Northern Fury women have earned a reprieve on the decision to refuse them admission to the state-wide Women’s NPL competition from 2017.
Chairman of Northern Fury FC, Rabieh Krayem, said that the Football Queensland chairman, Greg Redington, contacted him this morning to re-open discussions.
“The decision made by the Football Queensland Board was contrary to Greg’s recommendation, but after this morning’s newspaper report, his Board has agreed to re-consider their decision also,” Krayem said.
“From Greg’s point-of-view, he wants to make this work - just as we do.”
Krayem said that Football Queensland also now requires that the inclusion of a Townsville team be cost neutral to Football Queensland.
“This is another new challenge for us, but not one that is insurmountable,” Krayem said.
Krayem and Redington are also keen to establish a hub for women’s football in northern Queensland in Townsville.
“Fortunately, Greg understands that we have different needs and face different challenges in country and regional areas compared with the city,” Krayem said.
“The fact that it has required media support and a campaign for the rest of the Football Queensland board to realise just how serious we are, shows that they don’t understand the depth of feeling about these issues.
“That is why we say ‘It’s Our Game’ and why we believe it’s time for country Queensland to have its own representation as a member of national football governance.”
Krayem said he expects the decision regarding the women's inclusion in the NPL to be overturned at the next Football Queensland Board meeting in November, as well as agreement to the establishment of a women’s football hub in Townsville.
“Our objective is to give girls the opportunity to play at the highest level possible without having to pack-up and leave their home in northern Queensland.
“#ItsOurGame is for every young player, their parent and, ultimately, the northern Queensland community.
"It's time for northern Queensland to be treated as an equal with the rest of the football community."
Northern Fury’s outstanding youth development continues to be rewarded with the selection of two players in a national goalkeeping camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra later this month.
Under-13 player James Newell and Under-14 player Jared Mitchell were part of their respective age groups' Queensland Country side at the National Youth Championships during the school holidays.
Both players were selected by national goalkeeping staff to take part in the elite AIS training camp. They are two of only 12 players nationally, selected from the 54 goalkeepers at the National Youth Championships.
“I’m very happy for the two boys,” said Northern Fury’s goalkeeping coach Ken Mitchell.
“They’ve both worked hard throughout the year to be consistent and to build their technical and tactical ability.”
Mitchell said the purpose of the AIS camp is for national goalkeeping staff to observe the twelve selected players in a training situation.
“Obviously, the national goalkeeping staff have seen them in game situations at the recent championships. In terms of identifying possible young players for potential future national team selection, the coaching staff also like to see how they go in an intensive training programme.”
Mitchell said the camp may possibly lead to further development opportunities through the state-based national training centre programme or the AIS itself.
Northern Fury’s director of coaching, Ian Ferguson, said the fact that Northern Fury and Townsville has provided two of the twelve goalkeepers for the elite level training camp is a credit to Ken Mitchell and the players.
“It’s simply remarkable that one Townsville-based club can provide two players for this camp. I am so pleased for the two players and for Ken and his commitment to all of our goalkeepers at Fury.
“It’s a big deal to be selected for a national training camp, and it gives both James and Jared an opportunity to be further noticed on a national level.”