New home for Joeys Mini World Cup
FOOTBALL: The new Fraser Coast Sports Precinct is now a jewel in the Joeys Mini World Cup crown according to founder Heinrich Haussler.
After the success of last year's initial tournament on the Fraser Coast Haussler believes it will only gain more popularity due to the new sports facility.
"Wow what can I say, this was the reason we brought the tournament to the Fraser Coast,” Haussler said.
"It wasn't ready for us last year but it is certainly worth the wait,” he said.
Haussler and former Socceroo coach Rale Rasic inspected the facility on their recent visit to promote the 2019 tournament.
"The tournament had 53 teams last year and we believe that with the new facility that there will be around 70-80 teams this year,” he said.
"We have local teams and others coming from Warwick, Toowoomba, Northern NSW and Sydney to take part in this event.
Originally held in Inverell New South Wales the tournament's success meant it outgrew the area and a new location had to be found.
"We didn't have enough accommodation in Inverell but by moving it to Hervey Bay we can grow it further,” he said.
A slight change to the age groups this year will see teams from women's, under 18, 16, 14,12 and 10 competing to win trophies and an opportunity to be selected to tour Germany.
Other changes Haussler has planned for 2019 include a Sunday night opening ceremony and games to be played on the sport precinct.
"It will be a great way to start the tournament and showcase this facility,” Haussler said.
Martin Simons the general manager of Fraser Coast Tourism and Events welcomes the opportunity to showcase the region with this event.
"Our role is to market to unknown tourists and visitors” he said.
"With events like the Joeys, we can market directly to them and showcase the opportunities the region provides before they arrive,” he said.
"Last year's event showed that some of the parents of players extended their stay after the tournament which is a benefit to the region,” Simmons said.
The tournament will run from September 30 until October 4.