Fury unveil Straka as new coach

In a major coup North Queensland Fury has unveiled Czech-born coach Franz Straka as its new manager.

In a major coup North Queensland Fury has unveiled Czech-born coach Franz Straka as its new manager.

A former international for Czechoslovakia, Frantisek ‘Franz’ Straka held out a class field believed to include dumped Brisbane Roar mentor Frank Farina and former Socceroo Paul Okon to land the top job.

Fury interim CEO Archie Fraser confirmed Straka had agreed to a one-year deal with an option to stay following the 2011 season, replacing inaugural coach Ian Ferguson.

Fraser described the announcement as the club’s most significant to date.

“Franz Straka is an outstanding international coach and we are delighted to announce his appointment,” he said.

“We were amazed with the quality of the candidates for the position in terms of their qualifications and international experience but Franz was always our first choice. His technical knowledge and passion for the game was what set him apart from the field.”

Straka has had an extensive career as both a player and manager with his playing days highlighted by a long stint with Czech powerhouse Sparta Prague and spells in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach and Hansa Rostock among others.

He also made 35 appearances for the Czech national team, alongside Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka.

His coaching career has seen him at the helm of clubs in his native Czech Republic, Austria, Greece and Germany, culminating with a brief stint as Czech National head coach last year.

There will be little time for Straka to settle into his new surroundings with just under two months to prepare for the club’s opening-round match away to Perth on August 6.

Straka doesn’t see this as a hindrance though.

“Eight weeks is more than enough time to have them ready for the season. New players will have to adapt to the climate but I think this will be to our advantage as we will need to be the fittest team in the league to play in these temperatures consistently,” he said.