Joeys Mini World Cup tournament director Heinrich Haussler.
Joeys Mini World Cup tournament director Heinrich Haussler. Matthew McInerney

Haussler creates German opportunities for young footballers

TOURNAMENT: The Joey's Mini World Cup returns to Hervey Bay this Sunday with 67 teams in six divisions.

Held at Tavistock Street last year the tournament has moved to the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct in Nikenbah.

Teams from around the country will represent countries of the world as they battle over the week long tournament.

A trip to Germany in a World Cup year was the catalyst for organiser and founder Heinrich Haussler.

"Germany hosted the World Cup that year but I saw a lot of kids running around in jersey's of the other countries competing in the cup,” Haussler said.

A government program with teams representing regions would work their way through a tournament until there were 24 teams left.

They would then play off in a World Cup style tournament.

The seed was planted and Haussler had his plan to launch the Joey's Mini World Cup in Australia.

Starting with 16 teams in Inverell, Northern New South Wales in three age divisions the competition has continued to grow.

The move to Hervey Bay was a strategic move to ensure the sustainability of the tournament.

Toowoomba Grammar have always supported the event and are sending 12 teams this year while local Wide Bay teams will also be out to make their mark.

Winning the tournament is not the only goal with as many as 40 players along with six coaches given the opportunity to tour Germany.

The top three players from the 13, 15 and 17's are guaranteed positions on the tour.

"It was tough the first year we toured over there,” Haussler said.

"We are now experienced and know what to expect.”

"Last year Eli Adams from Toowoomba went away with the tour and secured an under 19 contract with the Elversberg Club in the division underneath Bundesliga,” Haussler said.

Haussler believes similar opportunities may occur during next year's tour.

"Six other players also received contracts from clubs near Dortmund and Schnelz and we are returning there again.”

Rale Rasic the first coach to lead the Socceroos to the World Cup will return as patron for the event.

The tournament commences on Sunday September 28 with the opening cermemony and four feature games at 5.30pm



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