Plenty of pluses de­spite de­feat

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - with Ian Ferguson

LAST week’s re­sult was dis­ap­point­ing but the match it­self also car­ried a bit of hope.

The sec­ond half saw us get back into the game play­ing good foot­ball.

We dom­i­nated play and we were right in it trail­ing 1- 2.

But, as hap­pens in any game, a mis­take cost us and we ended up with an un­flat­ter­ing score­line of 1- 3 against us.

I thought our op­po­nents, Red­lands United played some lovely foot­ball. They looked fluent, they con­trolled the ball well, their move­ment on and off the ball was ex­cel­lent and they had pace.

It was some of the best foot­ball I’ve seen in the NPL and I’m pleased we were able to take the game to them in the sec­ond half.

The per­for­mances of Ben Stan­ley, Dale Motti and Hamish Cas­sady last week are also worth not­ing. They’re young guys who are mak­ing the most of the op­por­tu­nity to play at NPL level.

What we need now from ev­ery­one is con­sis­tency across the whole squad for 90 min­utes not just a half or twothirds of the game, but the full 90. I’ll be look­ing for this on Sun­day when we travel south to meet Sun­shine Coast.

Over the past week, North­ern Fury has hosted the In­ter- City Chal­lenge be­tween youth teams from Townsville, Mackay and Cairns. It’s been a bril­liant week. On the first day, we were un­de­feated; the sec­ond day took its toll; and hon­ours were fairly even on the fi­nal day.

Over­all, our stan­dard of play has im­proved markedly.

It’s plain to see how well our young play­ers are mov­ing the ball, keep­ing shape, cre­at­ing space and us­ing oneor- two touch foot­ball.

On a fi­nal note, there are two big in­ter­na­tional matches this week­end. Ar­gentina meet Chile in the Copa America Fi­nal on Sun­day morn­ing; the US meet Ja­pan in the Women’s World Cup Fi­nal on Monday morn­ing.

Con­sid­er­ing the sea­son he’s had, Lionel Messi must be re­ally in need of a break, but he con­tin­ues to mes­merise op­po­si­tion de­fences. I’m tip­ping Ar­gentina in Copa America.

The US women will be too strong for Ja­pan, who are tena­cious but they have also rid­den their luck a lit­tle.

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