Kasey's pride for Ipswich
HAVING launched his career in the Ipswich region, international footballer Kasey Wehrman is thrilled about helping the next generation achieve their goals.
Wehrman receives that chance as first head coach and player for the Western Pride Australian Premier League franchise.
Wehrman, 35, has been appointed to lead the senior side in the inaugural state competition starting in March.
"This is the next phase of my career,'' Wehrman said.
"I've signed to be a player as well so I can still help out in that capacity.
"The main goal is to go on with my coaching now.
"I'm glad FFA and Football Queensland decided to put one (new franchise) in Ipswich.
"It's always a great sporting area we've got and there's enough talent. It's just converting that into pushing those boys into Roar teams and further on . . . Aussie teams.''
Holding a UEFA "B" Licence, Wehrman is hoping to complete the requirements for an "A" Licence by the end of November.
As a top acquisition for Pride, the former Goodna-based midfielder will also work with other coaches bringing promising regional players up through the ranks.
"It's all worked out well,'' Wehrman said about returning to the Ipswich region.
"I still have a lot of family that lives around Camira, Goodna, Springfield, Redbank.
"When the opportunity came up, I thought it would be great to put back something towards Ipswich as well because I've got a lot out of that area since we moved there in 1993.
"It helped a lot with my development. I'm more than happy to make sure I put back.
"Hopefully we can develop some of these younger kids - younger talents that we have.''
During his previous stint in Ipswich, Wehrman helped the Brisbane Strikers win the national league championship in the 1996-97 season.
He was named under-21 player of the year.
From there, the QAS scholarship holder transferred to Perth Glory, where he played in 47 games, before spending nearly a decade based in Oslo with clubs Moss, Lillestrom and Fredrikstad.
He was a regular in Australian under-20 and under-23 sides, going on to represent the Socceroos.
Although coaching a higher level senior team for the first time, Wehrman has worked with youth teams in Norway and Newcastle.
Wehrman has also played an important role with indigenous athletes throughout Australia.
But even while based interstate with national league commitments, the Aboriginal footballer enjoyed returning to Ipswich to visit his family.
Among those are his mum Judy, who supported Kasey when the family moved from Cloncurry to Ipswich to build his football career.
Pride coach Kasey Wehrman.
Born: August 16, 1977, Cloncurry. Moved to Ipswich with family as a teenager.
National league: 37 games (12 as captain) for Newcastle Jets (2010-12); 47 games for Perth Glory (1999-2001); 57 games for Brisbane Strikers (1995-99).
Major honours: 2000-2007 - Socceroos in 12 games, including player of match v Manchester United in 1998. 1997-2000: 45 games, including the Sydney Olympics, for Australia under-23. 1996-97: 24 games for Australia under-20.
Other achievements: Stints with Moss, Lillestrom and Fredrikstad in Norway (2001-10) - played 211 games, 62 as captain; Europa League qualifiers (2008 and 2007); Queensland Academy of Sport (1993-1995).
Wehrman was the NSL Rookie of the Year in 1997, the same year he was named Australian Aboriginal Sportsperson of the Year.