Isman Switches To Heat
Words: Michael Flynn
Image: Paul Smith/SWQ Thunder FC
The rivalry between Cairns and Townsville will be intensified next season with FNQ Heat confirming the capture of Ari Isman from rivals Northern Fury.
While moving to Cairns primarily to further his studies in medicine over the next three years, the 23-year-old defender will add further steel to Heat’s back four under new coach Tim Campbell.
Isman was part of Fury’s foundation PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland team and since notched a total of 55 league appearances for the club over three seasons.
His move north follows a stand-out 2015 campaign that saw him selected to the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Under 23 All-Stars team against Brisbane Roar in September, and earned him accolades as Fury Player’s Player and Coach’s Player of the Year.
He said he is determined to build on last season’s returns with his new club in 2016.
“I’ve been at the Fury for three years now and this is a great opportunity to play with a new team and I’d love to play in the finals series which unfortunately I haven’t been able to do so far,” he said.
“I had a great couple of years with the Fury. I learned a lot, made some awesome mates and was able to play at a high level but now I’m looking forward to continuing my sporting career in Cairns.”
Isman said finding the balance between his studies and football commitments is an on-going challenge.
“It’s pretty full-on and the Fury boys used to laugh at me when I took my notes with me on the plane when we used to travel to Brisbane,” he said.
“I try to fit in as best as I can and having more on plate keeps me more disciplined, which is good for both football and medicine.”
Isman will move to Cairns in the new year but has been undertaking his own pre-season program in recent months to ensure he arrives ready to play.
Heat will host Fury in early April at Barlow Park and Isman said he is eagerly anticipating another Cairns-Townsville derby, albeit in different colours.
“There’s going to be quite a few fierce challenges and I’m looking forward to the battle especially with a couple of my mates on the field, but afterwards I’m sure we will have a good laugh about it,” he concluded.
Heat are expected to announce further signings later this week.