Fraser Coast contributes half of Buccaneers' QPL side
FRASER Coast has proved it is home to the region's best and brightest footballers after as the Wide Bay Buccaneers unveiled 16 of its 20-player senior men's team.
Buccaneers coach Tim Lunnon unveiled the first 16 players yesterday.
Eight players come from Fraser Coast clubs, seven from Bundaberg clubs, while Englishman Ben Brookfield, who joins the club from Launceston City, has previously expressed his desire to live in Hervey Bay.
"After the last session, all players came together and said this is a good squad,” Lunnon said.
"We're really good with defenders and midfielders within the squad.”
The final four positions will be filled by one more senior player, a second international player and two from the under-18s and U20s.
"People might think we aren't filling the squad up with players because of interest but that isn't the case,” Lunnon said.
"We want to promote and encourage those youngsters in U18 and U20 that there is a chance for them to play in the seniors so that is why the spots are free.”
KSS Jets, United Warriors and The Wave contributed three players each, while former Sunbury player Jacob Chapman is the only representative from a Maryborough club.
KSS Jets' Wide Bay League coach Phil Rimmer said his former charges could perform well in the Buccaneers' setup.
Goalkeeper Chris Merrison moved to Brisbane midway through the 2017 Wide Bay League, but will act as a back-up to Bingera stopper Jason McEwan.
"Mez was probably the best keeper in the league before he left,” Rimmer said.
"John (Cullen)'s been our captain for the past three years. He was one of our senior leaders, he's played that level before, and he played in the NPL for the Revolution. He'll be comfortable at that level, but he's also a smart footballer.”
Rimmer said Jacob Lynch, who rejoined KSS Jets after several years with local rivals United Warriors, was a dangerous player who, along with Cullen, will be an asset to the Buccaneers.
Lunnon was confident in his squad, and pinpointed three players he thinks will shine in the state league.
"Doug (Patrick) Fennessy and Lachlan Scarborough have the quality to rise to the challenge,” Lunnon said.
"Jacob Chapman is only 20 but has an older head on his shoulders.”