Fall­out from Fury ax­ing

Po­ten­tial young star threat­ens to walk

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

SO in­fu­ri­ated by the Fury’s A-L e a g u e a x i n g , o n e o f Townsville’s bright­est foot­ball t alents, David Han, threat­ened to quit.

The blood has cooled in the days that have fol­lowed, but the feel­ing of ‘‘ what now?’’ still lingers for the 17-yearold.

And the gifted at­tack­ing mid­fielder is far from alone.

Like many of his North Queens­land Ra­zor­back State League team­mates, Han’s dream to play for the Fury was ripped away by Foot­ball Fed­erat i o n Aus­tral i a o n Tues­day. The av­enue t o great­ness has now just be­come a lot harder.

I t was no pipe dream, ei­ther, Han along with five or six of his Ra­zor­back mates were high on the Fury radar.

‘‘ I saw on the news the Fury were axed and I told my dad I would quit soc­cer, I was pretty se­ri­ous,’’ he said.

‘‘ I just felt let down. The Fury be­ing gone just made me think again about my fu­ture, ‘ what can I do now? What do I have to do? Do I have to go back down to Syd­ney?’ So I’ve been think- ing a lot over the last cou­ple of days.’’

For the mo­ment Han, who r ecently r ep­re­sented t he Aus­tralia School­boys on a tour of Asia, reck­ons he will stay in North Queens­land and play for the Ra­zor­backs, but he’s not sure for how long.

‘‘ At the mo­ment I’m still think­ing,’’ said Han, who played and im­pressed in Ufuk Talay’s All Star tribute game last month.

‘‘ A lot of play­ers want to get down south now. With the Fury gone all the op­por­tu­nity is down south . . . you have to be pretty lucky ( to get no­ticed) in North Queens­land now.’’

That’s the re­al­ity that faces all North Queens­lan­ders.

Ra­zor­backs men­tor and exFury goal­keep­ing coach Ken Mitchell’s heart sank when he heard the an­nounce­ment.

He con­ceded he dreaded the prospect of hav­ing to face his play­ers at train­ing af­ter FFA made the con­tro­ver­sial call.

‘‘ How do ( chil­dren) pur­sue their dreams now? We’ll have to sit down and take stock of what hap­pens now with the de­vel­op­ment pro­grams that Foot­ball Queens­land have in place,’’ he said.

‘‘ They’re still there and they won’t be ig­nored. How do we take them fur­ther? Now with the Fury gone young play­ers will ei­ther have to stay in the State League for a short time and hope­fully get no­ticed or take a big­ger chance and move on – that’s in­evitable.’’

The key, Mitchell said, was t o m a k e t h e p a t h w a y through the QSL to the rem a i n i n g Q u e e n s l a n d A-League teams ac­ces­si­ble.

The Ra­zor­backs will con­tinue to do that and be­lieve they have as­sem­bled a team ca­pa­ble of suc­cess in 2011.

But per­haps just as press­ing a concern is the po­ten­tial im­pact the loss of the Fury may have on dis­il­lu­sioned sup­port­ers and, in turn, ju­nior play­ing num­bers.

With more than 10,000 ju­nior reg­is­tered play­ers across the North, the strength is still there, but Mitchell ad­mit­ted the work to keep it that way just got a lit­tle bit harder.

‘‘ But as kids reach ma­tu­rity and other op­tions be­come avail­able such as other sports . . . if there’s noth­ing vis­i­ble here, noth­ing phys­i­cal to touch, or smell or see then they move on.’’

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