Cri­sis of con­fi­dence

Fury star could quit game in dis­gust at club’s treat­ment

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Antony Ste­wart antony. ste­wart@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

LET DOWN: Dis­il­lu­sioned Fury mid­fielder Chris Gross­man is con­sid­er­ing his foot­ball fu­ture af­ter the club’s ax­ing A GUT­TED Chris Gross­man doesn’t think he can ever for­give Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia for killing the Fury.

So much so, the North Queens­land FC orig­i­nal is con­tem­plat­ing re­tire­ment at just 23 years old.

Fit­tingly dressed in black, f r o m b a s e b a l l c a p t o sneak­ers, Gross­man turned up to Jupiters Ho­tel and Casino hop­ing for a mir­a­cle, but in­stead faced the re­al­ity of a black mark that he be­lieves FFA can never erase.

The Queens­lan­der s ai d FFA’s men at the top – point­ing to Ben Buck­ley and Lyall Gor­man – should be blamed for the demise of the club he loved, even go­ing as far as to say their time with the fed- er­a­tion should be up.

‘‘ It falls back on the FFA,’’ Gross­man said.

‘‘ FFA kept chang­ing things . . . to a point where the club just couldn’t keep up with what they wanted – it’s ex­tremely frus­trat­ing – and I per­son­ally think we have got the wrong peo­ple run­ning our game.

‘‘ They have not got the good of the game at heart, there are a lot of peo­ple out there suf­fer­ing and a lot of peo­ple that care a lot about the game are get­ting hurt – a de­ci­sion has been made that is go­ing to hurt a lot of young­sters.’’

Gross­man, one of 16 play­ers who have less than one month to find new em­ploy­ment, was re­mark­ably un- self­ish while talk­ing to the Townsville Bul­letin, say­ing he felt for the re­gion’s chil­dren more than him­self.

But when pressed on what the fu­ture held for him­self, he dropped a bomb­shell.

While he re­vealed other A-League clubs had been in touch, Gross­man ad­mit­ted the hurt he was feel­ing over the Fury’s fate had him want­ing to quit.

‘‘ Now you look back at the game you’re so pas­sion­ate about and you re­ally start to sec­ond guess about the peo­ple in charge, that make de­ci­sions like this, you start to ( think), ‘ is this a game I re­ally want to play with these peo­ple in charge’,’’ he said.

‘‘ You’ve got peo­ple that are play­ing the game, like my­self, that want the best for the game and if you’ve got the peo­ple mak­ing the de­ci­sions that mat­ter, re­ally strug­gling to make de­ci­sions for the best of the game, that’s what hurts me most.

‘‘ I’m not too sure now . . . but maybe it’s a de­ci­sion that you have to weigh up and do some­thing else.’’

Gross­man, like many of his team­mates and Fury staff, has a mort­gage and bills to pay with less than a month of pay cheques left.

But Buck­ley promised play­ers would not be left high and dry.

That did lit­tle to wipe the bit­ter taste from play­ers’ mouths, though. Buck­ley i n t r o d u c e d h i m s e l f t o Gross­man yes­ter­day, but Gross­man could barely ut­ter a re­sponse.

To the for­mer Roar player, Buck­ley and FFA have shot them­selves in the foot.

‘ ‘ I t ’ s short-sighted. You may lose a cou­ple of dol­lars to­day or to­mor­row but in one or two years’ time you are go­ing to pros­per from it be­cause you are go­ing to get your next gen­er­a­tion of Soc­ceroos,’’ Gross­man said.

‘‘ Where do your next gen­er­a­tion come from now?

‘‘ Hope­fully we get some­one with a wider vi­sion and more re­spect­ful vi­sion of foot­ball and one day we can get a team up here.’’

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