Record numbers expected for the Junior State Cup
TOUCH: The first Junior State Cup Ben Mannion attends as Queensland Touch chief executive will be the biggest in the annual event's more than two decade history.
Mannion is into his fourth week in the role vacated by former CEO Jamie O'Connor, who was appointed Touch Football Australia's chief operating officer in November.
Mannion, a former Football Queensland COO who also helped deliver the 2015 Asian Cup and was most recently a competition operations manager at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, said more teams than ever would compete when Hervey Bay hosts the Junior State Cup for the seventh time.
"We've got more than 230 teams, more than 3600 players and we know that will end up being about eight to 10,000 visitors to the region,” he said.
How the record number of participants will affect the event is yet to be seen, and with six weeks until showtime Qld Touch is currently analysing run sheets and plans.
Mannion assured there will be little change to how the event is run. Should all 21 fields be active and able to be used, the event's 475 games will fit snugly into the three-day program.
"If grounds are unusable we might have to play under lights but we're still working through our daily run sheets,” Mannion said. "We've trying to work through with clubs to make sure the fields are okay and they will be.”
The Tavistock St fields, which hosts football among other sports, were affected by last year's record-breaking dry spell, but local conditions have been much better this year.
Associations are expected to travel from as far as Roma, Emerald and Mackay for the 23rd Junior State Cup.
The annual event is set to be held at Hervey Bay until 2022.