ONTARIO FURY INK TRIO OF INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS
The Ontario Fury, Driven by Mark Christopher Chevrolet, have signed three internationally based players in time to help them for the upcoming playoff stretch run.
Heading up the trio is Tunisian midfielder Ouday Belhadj (pronounced Ooo - DIE Bell – HAHJ). The 24-year-old was the named the Most Valuable Player at the 2017 World Minifootball Federation World Cup held last October in Tunisia. Fury president Bernie Lilavois was the head coach of the United States team and saw potential in Belhadj on the field.
“We are very excited to bring a player of Ouday’s caliber to the Fury and look forward to him having an impact for us once he settles in and learns the indoor game,” Lilavois said. “He will get plenty of time with our Fury II and hopefully crack our first team lineup in the upcoming weeks as we make our final push towards the playoffs. Tunisia as hosts, played in the opening game of the Minifootball World Cup in October and after watching him play in that first game I knew right away he would be a great indoor player in the MASL.”
The other two players were found through Fury head coach Jimmy Nordberg’s connection with FC Golden State Academy. Claysson de Lima and Raphael Santana both originally hail from Brazil and will bring more youth the Fury lineup. De Lima, a goaltender is 19, and Santana, a defender, is 20.
“Claysson and Raphael are both part of our continued youth movement we have here with the Fury,” Lilavois said.” They both will start on Fury II as well and we look for them both to be huge pieces to the puzzle in future years on the first team.”
Developing a player pool stocked with younger players in the system is how the team hopes to build for the future. The strategy has paid off as some of the Fury’s younger second- and third-year players are starting to take hold of their role on the team, according to Lilavois.
“The addition of these 3 young and exciting players should fit in well with our other young talent such as Adrien Perez, Marcus Jordan, Willy Raygoza, Maicon De Abreu, Douglas Lima, Charlie Gonzalez, Jose Gonzalez and Andy Reyes,” he said. “Our future definitely looks bright with all these players being under the age of 25 and playing big roles on both our Fury II and Fury teams.”
In a separate move, the Fury released Gerardo Bravo on Tuesday. His release comes as the Fury prepares for the Feb. 1 MASL roster freeze, with more moves needed before the deadline.
Ontario returns to Citizens Business Bank Arena on Friday night to start a two-game home stand. The Fury will try and corral the league’s leading scorer Franck Tayou and the Soles de Sonora at 7 p.m. Friday night for National Core Jersey Night. The Fury will be wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game to benefit National Community Core Renaissance and its mission in the community.