Northern Fury Football Club has appointed a new coach for the 2017 season in the wake of Ian Ferguson’s surprise resignation this week.
Ferguson, who was in his second stint with the club after being the inaugural coach of the A-League side, has been at the helm of Northern Fury for just over three seasons since the club entered the National Premier Leagues (Queensland) competition.
Ferguson had been in discussions with the club about his role since late last year after his family secured new business interests in Townsville. He informed club Chairman, Rabieh Krayem, early this week that in light of these new business commitments he felt it was time for someone else to try to get the best out of the talent available in the Northern Fury squad.
Krayem expressed his appreciation for Ferguson’s work over the past three and a half years.
“He has been instrumental in building the playing side of the club from junior levels and getting such strong results and performances from the region’s young talent,” said Krayem.
“His passion, understanding and experience have been phenomenal for Fury and for North Queensland. You just don’t get someone of Fergie’s experience in this neck of the woods every day.”
Ferguson said the North Queensland football community should be excited about the young talent that is coming through the club.
“I have really enjoyed working with these young players and wish them every success for the future. During my time here we’ve seen players like Braedyn Crowley and Matt Symes go on to opportunities with A League clubs and I’ve no doubt there will be more who follow if the Northern Fury is allowed to continue its stewardship of the game in this region,” he said.
With discussions ongoing between Football Queensland, Krayem and North Queensland Football about the license for next year, Ferguson’s replacement for the 2017 season is local football identity, Paul Roncato.
A C-licensed coach, Roncato has played the game for more than 40 years and started coaching junior teams at 15 years of age.
He was assistant coach for an U-16 Queensland tour to Germany and he has also played for North Queensland regional and Queensland state teams.
Roncato has played with Burdekin, Wulguru and Razorbacks clubs, and still continues to play. He is well-known within the local football fraternity and has worked alongside the State Technical Director, David Abela.
“We’re delighted to have a local of Paul’s experience and standing in the game at the helm of our NPL men’s team,” said Krayem.
“We trust all players and supporters will help us in making him feel welcome as an important cog in the Northern Fury wheel.”
Roncato said yesterday he was both proud and excited to take over the senior coaching role for the 2017 season.
“My greatest passion in football is seeing young players grab their opportunities and run with them. The Northern Fury is a club that has always supported young players who want to strive to go further with their football and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Roncato will be in charge of the club’s Senior team for 2017 while the club’s successful junior program will continue under the direction of Northern Fury Technical Director, Bill Mitchell and Goal Keeping Coach, Ken Mitchell.
Northern Fury’s first home game will be held at Ingham Showgrounds on Saturday 4 March against FNQ FC Heat.
Fury’s first game of the season is in Brisbane on February 25 against Moreton Bay United.