Star import to leave Wide Bay Buccaneers

FOOTBALL: The first man to sign for Wide Bay Buccaneers has left the club just six games into its first Football Queensland Premier League season.

Former Launceston player-coach Ben Brookfield was revealed as the region's newest club's first signing on September 21.

He brought much-needed leadership and National Premier Leagues experience to the FQPL team, and was also installed as the under-18s coach.

But just six games into the season, in which the Buccaneers have conceded 38 goals (6.3 per game) in six heavy losses, the Englishman exclusively revealed he will swap the Fraser Coast for Sydney's northern beaches, where he will link with Dee Why in the Manly Warringah Football Association.

"It was never my intention to leave," he said.

"I was promised a job and help to set up but it didn't happen the way I wanted. It was a couple of things.

"You're not working, there's no foundation so you can't play the football you want, and because of that I'm not enjoying the area or my football.

"It was a pretty easy decision in the end."

His departure came after an 8-0 loss to Sunshine Coast Wanderers on March 25, which marked the first time the Buccaneers' three visa players - Brookfield, his former Launceston City teammate Nathan Bartlett and star winger Ben Wilks - featured in the same team.

The trio showed much-needed composure and patience with the ball, and glimpses of what the team could achieve with more time together on the park.

That won't happen, and while Brookfield won't leave the region until after the Buccaneers' next fixture against Mitchelton FC on April 7, he believed he had played his last game for the club.

"I've already made the call to leave, and if I was (newly-appointed head coach Adrian Elmes) I wouldn't pick myself, I'd rather see what I have available," Brookfield said.

"I gave it my all on the pitch, and ran training sessions which is where I hope I made most of my mark.

"I didn't finish the way I wanted but it's just one of those things.

"(Adrian) asked me what I thought of the team and areas (the Buccaneers) need to improve, but I haven't had much else to do with him.

"I wish him all the best and hope the Buccaneers become a strong club.

Elmes, under-20s coach Kieran McKean and Football Queensland Wide Bay general manager Peter Guest will coach the U18s for the rest of the season.

His appointment came after foundation coach Tim Lunnon was sacked just three games into his tenure.

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