Northern Fury Football Club is punching above its weight with the inclusion of seven players in the Queensland Under 13 and Under 15 girls’ teams to take part in the FFA National Youth Championships.
Northern Fury girls make up 17% of the 41 girls selected for the squads or the ‘shadow squads’ and form the second-highest club representation after Olympic FC with nine representatives. Brisbane-based Olympic FC was formed 48 years ago in 1967.
Other regional clubs with representatives include FNQ with one player and SWQ Thunder with two.
The five Northern Fury players selected in the U-15 team are Darcy Bailey, Elli Chapple, India Kubin, Taylah Roncato and Tiana Karambasis.
The players selected in the U-13 squad are Dominique Spampinato, and Daisy D’Arcy in the shadow squad.
Fury’s Head of Women’s Football and U-15 coach, Catherine Roncato, is also coach of the State U-13 squad.
“This is a fantastic achievement for the individual players, Catherine and her team of coaches and the club,” said Northern Fury’s Director of Coaching, Ian Ferguson.
“Together with Bill Mitchell coming on board with us this year as Technical Director, we have been able to put together a development program for young players that gives them exposure to the national football curriculum as well as an opportunity to hone their skills through matches, training and other activities.”
Ferguson said there are two other “telling factors” arising from the high number of Northern Fury players.
“First, it tells me that we have a good pool of talent available in the North Queensland region.
“And it also tells me that when FFA expands the W-League, then this club and this region are the obvious place to go.
“Not only do we have the infrastructure and the corporate support through companies such as Westfund Health who support the girls’ program, but we also have the technical capacity through coaches and players.”
Ferguson said it’s possible to see the girls improve every week.
“You can see they’re learning to play to a system, to understand their roles in the team and the really good ones can play in multiple positions.
“That’s what we try to instil in all of our players from a young age – even at each of our Academy’s in Townsville, Ayr and Ingham.”
Ferguson said that, given the right environment for the future development of the players – which he believes includes high-level regular competition such as the W-League - some of the girls could go on to play for Australia if they wanted to take their football that far.
“As a coach, having a conversation about the potential of a young player with another coach, is one of the really rewarding aspects of what we do. I'm delighted that we're providing so many members of the Queensland state teams," Ferguson said.
The FFA National Youth Championships for girls will be held at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour in the June/July school holidays. The boys championships will be held in September.