READY: U12 Sam Devlin, Tiaan Engelbrecht and Markus Wheeler are playing for Gladstone as junior soccer starts back up.
READY: U12 Sam Devlin, Tiaan Engelbrecht and Markus Wheeler are playing for Gladstone as junior soccer starts back up. Paul Braven GLA171116SOCCER

Kids to pitch on to right soccer pathway

SOCCER: The best of Gladstone and Rockhampton junior soccer starts this Sunday at Brian Niven Park.

The home ground of the CQ Mariners program will host under-14 and U12 boy's games at 9.30am and 12.30pm to start round one of the Inter City Cup competition.

CQ regional development officer Tom McDonald said he was looking forward to seeing what could be executed in game situations after months of training.

"I'm definitely looking forward to watch the U12s playing and they have been training for four months,” he said.

"The U12 players to watch are Lachlan Wembridge and Tiaan Engelbrecht and Lachy is a defender and Tiaan is a striker.”

The players' fitness will be put to the test with temperatures around the low 30 degrees mark forecast.

"It's going to be hot and two games in one day is always a test,” McDonald said.

"The club is very excited to kick off its season and the teams have been training since November.

"This will be their first real test.”

McDonald hopes to identify the next lot of talented juniors, after four moved south to play in the National Premier League competition this year.

"I'm very keen to see how the U12 Gladstone team performs, as all the players in this team have come through the CQ Mariners Academy system,” McDonald said.

"So it will be exciting to the benefits of that program.”

U14 Gladstone players Shalom Maniglenza and Tyler Wise are others McDonald says to watch.

"Tyler is a left winger while Shalom is a midfielder,” he said.

McDonald said it was great to have Rockhampton back in this format.

"On the operational side of things, both cities have done very well to be ready for these games,” he said.

"Rockhampton, who are now back in the competition after not participating last season, have worked very hard to get the boys on the park this season.

McDonald said Rockhampton's Samuel Skinner and Jardel Bob were both quality and potentially damaging players, who were worth watching in the U14s.

Given the dry conditions, McDonald said the pitches would be immaculate

"The Gladstone committee are also hard at work preparing the fields and facilities for game day which will be fantastic. So they deserved to be mentioned,” he said.



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