Mariners launch shows team is here for Gladstone
"PUBLIC speaking is easy when it's a topic you love", and with that Joe Fenech threw away his cue cards at the official CQ Mariners FC launch on Tuesday night.
The launch, at Gladstone Hyundai, was also a chance for the club uniforms to be officially unveiled to the public.
The Central Queensland Mariners were formed to create a pathway for local kids to become the best football players that they could be.
But Mr Fenech said it was also an important drawcard to help promote Gladstone to families, tourists and avid football players.
"This club is only six months old, the newest club in Australia, and with the assistance with all the clubs and businesses in the area, we can be setting Gladstone higher up there to promote our region," he said.
"What's really important for us is that we are seen to be serving the community, looking after putting Gladstone on the map and not just from the football side of things but also promoting local business - and together we can make a big inroads."
The Mariners will be promoted even further with Monday's launch of the inaugural Football Federation Australia Cup, a knockout competition modelled on Britain's FA Cup, which kicks off on March 15 for local teams.
The national final will be played on December 16.
"The Mariners are already in this cup," Mr Fenech said. "We were fortunate, or unfortunate - to draw another Gladstone club in the first round." he said.
Officially launching the club with Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham, Mayor Gail Sellers said it was a wonderful opportunity for the community, where "we are going to have a team that we can follow".
"So we're going to know the players and we're going to know the coaches - we'll be there to support them, because they'll be our players," she said.
"The other opportunity it presents is an opportunity for young people to have a path they can follow.
"It's all very well to say we can follow football, but unless you have someone there who's done it before you in your community, you don't know that there is an opportunity for you."