Cougars tap into Gladstone talent
TALENTED young Gladstone footballers were put through their paces on Wednesday by Capricorn Cougars head coach Joe Fenech.
Fenech said he was planning ahead after Central Queensland put forward a number of Australian Premier League bids, including one from Gladstone.
"I wanted to identify players that are 15, 16, 17 so we can start working with them in the pre-season," Fenech said.
He has scoured Central Queensland, having already held training sessions at Longreach, Blackwater, Yeppoon and Rockhampton, in the hope of filling the required 10 APL teams and identifying talent for the Cougars.
"There is a lot of talented kids here," he said. "I want to give them the opportunity."
Considering the Central Queensland region is geographically larger than the United Kingdom, Fenech said there were issues outside of football that could arise but for now his focus was on the players.
"I look at the players and the talent and that is all that matters," he said.
Fenech said it was crucial for the future of soccer in the region that Central Queensland's APL bid was accepted.
"If CQ did not get an APL team it would be devastating for the region. Young kids should have a road map. If we don't, these kids have nothing to aspire to."
Gladstone launched a bid to have a Central Queensland Australian Premier League team based here.
Fenech said the importance of the APL provided a "road map" for talented footballers.
The APL bid needs 10 teams including seniors, women and U-20s to U-12s.
Fenech was in Gladstone on Wednesday to identify talent for the APL.