Family crisis rocks Cairns-based soccer club
PREPARATIONS for FNQ FC's first game have been thrown into disarray by news coach Martin Dochertyhas been called away to Brisbane to deal with a family medical crisis.
The club released a statement yesterday saying that Docherty had flown to Brisbane to be with his 13-year-old son Rhian, who was taken to hospital for "the assessment and further treatment of an emergent medical condition".
"We know the thoughts and prayers of not just our National Premier League club, but the Far North Queensland football community will be with the Docherty family," the statement read.
"We as a club will rally around Martin and support him and his family with whatever they need.
"While the excitement leading up to the season's inaugural NPL game has been tempered by this reminder about where our priorities really lie, we will keep our preparations going."
The club did not release further details about Rhian's condition, asking for "space and privacy".
It is unknown whether Docherty will return for this weekend's season debut against Northern Fury.
His assistant Rob Walesfilled the interim head coach role for last night's training session at Woree State High School.
He is expected to continue in the role until Docherty returns, with the club's technical director Chris Collins providing assistance.
Docherty's son Ethan, 16, is also part of the FNQ FC senior squad after making his debut in last month's pre-season outing against North Queensland.
The season opener was to be the culmination of five months of preparation since Docherty was appointed head coach last November.
Throughout the off-season he visited professional teams from Melbourne and Sydney to better prepare himself for his debut season.
When he spoke to The Cairns Post last week, he was excited about seeing the result of his team's hard work played out on the field. "We've had the trials and the training games, but next week it steps up," he said.
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Brisbane dash: FNQ FC's coach Martin Docherty.