With only three days until Northern Fury's opening game in the Play Station 4 National Premier League (Queensland) season, coach Ian Ferguson has announced his 2015 squad with a touch of old and new, as well as experience and youth – and with an average age of 21.5 years.
Last year’s winner of the NPL Young Player of the Year and Fury’s leading goalscorer, Braedyn Crowley, and Fury’s Player of the Year, Kevin Fraser, have both left the club.
Braedyn Crowley recently made his Hyundai A-League debut with Newcastle Jets after being signed to their Foxtel National Youth League squad following the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup in August. Fraser has returned to his native Scotland where he is playing for Buckie Thistle.
Ferguson has brought experience in their place with 31-year-old proven goalscorer, Michael Eisenhut, wearing the number 9 shirt upfront.
Eisenhut, a New Zealander who has played since he was 4-years-old, has lived in Townsville for six years. He previously played with Northern Fury in 2013 and last year played with Brothers FC in the local competition.
Other newcomers to the Fury squad include 21-year-olds Jarrod Lee from Proserpine and George Dalton in defence with 22-year-old Jacob Richards; and 22-year-old Jonathon Bagley and 20-year-olds Joe Thornton and Tristan Russell to help strengthen Fury’s midfield.
Ferguson has brought in significant experience to the goalkeeping stakes with 25-year-old Joe Simons to take the number 1 shirt and 29-year-old Dan Wilesmith as the reserve goalkeeper.
The lynchpin of Fury’s midfield, Jacob Crowley, has once again been named captain.
“We’re looking forward to the new season,” Ferguson said. “We’ve been working hard in pre-season training and we hope those lessons translate to game situations.”
Ferguson said round 1 of the PS4NPL season against FNQ Heat in Cairns is a “huge challenge” for the squad.
“We’ve never beaten our big rivals in the NPL competition, so this is a massive incentive for us.
Northern Fury has four games on the road before playing their first home game of the Play Station 4 NPL season at Townsville Sports Reserve on 28th March.
“It’s a schedule that will test us with four games away to start the season, but it’s good to get so much travel out of the way early in the season,” Ferguson said.
Fury’s first home game is in four weeks time on 28th March against Sunshine Coast FC at Townsville Sports Reserve.