ELITE TARGET: Brisbane Roar goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton hopes to see more talented regional players rise through the APL state competition ranks.
ELITE TARGET: Brisbane Roar goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton hopes to see more talented regional players rise through the APL state competition ranks. File

Kearton accepts Roar role with higher goals

AS a former Coalstars junior, Brisbane Roar coaching recruit Jason Kearton is pleased to see an Ipswich regional team in next year's Australian Premier League state competition.

Ipswich born and bred, Kearton would probably have played for Western Pride had they been around when he came through the ranks.

In those days, Kearton had to head to Brisbane Lions to further his goalkeeping career.

He progressed to English Premier League club Everton from 1988-96, also playing for Stoke City, Blackpool, Notts County and Crew Alexandra before returning to Australia in 2001.

He has now been appointed Brisbane Roar goalkeeping coach in a dramatically changing football landscape.

"It was a target of mine to get up into the A-League and thankfully now it has happened," Kearton, 43, said.

"Working at the higher level, that's what we all strive for."

Kearton hopes the new APL structure delivers more opportunities for promising regional players.

"The Roar are hoping to get some sort of local involvement in it," Kearton said.

"Ipswich and the surrounding areas are crying out for something like that and hopefully everyone in the community will get on board and back it."

Kearton took his place on the Roar bench during Saturday night's 1-0 A-League loss to Western Sydney at Suncorp Stadium.

Although Roar suffered a rare home defeat, Kearton was excited about his new role, linking with Queensland teams and the Brisbane Strikers.

As goalkeeping coach, Kearton's main work will be with Brisbane Roar custodians Michael Theo and Matt Acton, and youth 'keeper Nick Tubbs.

"It's a full-time gig," Kearton said. "All the first team duties, home and away, all the youth team wherever I can."

Having played 55 matches for Brisbane Strikers from 2001-2004, Kearton was also invited to work with their club goalkeepers preparing for next year's APL state competition.

He'll conduct Roar sessions during the day before helping the Strikers top team 'keepers at night training.

"It's a bit of a juggling act," said Kearton who had also run his own goalkeeping academy for a number of years.

But he hopes the next generation of goalkeepers keep working hard to progress to elite level - like he did.



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