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



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Mayor should inform public of CCC result: Cr Lewis

Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers - Councillor David Lewis.

'Anomalies' were reported in September last year

Tears flow for top Turtle Tremaine

TRAGEDY: Tremaine Tairawhiti, middle row second left, celebrates with his Turtles teammates on Friday.

Players mourn for one of their own

Local Partners

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

New suburb in the crosshairs of Coast vandals

UNDER WRAPS: Graffiti on art installations at the entrance to the newly opened Bells Creek Arterial Road has been covered up.

Vandal rechristens Stockland as something less than complimentary

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!