New signings give Fire officials hope for success in 2014
Feb
11
2014
SUNSHINE Coast Fire officials are lauding the skills of import Chiharu Kosuge, who will attempt to help fill the void left by departing captain Greig Henslee and fellow defender Ryan Smith.

The Fire backline faces a new era after the loss of two of its long-term servants, but the club's chairman and its coach have high opinions of Kosuge, a star performer in Japan's top university league.

"He's played in our trials and everyone has agreed he's been very impressive," Fire boss Noel Woodall said. "He can do a centre-back's job comfortably.

"I wouldn't like to compare him to Greig because he's a different style of player, but he is like Ryan because he is very good in the air, is quick, is very confident and he doesn't mind using his body when he needs to. "He's played at a very high level in Japan so there's no issue with him about his role. What I like about him is that he is totally and completely committed. He's after it."

Coaching director Kevin A'Herne-Evans was particularly pleased with the 23-year-old in the side's 4-1 trial win over Sunshine Coast first division powerhouse Maroochydore last week.

"He was excellent. He hasn't been tested yet (in the National Premier League), so it's hard to gauge where he is under the pressure-cooker. But by the same token, it's a good reflection on him that he's cruising around in the trials and seeming comfortable," he said. A TALL back, Kosuge can also find the goal, which he proved during the Fire's 4-1 win over Coolum last week. "He can spring. He just climbs above everyone else," Woodall said.

The Fire is likely to recruit its second and last import following the arrival of Kosuge's compatriot, Futa Nakajima, on February 26. The young striker will trial with the Fire but is expected to be signed this week. New Zealand under-20 defender Brock Messenger is also due to arrive this week for a trial. "We have lost a few players, but it's not as if we've been sitting on our hands either," Woodall said.

Wade Zammit is among those in line for the other vacant central defender's role after his impressive showing in a 2-1 victory over Kawana. Meanwhile, it's believed Henslee will play for Peninsula Power in the Brisbane Premier League after he decided to call it quits with the Fire in the NPL after two years at the helm.

Steele Taylor

Sunshine Coast Daily    

Full article: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/new-signings-give-fire-officials-hope-for-success-/2166332/

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