On Thursday 16 January, Football Queensland (FQ) President Ben Richardson, Chief Executive Officer Robert Cavallucci and State Technical Director Gabor Ganczer met with the Football Queensland Wide Bay (FQWB) Board of Directors to discuss additional investment and resources being provided to the zone to deliver stronger and more sustainable junior development pathways for both girls and boys within the Wide Bay community.
The meeting followed an extensive FQ review of the junior development pathway in the region as part of the recent reform of the FQPL/NPL junior competition, and consultation with community clubs in December 2019.
As part of the review and agreed increased investment, FQ will appoint a Technical Development Manager (TDM) with an exclusive focus on community-based clubs. The TDM will provide support to all Wide Bay clubs by facilitating high quality participation experiences for players and coaches.
The review also highlighted concerns around the junior development model in Wide Bay, which currently offers limited opportunities for young players as well as no tangible pathway for girls.
To address these challenges, FQ presented the Talent Support Program (TSP), FFA’s approved national pathway and demonstrated its clear successes as the recognised junior development model for regional areas across Australia.
To align with the national approach, FQ will immediately implement a TSP for girls, providing equal participation opportunities, and supporting the state and national agenda for growth in female participation.
A decision to withdraw the Wide Bay Buccaneers Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) licence from 2021 was also reached; FQ will meet with families from the Wide Bay Buccaneers and community clubs on Saturday 25 January to discuss the decision.
The new junior development model provides consistency across the talent pathway on both a state and national level, whilst delivering new opportunities for girls and addressing the needs of the broader Wide Bay football community.
FQ will continue to work collaboratively with FQWB and community clubs to address regional challenges and build a model that provides a sustainable player pathway for junior development and talent ID within the region.