Fraser Coast to host Joeys World Cup
ONE of the Australia's biggest regional football carnivals will be held at the Fraser Coast in October.
The Joeys Mini World Cup has been held at Inverell for the past eight years, but organiser Heinrich Haussler felt the concept needed a seachange to grow.
He said the timing of the carnival, which is typically during football's off-season, was one reason why clubs and players forewent the opportunity to participate.
While the carnival still attracted upwards of 50 teams, Haussler believed that number could double at its 2018 home.
Enter the Fraser Coast.
"It's a beautiful area for people to visit,” Haussler told the Chronicle.
"There's so many things to do at the Fraser Coast. You've got the whale watching, Fraser Island is right there - you'll have parents dragging their kids to the carnival rather than the other way around.”
Haussler confirmed Fraser Coast would host the 2018 junior carnival on Tuesday afternoon.
"This will be the biggest regional football tournament in Australia,” Haussler said.
The Cup, which will be held from October 1 to 5 at the then-built Fraser Coast Sports Precinct, will attract teams not only from across Queensland and northern New South Wales, but internationally.
"We were looking at finding a place to make it even bigger,” Haussler said.
The Cup is not just a week-long competition. It is an opportunity for players to earn a place in an all-expenses-paid tour of Germany with the Joeys.
Hervey Bay duo Sam Whatman and Perth Bradford have previously toured with the Joeys after earning selection at the Mini World Cup.
SOAR Football Academy's Cameron Hanrahan, who has previously taken teams to the carnival, said it was a major opportunity for the region.
"The international teams, they'll be kids who are trying to earn a Bundesliga contract,” Hanrahan said.
"This is going to be fantastic.”
Haussler thanked Fraser Coast Regional Council, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, Hanrahan, Elite Eleven's Troy Rober't, and Football Queensland Wide Bay.