Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

IPSWICH BIDS FOR QLD COMP; Junior Development Path to Top Focus of Proposal

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

IPSWICH BIDS FOR QLD COMP; Junior Development Path to Top Focus of Proposal

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LEMS

REGIONAL GOAL

The newly-formed Football Ipswich committee wants to build on previous attempts to retain junior talent in the region.

A key proposal being worked on is fielding a number of elite zone teams in the Australian Premier League state competition, providing a better pathway for kids.

IPSWICH regional football teams could be playing in the Australian Premier League within two years if a positive new campaign proves successful.

The recent formation of a Football Ipswich committee has breathed life into a bid to have the city represented in the elite Football Federation Australia-backed state competition.

Caretaker Football Ipswich chairman Kym Wickstein confirmed that an expression of interest had been lodged and a budget framed to kickstart the important regional goal.

A formal application is being worked on by the committee, club representatives, Ipswich City Council and the Ipswich Sports House.

While next year's inaugural APL competition in Queensland is too soon, Wickstein said attempts would be made to field Ipswich zone teams the following year.

The goal is to have the region's best players lining up in 12, 14, 16 and 18 years boys teams, along with up to four girls' sides.

A senior development team is also proposed.

Wickstein said junior talent needed to be retained in the city, instead of bolstering clubs like Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Force and Taringa.

C[pounds sterling]The drain is out of Ipswich, not coming to Ipswich, and we need to do something to stop that,C[yen] Wickstein said.

C[pounds sterling]I'm sick to death of seeing kids go across the border out of Ipswich.

C[pounds sterling]We've got to make a viable alternative for our kids in Ipswich to remain here.

C[pounds sterling]We've just got to do it and do it very, very well.C[yen]

The APL plan is to create better pathways to the top.

The APL state competition, contested from February to September each year, will be a feeder into the A-League national competition. …

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