Fury players to visit Airlie
SOCCEROO David Williams will headline a visit to the Whitsundays by North Queensland Fury players this weekend.
Williams, who was part of the Socceroos squad in their Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia last night, will be joined by boom defender Matt Smith on a trip that will take in Ayr, the Whitsundays and Mackay over three days.
The players, along with two Fury staff, will stay in Airlie Beach on Friday night before attending the trial games between Whitsunday FC and Ayr at the Whitsunday Sports Park on Saturday afternoon.
They will then return to the Sports Park on Sunday morning to run a coaching clinic for the Whitsundays’ junior soccer players from 10-11am.
Clinic organiser Dawn Hodgen expected the weekend’s visit to be a huge boost for soccer in the Whitsundays.
She was particularly pleased the kids would get to meet Williams, an exciting attacking utility who is right in the mix for a spot on the plane to South Africa with the Socceroos for this year’s World Cup, starting in June.
“I think it will give the kids a lot of excitement,” Mrs Hodgen said.
To enrol in Sunday’s free coaching clinic call Dawn Hodgen on 0427 051 740 or 4945 1740.
Meanwhile, Whitsunday FC men’s premier league coach Bob Spees said his players would be equally thrilled about the prospect of playing in front of two A-League stars and said the crowd the players could draw to the pre-season match would add to the occasion.
“That’ll be great for the young kids we’ve got,” Spees said.
“We’ve got a good little group of 15 or 16-year-olds playing in our senior ranks at the moment and I think it’s great the Fury guys are taking some time out to have a look at the local talent.”
Spees stressed the importance of Saturday’s games against Ayr and said he hoped to have “80 to 90 per cent” of the 11 he’ll start the season with locked in by the end of the weekend.
The trial games against Ayr will kick off at 1pm and 3pm this Saturday, with spectators welcome.