Ferguson to coach new franchise

Central Coast Mariners assistant coach Ian Ferguson has been unveiled as the inaugural coach of the new Hyundai A-League franchise North Queensland FC.

Central Coast Mariners assistant coach Ian Ferguson has been unveiled as the inaugural coach of the new Hyundai A-League franchise North Queensland FC.

Ferguson has been Lawrie McKinna's second-in-charge since the Mariners' first season and played an instrumental role in assisting the club to two Grand Final appearances.

Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman said Ferguson's departure would be a loss for the club but wished him all the best in his new role.

"While it will always be with mixed emotions that we farewell anyone from the Mariners family, let alone a stalwart who has been there from day one, there will always come a time when some members of the club will need to move on to further their own career," said Gorman.

"We currently have on our books 10 of our foundation year players, a greater number than any other club, all of our coaching staff and all of our senior management. This is testament to the fact that our philosophy of assisting in the growth of our people serves us very well."

"Ian has been an outstanding contributor towards getting us where we are today and is a wonderful ambassador for the game."

"His technical knowledge is outstanding and he and I have discussed on many occasions over the past two years his career pathway, including his burning ambition to be a fully fledged football manager one day in the Hyundai A-League. That day has now arisen and we are proud to have been a part of his development and in assisting him to achieve his ultimate goal in this regard."

The 41-year-old former Glasgow Rangers great will start work immediately for his new club in Townsville in order to prepare for its 2009/10 debut season.

The Mariners tackle leader Melbourne in a Round 5 blockbuster at Gosford on Saturday night.