No fear for Fury

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

THEY’LL be fierce ri­vals on the field this af­ter­noon, but the Univer­sity Hawks and Curra Swans will be united in their sup­port of im­por­tant causes at Harold Phillips Oval.

The Hawks will mark their an­nual Be­yond Blue round with spe­cial blue jumpers to help raise aware­ness of men­tal health, with Curra to wear their pink kit in sup­port of breast can­cer.

This will be the fifth year Univer­sity has hosted the char­ity game which aims to cre­ate a greater aware­ness of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and sup­port the great work of Be­yond Blue.

Hawks player Dean Walker said the club recog­nised de­pres­sion was a se­ri­ous is­sue and they were happy to play a small part in fight­ing the stigma with the Be­yond Blue round.

“It’s pretty im­por­tant for us. I don’t think there’s many peo­ple who haven’t had some­one af­fected by men­tal health or sui­cide so it’s pretty good that we can do a lit­tle bit to raise aware­ness,” he said.

The Hawks will be all busi­ness on the field as they look to hold off the Her­mit Park Tigers in the bat­tle for the mi­nor pre­mier­ship.

Univer­sity has an ex­tra bye in hand with the two sides level on 10 wins each, but the Tigers have a sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter per­cent­age as the top at­tack­ing team in the com­pe­ti­tion. Walker said the Hawks were happy with how they were play­ing at this stage of the sea­son, but he said they were keen to make a state­ment against the Swans.

“Mo­men­tum is pretty im­por­tant at this time of the year so we’ve got to make sure we get win af­ter win so we’re ready go­ing into the fi­nals,” he said.

“We’re play­ing some good footy. There’s still a bit of im­prove­ment to go, but I think we’re def­i­nitely go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. We’ve had a few byes lately, but I think the boys will be ready for the game.”

Mean­while, the Tigers are pre­par­ing for a huge con­test this af­ter­noon as they take on de­fend­ing pre­miers Thuringowa at Tony Ire­land Sta­dium. REINFORCEMENTS have kept trick­ling in for the North­ern Fury ahead of tonight’s David ver­sus Go­liath show­down against lad­der lead­ers Gold Coast City FC.

Fury winger Hamish Cas­sidy re­turns from over­seas travel and will play off the in­ter­change in an­other wel­come boost fol­low­ing last week­end’s 3- 0 win over the SWQ Thun­der.

Fury coach Paul Ron­cato will field an oth­er­wise un­changed team for tonight’s game on the glit­ter strip, where no team has scored a win this year.

Gold Coast have won nine of their past 11 games and boast lead­ing Queens­land NPL goal scorer Sam Smith, who has found the back of the net 18 times from 14 games.

“We’re tak­ing a noth­ing- to- lose ap­proach,” Ron­cato said.

“When it’s all said and done we have 19 com­pe­ti­tion points, 19 more than we had last year.

“There’s a lot of pres­sure on Gold Coast to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions be- cause they are the pre­mier­ship favourites.

“If we can knock off the favourites it would be a huge achieve­ment. There’s no pres­sure on us.”

The Fury hosted Gold Coast ear­lier this year and suf­fered a 2- 0 de­feat af­ter con­ced­ing late goals, but not be­fore com­pet­ing with the Queens­land NPL glam­our club for 70 min­utes.

“It would have been un­til the last 10 min­utes that we were right in that game,” Ron­cato said.

“We just lost our con­cen­tra­tion late in the game and a team like Gold Coast will al­ways make you pay.

“If we don’t put our boots on for this game we’re go­ing to get hurt, but if we do our best we’ll be com­pet­i­tive all across the park. “I’m ab­so­lutely cer­tain about that.” Fi­nals foot­ball ap­pears to be a long shot for the Fury, who sit eighth on the NPL ta­ble – nine com­pe­ti­tion points out­side the all- im­por­tant top four.

With five games in hand, in­clud­ing tonight’s en­counter, the Fury are still a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of slip­ping into fi­nals should they win all those games and other re­sults go their way.

And while Ron­cato has this equa­tion in mind, play­ing pos­i­tive foot­ball is still top pri­or­ity No. 1 for the Fury.

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

ALL SET: Univer­sity Hawks play­ers Dean Walker, Shane McDou­gal and Ter­rence Smith don­ning the club's Be­yond Blue jer­seys.

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