Why the Buccs need the region's support

OPINION: The Buccaneers' future is currently under threat, and Wide Bay's football community must not allow Football Queensland to revoke the club's FQPL licence.

The club was issued a show cause notice after the decision was made to withdraw the Buccaneers from the under-18s competition.

That call breached the conditions of the licence issued by Football Queensland, which outlined the Buccaneers had to field teams in all seven age groups: U13s, U14s, U15s, U16s, U18s, U20s and the FQPL.

Football Queensland Wide Bay has done well in the club's first season, especially when you consider how little time officials had to make it work.

Across The Waves were originally offered the FQPL licence, but notified FQ of its decision to reject the offer less than 24 hours of the revamped FQPL structure.

Then CEO Geoff Foster contacted FQWB officials and within half-an-hour had a commitment from what would become the Buccaneers.

The club has struggled in most grades, but are in the top four in both the U13s and U15s.

The U18s were smashed each week, scoring five goals in 17 games (and conceding 86), before last week's withdrawal.

Rather than highlight a weakness in the club, perhaps this is a time Football Queensland officials can take a closer look at how it can address the strength of regional football.

A look at the FQPL and NPL Qld tables shows just one team from outside the south- east corner is in the top half of the ladder. Cairns (fifth) is the best regional performer in the NPL.

South West Thunder (10th) Mackay-Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders (12th), North Queensland (13th) and Sunshine Coast Fire (14th and last) benefit from a NPL presence but have struggled for results.

Arguably the most important thing is each of those clubs' juniors benefit from having a direct pathway to perform at state level, to get in front of the right people from the right places and have that opportunity to further their career prospects.

Without a presence like the Buccaneers, those opportunities are severely limited to local juniors, which means more families could leave the area.

The senior teams' performances and results will improve with time, but the club needs the full support of the region, and FQ, to ensure it lasts.



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