Sport

Falcons' plan to find next Cooper Cronk on Fraser Coast

The next Melbourne Storm superstar could be unearthed on the Fraser Coast if a new Sunshine Coast Falcons plan reaches its full potential.
The next Melbourne Storm superstar could be unearthed on the Fraser Coast if a new Sunshine Coast Falcons plan reaches its full potential. Warren Lynam

THE NEXT Melbourne Storm superstar could be unearthed on the Fraser Coast if a new Sunshine Coast Falcons plan reaches its full potential.

Fraser Coast Chronicle can exclusively reveal the Intrust Super Cup club will establish the Falcons Fraser Coast Development Squad in 2016, which could discover a future superstar like Cooper Cronk.

The squad will involve 20 Fraser Coast-based players aged between 16 and 18 in its first year, as well as up to five promising South Burnett footballers.

Falcons football operations manager Dane Campbell said the plan not only expands the Sunshine Coast club's catchment area, which currently ranges from Bribie Island to Gympie, but also gives thousands of juniors Fraser Coast footballers a pathway to higher levels of rugby league.

Sunshine Coast is affiliated with the Storm, giving Fraser Coast juniors a direct path to the NRL for the first time.

"We've seen a few young blokes from the Coast come down to trial for Colts but this will give them the chance to develop closer to home," Campbell said.

"We are very big on welfare, and (Sunshine Coast) isn't too far from home for the kids (when they come down). It lets them stay at home until they're ready to make the move."

The Falcons program will be chiefly driven by Campbell and Sunshine Coast captain Tom Murphy, while Hervey Bay Seagulls coach Tye Ingebrigtsen and NRL game development officer Scott Zahra will also keep a close eye on the players.

The squad will go into a preseason camp at Sunshine Coast Stadium in February, which will coincide with the Storm's trial against Wests Tigers.

It will be the first time Falcons staff work with the players, and will double as an introduction to both the program, and the club's expectations.

The Falcons will then lead players in monthly training sessions split between Maryborough and Hervey Bay.

At the end of 2016 the squad will travel to the Falcons' base to play against a Sunshine Coast Development Squad, where coaches will keep a close eye on players for their Colts team.

Ingebrigtsen, whose dad Craig is the Falcons' head coach, said they had worked on the program for several months.

"It's a massive stepping stone for the future plans of Fraser Coast Rugby League," Ingebrigtsen said.

"There's that carrot at the end - to get a few kids picked up by Sunshine Coast's Colts team. You perform at those trials and you can be picked, and Sunshine Coast will give them the best opportunity."

The program will act as a pilot for the first 12 months, and if successful could see the Falcons launch a similar squad based in South Burnett.

"If it's successful we'll expand it," Campbell said.

"We've got the catchment between Bribie Island and Gympie, but we also see the Fraser Coast, South Burnett and Bundaberg as areas we can provide pathways."

Topics:  fraser coast, melbourne storm, nrl, sport




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Hervey Bay Gallery Perception

"Perception" - new exhibition by Artisits Afloat at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery. Artists Susie Lewis from Hervey Bay and Brian Eugarde from Deception Bay take a look at Brian's sculpture "In the Eye of the Beholder" with Susie's mixed media work "In Bloom" behind them.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Works by Artists Afloat on show at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"

Confidence builds with housing sales on Fraser Coast

Median sale prices for houses have remained steady.