Young Cairns-based soccer team feeling the heat
FRESHLY named FNQ Heat captain Alex Plowman has called for patience as his young side accustomes itself to the rigours of state league soccer.
Talking after being named the inaugural captain of the National Premier Leagues side, the Mareeba Bulls product predicted a rough start to the team's first season.
"The FNQ Bulls were always a young team in the (Queensland State League), but this year we are even younger," Plowman said.
"You've got to adjust your expectations a bit. It's a year of rebuilding.
"We'll definitely be competitive, but it might be a few weeks before everyone's up to speed with the quality of play in the state league."
Under the previous state league soccer model the Queensland State League the FNQ Bulls were perennial contenders.
The change from the QSL to the NPL, which will eventually exist across Australia, has brought about major changes to the Far North Queensland team.
The team's moniker has been changed from the Bulls to the Heat to avoid confusion with the Mareeba Bulls, who play in the FNQ Football premiership.
The roster has also changed, with several members of the squad that made last year's semi-final no longer with the club.
One of those losses was Victor Madrid, who captained the FNQ Bulls throughout the club's four-year existence.
Plowman, who served as Madrid's vice-captain last season, said he would try to emulate his former skipper's leadership style.
"They are obviously huge shoes to fill, but I'll try my very best to do the job," Plowman said.
A gutsy defender with a tireless work ethic, Plowman was the ideal choice as Heat captain, according to coach Martin Docherty, who, like Plowman, is stepping into the head role after serving as assistant to inaugural FNQ Bulls coach Peter Tokesi.
"It wasn't any easy decision to make, as we're fortunate to have a number of players with leadership attributes," Docherty said.
"But Alex has proven that he is a genuine leader on and off the park.
"Even though he's quite softly spoken, he is a well-respected member of our playing group and I'm 100 per cent sure he'll do a magnificent job for the team and the club."
Plowman said there was a group of state league veterans including himself, Callum Wood, Cameron Morrison and Jamie Carroll who would serve as a leadership committee.FNQ FC Heat start their 2013 NPL season against Northern Fury at Barlow Park on March 9. Kick-off 7.30pm.
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Stepping up: The FNQ Heat previously known as the the FNQ Bulls have named Alex Plowman and Kelly Pitcher as their inaugural captains. Picture:MIKE WATT