Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Reward for Pride, Passion; Buchanan's Regional Focus Masterminds APL Offer

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Reward for Pride, Passion; Buchanan's Regional Focus Masterminds APL Offer

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LEMS

DEDICATED regional administrator James Buchanan was fishing, wakeboarding and skiing at the Gold Coast when he heard the massive news.

Ipswich Football interim chairman Kym Wickstein confirmed the region was granted a five-year Australian Premier League licence.

A newly-formed regional club called Western Pride could now provide a pathway for juniors to elite level.

For Ipswich Football vice-chairman Buchanan, the decision was just reward for a decade of persistence.

While many people contributed to last week's historic achievement, Buchanan was in many ways the mastermind.

It all started with the QT Cup eight years ago where Buchanan worked tirelessly to get regional clubs together for a pre-season football competition.

C[pounds sterling]That got all the clubs on a talking term,C[yen] Buchanan said.

C[pounds sterling]Before that, none of the clubs spoke.

C[pounds sterling]Todd (Knights official Todd Hunt) and I sat down and tried to work out some ways to get some rep honours in town. It was very difficult.C[yen]

The annual QT Cup played since 2004 brought clubs closer, focusing on regional teams playing each other, with emphasis on youth.

The tournament evolved into a women's format this season, bringing in teams from Springfield and Oxley.

Buchanan said the formation of an Ipswich Football Association a few years ago was another important stepping stone.

C[pounds sterling]A lot of people came through and put their mark on it and left,'' Buchanan said.

C[pounds sterling]The IFA wasn't the ideal model but it was the best we could do at the time.

C[pounds sterling]It did achieve a lot of things.

C[pounds sterling]We never had a Football Queensland coach come past Richlands ever, then we got Paul Lonton up here full time which was great for the region.C[yen]

Before an Ipswich Football committee was re-established this year, regional clubs continued to work together organising the successful Brisbane Roar visits to Ipswich.

Buchanan has been on the Ipswich City club committee and a director for a number of years. But he has always lobbied for regional teamwork to lift the city's football framework. …

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