[Image: Jack Thomas/Getty Images]
North Queensland is set for an influx of Hyundai A-League stars with PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues club Northern Fury announcing glamour friendlies against Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix for September.
While dates are yet to be finalised, the matches will form an important part of pre-season for both City and Phoenix and could see the likes of Golden Boot winner Bruno Fornaroli line-up against Fury’s mix of local talent.
Wellington could also unveil new signings Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler in Townsville ahead of the two teams’ Round 1 opener on 8 October.
— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) June 23, 2016
Fury Chairman Rabieh Krayem said the matches fit the club’s aim of exposing the region to Australia’s best.
“I think it’s important that we provide access to elite level football in our region,” Krayem explained.
“It’s always been our aim to give our players opportunities to be seen by A-League clubs and also watch A-League level football without having to travel to Brisbane.
“We have fantastic facilities for training, fantastic weather and a great environement – it ticks all the boxes for the A-League clubs.
“If clubs want to come here and work in partnership with us then they get the benefit out of it and our football community gets a benefit out of it too.
“You never know when players are given that opportunity where it might lead to – last time we did it we had Braedyn Crowley was picked up by Newcastle Jets.”
City’s visit also forms part of a growing relationship between the City Football Group-owned club and the Townsville-based Fury.
Tentative discussions have included the opportunity for Fury juniors to gain exposure at one of Australia’s biggest clubs.
“It’s about giving the football kids in the north an opportunity to experience things at an A-League level with access to facilities and their key people and also to play games against teams in that environment,” Krayem said.