No shame for Fury
NORTHERN Fury coach Paul Ronacto believes his players can still hold their heads high despite Saturday night’s 5- 1 loss to NPLQ powerhouse the Brisbane Strikers.
It was an unhappy farewell to Townsville Sports Reserve for the Fury as the visitors shot out to a 3- 0 halftime lead thanks to a brace from Japanese fullback Hiroki Omori.
The Strikers extended their lead to 5- 0 shortly after the break as Jake McLean bagged two goals before Jarrod Green saved face for the home side with a late consolation goal.
It was the Fury’s second 5- 1 hammering in as many games, but Roncato felt his side had made great strides in the second half to keep pace with the Strikers, who are still in the hunt for the minor premiership.
“The Strikers are a good side and you can see why they’re top of the ladder up there with Gold Coast,” Roncato said.
“They had a lot to play for and they’re a classy team. They’ve got depth all over the park from goalkeeper to defence through midfield and attack.
“I said at halftime, we knew we were in for a big tough game and I felt we gave them two goals out of the three in the first half.
“We went out there and we stuck it to them and played brilliant in the second half. We hit the post twice and we easily could have won the second half 3- 2.
“It was an outstanding second half performance against heavyweight Strikers and as a coach I was very proud.”
The Fury are already out of finals contention this season, but they’ve still shown huge improvement from last year’s horror campaign when they managed just two draws.
Roncato felt his side was still capable of a strong finish over the final three games, starting with the Roar Youth team in Brisbane this Sunday.
“I really feel we can beat them there at home. It’ll be a great confidence boost for us when we meet Olympic in the Burdekin a week later,” Roncato said.
“We’re sitting on 21 points which is more than what we were last year and I still believe we can still get a couple more wins before the end of the season.
“We know we don’t have the depth that the southerners have and that makes a huge difference, but I’m proud of the players we’ve got.”