United pursue Czech striker
NORTH Queensland United coach Ian Shaw touched down in Townsville yesterday, and he means business.
Shaw was this week named coach of the newly formed NQ United, which recently took over the Queensland NPL licence previously held by the Northern Fury.
The former Tasmania NPL coach will run his eyes over the region’s football talent when United hold their first trials next weekend and he is also in the process of recruiting a Czech import. The deal is not over the line yet, but Shaw is confident of getting his man.
“I’ve been talking to a Czech striker and he would be a fantastic acquisition if we could get him,” Shaw said.
“He will probably be part of the club in a semi- professional capacity, in that he would play for us but also be involved in youth coaching.
“Having him not only involved with mentoring young players here, but also passing on his knowledge to teammates would be huge for the football community.
“The fact that we’re talking to him I think helps show we really mean business.”
United’s senior and youth academy will hold two- day trials at Brolga Park, United’s home base, on three straight weekends starting October 21.
Shaw is also hopeful a large core of last season’s Fury NPL team will take part in the trials, along with other local talent eager to forge their way in the NPL.
“What I really want to have is a pathway for local football players, and also provide a good environment where they can really enjoy their football,” he said. “We have a franchise to uphold and there’s a lot of work to do and that’s no disrespect to the Fury.
“We’re moving ahead, but we also have to acknowledge what the Fury have done for football in North Queensland.
“They kicked off high- level football in this region.”
Shaw believes he is walking into an environment where success can flourish.
The Fury struggled for results in their final seasons of NPL, failing to score a win in 2016 before bouncing back with a promising but inconsistent 2017 campaign featuring seven wins and 11 defeats.
“Talking to ( United president) Sirio ( Bertucci), his demeanour and what he said to me showed he wants success,” Shaw said. “It’s a communitybased club and I need to sit down with the community here, work out what we all want and how we can do the best thing by our athletes.”
Nominations for the upcoming trials, encompassing United’s NPL team along with its youth teams from Under- 13s to Under- 20s, close Wednesday, with trial times to be finalised on Monday.
More information is available by contacting NQ United at info@ nqunitedfc. com. au