Fury Captain Targets Top 4 Finish

Ottawa's new captain Richie Ryan talks about the team's first season
by Jonathan Bagg   |   Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bycolored – column on Ottawa Fury & the Ottawa area soccer scene.

In one of many firsts to come for Ottawa Fury FC this year, the club announced their captain for the inaugural NASL season on Monday, naming former Sligo Rovers mid and PFAI player of the year Richie Ryan as their captain.

Despite the player’s quiet demeanor off the pitch, Ryan’s quality and command on the pitch stood out in training and preseason friendlies. As does his ambition for the club.

“We’ve set our expectations fairly high,” said Ryan. “I don’t think we’ll be setting them any lower than finishing in the finals to be honest. We want to finish in the top four and have a chance for the championship.”

With the first competitive matchup against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers just days away, Ryan and the Fury will have their chance to put that ambition to the test.

“I’m not going to say that we’ll be 100 per cent straight away, because it’s going to be our first competitive game and we’re going to need a little bit of time to gel, but hopefully we can do that sooner than later,” says Ryan.

“If we get that sooner, we can get a win. Put our mind at ease. I think we’ll take every game as it comes over the next couple of weeks.”

Armband and responsibility

Ryan says that he’s honoured to have been given the armband, and – along with alternates Nicki Patterson and Omar Jarun – understands the responsibility that comes with being a more experienced player on the pitch.

“Marc and the coaching staff have given us 3 individuals a responsibility,” says Ryan. “To be leaders I think you’ve got to have good relationships with the rest of the teammates. I’d like to think that the rest of our teammates are listening to what we’ve got to say and know that we’re trying to help them out. We’re just trying to get the best out of each other so we can all be successful together.”

Talking kits

In another first, the club unveiled their inaugural kits at an exclusive event for season ticketholders last week.

For those following Fury developments, there were not too many surprises as the kit styles were previously put forward as part of a you-choose-the-kit contest last summer and stick close to the city’s traditional red and black team colours.

The home kit will be black with a main red stripe down the centre. Away kits, an alternate version of another of the red-black kits presented during the contest, will feature red-white halves.

When asked about what the players thought, Ryan said: “The black kit is the one I would have gone for myself, and I think that’s the feeling with most of the players. The white one is a little bit different; it reminds me of Feyenoord in Holland. If it’s good enough for Feyenoord, it’s good enough for us.”

The wait is over

For many Ottawa fans, the first competitive matches will almost be surreal.

While the first match against the Strikers is an away game that most will need to stream, the following week will provide fans a firsthand experience against Minnesota, an expected sell-out at Keith Harris Stadium.

It’s hard to predict the outcome since the club has only challenged up to the USL PRO level in preseason action. The Strikers, who had the worst combined record last season, have added a few quality signings, but expect hungry Fury players to push for points in a potentially scrappy match.

Supporters who want to experience more excitement for the away games, can get involved with one of the club’s fledging supporters groups. The Stony Monday Riot (@StonyMondayRiot), for instance, will be holding a viewing party on the 12th and a FIFA 14 tournament on the eve of the first home game.

For his part, Ryan and his teammates are very eager to get started. He says they’ll be playing for the fans this season – wherever the pitch.

“Know that we’ll be giving it a hundred percent and hopefully bring some success to the city and entertaining football,” says Ryan. “I think the more successful we are the more fans will come out and watch it.”

NEXT UP: April 12 – Ottawa Fury FC vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 7:30 p.m. EST, Perform Live Stream.

Jonathan BAGG

University of Ottawa
Club Domestic:
Ottawa Fury
Club Foreign:
Feyenoord Rotterdam, THFC
Jonathan has been waiting for the arrival of professional soccer in Canada’s capital while closely following it at lower levels. His passion for soccer was borne out of watching the Oranje play total football. His son’s middle name happens to be Arjen.