Fury to move on with style

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

THE North­ern Fury are hope­ful of bid­ding farewell to the Townsville Sports Re­serve in win­ning style.

The Fury host Queens­land NPL mi­nor pre­mier­ship con­tenders Bris­bane Strik­ers tonight in what will be their last game at the Sports Re­serve, with the Fury mov­ing into Brolga Park from next sea­son.

Fury coach Paul Ron­cato says tonight’s game will be a poignant oc­ca­sion, given the North Ward venue has been the scene of many highs and lows.

“It’s a great place to watch a game of foot­ball, it’s up there with the A- League pitches,” Ron­cato said.

“It will be sad not watch­ing NPL games there any­more, and that’s Brolga Park.

“We’re mov­ing over to good venue and it’s ex­cit­ing.

“But we’ll still miss the Sports Re­serve be­cause it’s just got it all.”

The Fury want to make the most of the oc­ca­sion by spring­ing an up­set on the Strik­ers, who are bat­tling for the NPL mi­nor pre­mier­ship with Gold Coast City.

Fi­nals is now out of the ques­tion for the Fury fol­low­ing last week­end’s 5- 1 loss to Western Pride, but the re­turn of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers plus a burn­ing de­sire to fin­ish 2017 on a high has given Ron­cato hope they can still raise eye­brows.

“We can ba­si­cally put an end to the Strik­ers’ chances of get­ting that mi­nor pre­mier­ship,” Ron­cato said.

“We would love noth­ing bet­ter than be­ing party spoil­ers.

“That be­ing said, we know it doesn’t get any eas­ier from last noth­ing against a week­end, and the Strik­ers will be com­ing to play full steam.

“This game is so cru­cial for them, and pres­sure can do funny things to a team.

“We have no pres­sure at all, we have noth­ing to lose and I’ve been telling the boys to en­joy the mo­ment.

“And if the Strik­ers do win, we want to make sure they’ve had to work re­ally hard for it.”

Mid­fielder Jono Ba­gley and de­fender Mitch Ma­her re­turn from in­jury af­ter miss­ing last week­end’s Pride thump­ing, on the back of the Fury’s 2- 2 draw against Gold Coast and 3- 0 win over SWQ Thun­der.

“Credit to the Pride who are com­ing home strong, but we learned a few lessons,” Ron­cato said.

“We have 21 com­pe­ti­tion points which is far more than last year, and I be­lieve we can get some more be­fore the sea­son is done.”

Tonight’s kick- off is 7pm.

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