ITWEED UNITED Football Club have announced a special partnership with A-League club Brisbane Roar that is set to develop and unearth the region’s young talent.
The two clubs are collaborating on an Academy Preparation Centre, designed to create an elite training environment for talented soccer players ranging from under seven to under 12.
The club is holding a free trial day, also acting as the partnership’s launch, on Saturday November 12 from 10am to 1pm at Arkinstall Park on Robert St, Tweed Heads.
The club also sent members of its Next Step under nines team to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, November 5, with the youngsters playing on the field at half-time during the Roar’s match against Central Coast Mariners.
The announcement of the partnership is set to provide a welcome boost to the club’s junior section.
“We’ve got such great potential in the kids down here,” Club President David Kershaw told The Weekly. “The Roar will be sending down coaches, and they’ll coach one team in each group for the under 11s, 10s, nines, eights and possibly sevens. We will supply an assistant coach, someone from the Tweed region, and Brisbane Roar will also train the assistant.”
Kershaw is also expecting the affiliation with the Roar to attract new players to the club.
“We’re the only club they’ve partnered with in the Tweed region,” he said, “the other two are up north, at Burleigh and Southport. So here at the south end we’re looking for potential players from the local area who want to give it a go.”
The club’s junior section already has a number of stars in its midst, with Zavier Kebblewhite selected for the Queensland Lions 2018 SAP under nines team, and under 12 players Ryan Holland and Oscar Myers trialling with the SAP program for Gold Coast United.
With both codes of rugby, cricket and other sports competing for attention, Mr Kershaw is confident soccer will go from strength to strength in the area, thanks in part to the Roar partnership.
“This year we had close to 600 members, which is a rise from last year,” he said. “So we’re averaging an increase of about 50 each year. We seem to compete with rugby, and the government is looking at providing more grants in the future, which will help us.”