Football fans snap up Socceroos merchandise

SHOWING SUPPORT: Sportscene Gladstone staff member Charlie Ibell with some 2014 FIFA World Cup merchandise that has been selling fast.
SHOWING SUPPORT: Sportscene Gladstone staff member Charlie Ibell with some 2014 FIFA World Cup merchandise that has been selling fast. Luka Kauzlaric

FOOTBALL fever has swept through Gladstone, with people cleaning out Socceroos merchandise from local suppliers across the city.

Sportscene Gladstone on Toolooa Street is down to its last official soccer ball and has been selling a lot of scarves, hats and T-shirts.

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Staff member Charlie Ibell said the Brazuca balls, which were a replica of the official ball used in the competition, were among the items popular with customers.

"It's really good to see the support for the Australians as they go over for the World Cup," he said.

"There is a fair bit of support behind soccer in Gladstone."

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Sportspower at Gladstone Central Shopping Centre also sold out of the official Socceroos jerseys, with only the away strip still in stock.

Store owner Kristy Claridge said a lot people were getting on board early to support Australia when it played its first game on Saturday.

She said the sale of football boots and related stock was pretty constant throughout the year, which reflected how popular the sport was in Gladstone.

"It's pretty fanatical," she said. "Because of the influx of people to Gladstone, I think some of the soccer clubs around town have had to turn kids away this year."

People are also reading up on their football facts ahead of the major competition, with Kmart selling many of its 2014 FIFA Brazil Official Book and also copies of The History of Football in Australia.

Kmart store manager Martin Jahnke said Gladstone was getting excited.

"Everyone's buzzing," he said. "We've got the soccer balls with all the different countries on it and they're been selling well."

Best and Less assistant manager Sarah Smith said it wasn't surpising that the World Cup merchandise was selling well, with the amount of football fans calling Gladstone home.

"In central Queensland soccer is a pretty well known sport," she said.

Topics:  football soccer socceroos sport world cup 2014

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