No fear for Fury
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.
ALL SET: University Hawks players Dean Walker, Shane McDougal and Terrence Smith donning the club's Beyond Blue jerseys.