Match to have lasting effect for future football stars
FOOTBALL: For the Fraser Coast's up-and-coming football stars, seeing their heroes play on their home field was an "immensely proud” moment.
Wide Bay Football president Stuart Taylor said the region's junior players watched in awe as Brisbane Roar took on a Wide Bay Select team.
It was not just the Roar stars capturing their admiration, however.
"I spoke to some young players before the main match and, to be honest, they were a little embarrassed about what the score would be,” Taylor said.
"I spoke to the same kids after the match and they were immensely proud of their senior team and proud to be from Wide Bay.”
The Roar match came after the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct turned into junior football central on Saturday.
Junior footballers from the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg converged on the precinct.
It was a celebration of football, with players aged from 10 to 16 competing for bragging rights.
In Wide Bay Club Championship matches, the under-12, 13, 14 and 16 winners from the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg faced off.
Bundaberg won three of the four matches, with Doon Villa flying the flag for the Fraser Coast.
Doon Villa beat Bargara FC 1-0, with Ryan Mcaskill scoring the solitary goal.
In other matches, the United Park Eagles defeated Sunbury 3-0 in U12.
The Eagles repeated their success in U13, defeating Fraser Flames 5-1.
It was a tight tussle in the U14 match, with Across the Waves defeating Tinana 4-3 on penalties.
For Taylor, it was important to have the juniors involved in the day.
"To have Fraser Coast and Bundaberg grand final winners playing each other, it lifts the level of football across the Wide Bay,” he said.
Taylor said it would be worth establishing a Wide Bay competition for junior age divisions.
The day was also the first test for the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct hosting a major event and the venue accommodated it well.
"The decision by the council to invest in the turf and playing surface proved to be the right call after watching the match,” Taylor said.