Mateship is secret weapon
ACCORDING to president Matt McMaster, one of the biggest strengths of the Douglas United Football Club is their mateship, despite the variety of different backgrounds.
“Our current squad encompasses many different corners of the globe, nine different nationalities, all of who now call Port Douglas home,” Mr McMaster said.
“I’m proud that we don’t just play together, we are all good mates on and off the park, everyone chips in to make it all happen.
“The players you see out on the park, are the guys that have marked the lines, mown the pitches, set up/packed down, and have hopefully managed to drag someone down to cook some snags.”
Tourist season can work well for the Dragons when managed properly.
With the influx of work corresponding with our playing season, we are always on the lookout for new players to bolster the squad and encourage people from across the globe to get involved with coaching, playing and recruiting for the next season and beyond.
Men, women and juniors are encouraged to join up.
The current captain of the seniors, Logan Marsh, a Kiwi, moved to the area in 2006 and has been involved with many of the club’s successes including one of the club’s proudest moments, winning the Premier League in 2012.
“We knew we had some promising players coming to the region looking to play so we committed to the Premier League,” Logan explained.
“It worked out almost perfectly, missing out on the minor premiership on goal difference, however none of that mattered once we won that grand final, thinking about it still gives me chills.”
Some of the other players, who started out with the juniors, are still playing like Daniel Ferrero, Gavin Jenkin, Matty Smith and Max Taylor.
And it’s great to see the next wave of youth coming into the senior ranks with Curtis White winning his first senior grand final last season and, fingers crossed, a second on Friday night.
Several former players have had national and international successes in their soccer careers.
Among the Douglas United former players is Mossman local Glenn Gwynne, who earned two caps for the Socceroos and was instrumental in Brisbane Strikers National Soccer League championship in ‘97 playing alongside Frank Farina, Rod Brown and Kasey Wehrman and Clint Bolton to name a few.
Jack Carr, a 16-year-old and Dragon junior, is now on a soccer scholarship at the Bournemouth Academy in England and fingers are crossed that during his threeyear contract, he will be picked up by a club to play profession football at the highest standard.
Douglas United has had a women’s team, although not this year.
In previous years, Abigail Noli was part of the local team and went on to play Queensland and played professionally in Italy for four years.
Joanna Butland and Nella Bertoncin both played for Australia and Nicki Porta represented the state.
Other former juniors and seniors are currently scattered around the countryside playing in the National Premier leagues, however still have a soft spot in their hearts for Douglas, sending words of encouragement and checking up on the scores.
Playing in Port Douglas, the seniors have been able to keep the 100 strong Dragon Army entertained over the past two seasons while the 60 juniors remain hungry, running around at the famous Cassowary Park setting.
While the World Cup has just finished, the A-League and WLeague start in the coming weeks, before the Socceroos have the chance to defend their Asian Cup in January, hopefully this will buoy on a few more juniors, and seniors for the seasons to come.
The Douglas United team.
Douglas United on the ball.