THE Sunshine Coast Fire has let go one of the best players in the National Premier League, Niko Bechar. The Frenchman was regarded as one of the greatest attackers in the league and the majority of the Fire's play had centred around him.
He became a crowd favourite in his several seasons at the club, on the back of his stunning ability to make opponents look inept. At times, Bechar looked bored, only to turn on a terrific assist or individual piece of brilliance.
"He could do things that remind us all why we love the game so much," Fire coach Kevin A'Herne-Evans said. The Fire has been forced to let Bechar go following a new National Premier League ruling allowing only two imported players per side.
"We made the decision to release Niko because we are only allowed two foreigners," A'Herne-Evans said. "Niko has been a great servant to the club and I'm sure wherever he will go he will be a hit with the club, and that's what happens." The Fire will focus their imported player interests on the Japanese Premier League. The club has built a strong affiliation with Japan and will look to bring in new players from that country this year.
"With our connection in Japan and our long-term prospects, we thought that would be a better option for us," A'Herne-Evans said. "We've got some really good players, but not at the quality of Niko. "Bearing in mind that he's three or four years older than a lot of them and you need to consider where they will be in three years' time (we made our decision). "I know it's all about winning now, but we didn't win it last year and it's not as if the boys that were there last year can turn around and say 'you still need me'. "We need players that are going to win us a trophy, which is a hard ball stance but it's one we have to take."
Sunshine Coast Daily