SOCCER: Key dates for the newly formed Football Queensland Community Cup have been confirmed and that's despite the concerns of a Gladstone junior coach.
CQ Mariners coach Grant Costello is worried that the new format, which has replaced the Inter City Cup, will not cater for a younger age bracket and that they will not get a look in.
"I feel for the younger boys and girls coming through because they are going to find it hard to be able to play at a level that gets them noticed to be able to go on and play like these boys - Tyler Wise, Logan Costello, Baden Larkin, Fateh Brar, Tiaan Engelbrecht, Jesse Sharp and Tegan Van Vegchel - at QPL and NPL in the future without a recognised quality competition,” Costello said.
But Football Central Queensland general manager Jim Douglas said he believed the main focus was for players, not currently inside the advanced player pathway, to get identified.
"As our zone currently does not have any QPL or NPL clubs this is a fantastic opportunity for our talented players to get noticed by those in the advanced pathway system,” Douglas said.
Costello argued that while the intentions of the new format was to promote young talent, he was concerned those in the 10-12-year-age bracket would slip through the net.
"It just makes it so much more difficult and these boys had to be invited to their trials and the only way you can get invited is by playing in a higher level competition, which allows them to be observed and seen,” Costello said.
The Community Cup will also form part of the zone's own Junior Development Program.
Douglas said the Community Cup competition, which is for ages under-12 to U16 for boys and U13 and U15 for girls, will start mid-2018.
"The Cup will take place in Mackay during the June-July holidays,” Douglas said.
"This is an invitation to enter teams and zones are not obliged to field teams across all seven age groups.
"Following consultation with members of its representative working group, FCQ has nominated teams in all categories with the exception of U15 boys.
"There may still be an opportunity to enter one such team if there is demand.”
Centre trials for Intercity Shield: Feb 18-March 4
Season commencement - Rockhampton and Gladstone: Mar 9-10
Intercity Shield: Mar 18; Mar 25
June/July School Holidays (exact dates to be confirmed): FQ Community Cup
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