Mate­ship is se­cret weapon

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

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.

Pic­ture: RICK MOYER

Dou­glas United on the ball.

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