FQ Premier League is a fresh start for Wide Bay
THE lessons learned in Wide Bay Revolution's collapse will ensure Football Wide Bay's new venture will be successful.
Football Wide Bay was one of 14 entities to receive a licence for the first Football Queensland Premier League.
The zone's governing body had lodged an expression of interest late last year, but withdrew and publicly supported Across The Waves Football Club's bid.
ATW's committee was offered a licence on Friday afternoon, but chose to decline the offer. In a statement ATW president Michael McLachlan issued on Monday, he said the club's application was "unsustainable".
FQ chief executive officer Geoff Foster was made aware of the notice on Sunday night. He contacted Football Wide Bay, who jumped at the opportunity.
Football Wide Bay's team will take on a new name and mascot come kick-off next year but any decision will be put to member clubs.
The most important part, according to Foster, is that Wide Bay will be represented in the inaugural Queensland Premier League.
It means junior footballers based within the zone, which stretches from Gympie to Bundaberg and incorporates the Fraser Coast, will be able to represent their home region rather than commit to excessive travel.
"It was significant," he said. "Since the demise of Wide Bay Revolution many of the kids in the Wide Bay region have had to travel to the Sunshine Coast to get their opportunity.
"It's a really big ask - Bundaberg to Kawana is probably three hours each way. It was important to us to have a good spread across the state."
Earlier reports indicated Wide Bay would need to provide teams in seven age groups in the inaugural season, but clubs have the option to field a minimum of five teams next year.
Wide Bay will take the field in under-13s, U14s, U16s, U20s and senior men's next year, with U15s and U18s to come at least two seasons into the QPL.
Football Wide Bay president Stuart Taylor said the region could handle its second opportunity..
The Revolution was registered in November, 2012, but had its license revoked midway through the 2014 season. Wide Bay Revolution was deregistered in January, 2016.
"It's a different time now," Taylor said.
"This region has considerably matured since then. It's been a number of years now and we've seen it working since 2013."
Football Wide Bay's commitment to the QPL was a huge move the zone had to take to ensure the region was not left behind.
"If we didn't do it now it could have been another five years," Taylor said.
Foster confirmed FQ would not revisit the QPL structure until then.
"There was no doubt or question on their behalf, they were absolutely committed to ensuring they had a license in the Wide Bay region so their kids didn't miss out for another five years," Foster said.