Sunshine Coast FC has added some young blood to its ranks right before Christmas with the announcement of youth players Kurtis Modlin and Taj Hudson to the Senior team for the NPL Queensland 2018 season.
Taking the field a handful of times in 2017, the duo’s performance earned them a full promotion into the Seniors for 2018.
Sunshine Coast FC Assistant Coach Alex Smith felt it was important to retain players from previous years and showcase Sunshine Coast FC’s Player Pathway.
“Kurtis and Taj were two that deserved to be re-signed. Having played last year, they know what the bottom looks like,” he said.
Smith pointed out their distinct playing styles as something that will greatly benefit the team in the coming year.
“Taj is someone with good feet and a football brain. Kurtis brings a raw pace and directness to the squad. Both still need to develop as footballers and we are working on that all the time,” he concluded.
Both are tenured Fire players with Modlin beginning his NPL career in Fire’s U15 Boys in 2015 and working his way up through Under-16s, Under-18 and Under-20s.
Having made 19 appearances last year, Modlin is looking forward to a new team dynamic.
“With the new players coming in the team differs dramatically since last year as it is clear everyone wants to be there, training to get better and fitter,” he said.
“There is definitely a higher quality of players and coaching, and a friendlier environment, we can banter with each other but still get serious when needed.”
When looking towards his goals for the year, his focus is on making the opposition concerned when they see his name in the line-up.
“I want to be a damaging player who makes other teams have to worry about me with me assisting in hopefully many goals or scoring them. A challenge for me would be to be fitter, making me able to run for a full 90 minutes, just as fast in the first five as the last five minutes.”
Hudson began his NPL career in 2013 in Fire’s Under-14s, took some time off and returned in 2016 for Fire’s Under-18s onwards.
Hudson sees adapting to full-time senior position as his biggest challenge, but one he is prepared to tackle head-on.
“Having played two years of senior community football, now moving to the NPL again and adapting to the senior NPL level is something that I am determined to accomplish by continually pushing myself,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s time in the seniors came with only four games remaining with leaving little room for him to get comfortable.
“Having only joined the team with four games left last season, which was already beyond repair, I still felt like I made a bit of an impact, however it wasn’t going to change the outcome,” he said,
Being with this team 100% from the very start will help me personally make a bigger impact in helping the team.”
“Everyone this year seems a lot more committed, and there is a competitive nature about the team as everyone is fighting for their spots which kind of forces people to perform,” he concluded.