North Queensland kicks off with Fury

The expansion of the Hyundai A-League to ten teams in only the fifth season of the competition was confirmed today with the official naming of team number 10, the North Queensland Fury.

The expansion of the Hyundai A-League to ten teams in only the fifth season of the competition was confirmed today with the official naming of team number 10, the North Queensland Fury.

Speaking from Townsville, FFA CEO, Ben Buckley, said today it was "yet another good news day” for the Hyundai A-League.

“Our strategy is to invest in the growth of the sport, and expansion of the Hyundai A-League into North Queensland is right for football.

“We know that there are many people who are looking forward to the Hyundai A-League being part of the North Queensland sporting landscape.

"From Gladstone to the Cape, and from Rocky to Boulia and Mt Isa, the North Queensland Fury is a team for all proud locals.

“North Queensland has a fine record of producing outstanding home grown players, and having a local Hyundai A-League team will be another impetus to encourage more talented young footballers,” Buckley said.

Current Hyundai A-League players from North Queensland include Steve Corica, Tahj Minniecon, Mitchell Langerak and Michael Thwaite.

Other former prominent players from North Queensland include Socceroo great, Frank Farina, current Socceroo Shane Stefannuto, Glenn Gwynne, Wayne Srhoj, Kasey Wehrman and Jason Polak.

The leader of the North Queensland bid team, Don Matheson, said that the North Queensland Fury is in the Hyundai A-League for the long haul.

“As a club, we want to contribute as much as we can to the long term enrichment and development of the game. That begins with harnessing support and input from the North Queensland community, then producing a successful, entertaining team for them to support and be proud of.

“We-re all so committed to the long term future growth of football and of ensuring North Queensland is a leading team in the Hyundai A-League in the years to come.

“This is only the beginning of what is an exciting new era for football in North Queensland,” Matheson concluded.

Buckley reiterated FFA-s earlier view that, ultimately, the Hyundai A-League has the capacity to be at least a 12 team competition and possibly 14 teams.

“Expansion of the Hyundai A-League is a critical issue to the continuing evolution and growth of football and this is a very exciting day for FFA, everyone involved in the Hyundai A-League and North Queensland,” said Buckley.

Buckley also confirmed that FFA is continuing discussions with a number of consortia on the basis of a successful entry in to the Hyundai A-League in 2010-11.