New representative cup forms link from club to Buccaneers
A VITAL stepping stone between club football and the Queensland Premier League will ensure the region's junior football players are ready for higher levels of competition.
The Buccs Cup, named after Football Queensland Wide Bay's new QPL entity, will see the return of a four- city rep competition.
FQWB president Stuart Taylor said the competition would allow for junior football players uninvolved in the Buccaneers' squads to benefit from higher training.
The plan, Taylor said, was to ensure there was an appropriate bridge between the standard of football players will experience in club competition, and that of the QPL.
"We've always had some form of representation here on the Wide Bay,” he said.
"When it was most successful was when we had four cities competing against each other, and we want to recreate that. Next year you will see a Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Gympie and Bundaberg competition that will be fed out of the clubs.”
For a player to qualify for a city's rep team, they must be involved with a local club.
No Buccaneers players will be considered for selection in the teams. which is based on the location of the community club.
That means players at clubs like KSS Jets and United Warriors will qualify for Hervey Bay, and Sunbury and Doon Villa players will qualify for Maryborough.
Taylor said that while players should be proud to represent their city, they should aim to play for the Buccaneers in the QPL.
"Their aspiration should be to join a QPL team to be able to be recognised, seen and further develop the pathway,” Taylor said.
Taylor said state and other representative teams would be selected from the QPL, not local football.
"You'll have 16 players from the under-13s that will be progressing at an incredible level getting the training they need at that higher level,” he said.
"What we don't want to see is the disparity between community football and QPL grow. What we want to see is we have a program that connects into that community system.”
Players involved in the Buccs Cup will have the opportunity to participate in newly-created Football Queensland competition.
The new competition will act as talent identification for players not involved in QPL systems.
The Football Queensland Community Cup will involve up to 10 zones in a competition which is likely to be played in Mackay in June 2018, with a series of lead-up matches that will allow the best talent to be chosen to represent zone.
"The Buccaneers will represent Wide Bay through the QPL, which is mainly south, and we'll have a tier under that that feeds into the Buccaneers that will train and play in the zone, and have the opportunity to (compete) outside the zone,” Taylor said.