squad with Reid Murray (pictured) who also was part of last week's win.
Finally, if you're not doing anything else in the wee small hours of Monday morning, make sure you catch the Australian women's team, the Matildas, in their Round of 16 match in the Women's World Cup. I thought the Matildas played very well in their final group match against Sweden. They did what they had to do to qualify - no more or no less. They had a game plan and stuck to it.
They’re up against a tough opponent in Brazil on Monday morning but, as I always say, when it’s 11v11 anything can happen on the day.
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.