Pride on map for APL duty
IT'S official. The Western Pride Football Club is here, ready to develop and entertain the Ipswich region.
Although the franchise was formed some weeks ago, Pride officially becomes an entity this weekend with the first series of trials to attract new players from junior to senior level.
The Pride teams will represent the region in next year's Australian Premier League state competition, fulfilling a much-needed, united development role.
Seeing the line-up of talent assembled at Wednesday afternoon's official meeting showed Western Pride FC was professionally structured.
Pride executive Kym Wickstein (chairman), James Buchanan (vice-chairman), Todd Hunt (treasurer) and Wendy Spencer (secretary) were clearly excited to welcome the first group of coaches.
With general manager Pat Boyle and Football Queensland's Paul Lonton watching on intently, the first official get-together at Ebbw Vale also showcased key appointments Lisa Chapman (marketing manager) and Bianca Hyslop (child protection manager).
"With the inclusion of Lisa and Bianca - both the marketing as well as child protection - we cover all facets," Boyle said.
"It's just emphasising our professionalism."
The signing of international footballer Kasey Wehrman as player-coach of the top side was a coup for the club.
The Pride senior team is due to make its APL debut in March, most likely at the North Ipswich Reserve.
"Kasey is a champion bloke, champion player, champion guy, all of that," Boyle said.
"Guys should want to come to this club to play with a guy of his calibre."
A qualified array of support coaches have been confirmed for next season. They include John Battersby (under-18 boys), Greg Farrell (under-16 boys), Lonton (under-15 boys), Damien Butler (under-13 boys), Darryl Kitching (under-12 boys), Byron Hellmuth (under-18 girls), Krishneel Maharaj (under-15 girls), John Heston (under-14 girls) and Len Manwaring (under-13 girls).
"This weekend is actually the first thing where Western Pride is on the map," Boyle said.
"It's so exciting. There's so much going on behind the scenes.
"It's just fantastic. I can't wait."
Boyle said the quality of applications showed how much support there was for Pride as a franchise representing regional clubs to provide a pathway to the elite level.
"It was just amazing the interest," Boyle said. "They had to have certain criteria, blue cards, certain licences for the coaching side of things."
Boyle said more than 200 registrations had been received as the region's best junior and senior players look to build an exciting football future.
It's now up to the players to attend trials over the next month to help Pride build formidable teams for their historic APL entry.
WESTERN Pride Football Club trials for next year's Australian Premier League state competition start this weekend. Junior trials will be held at Grammar Arms Park (Brassall) on Sunday, before more sessions on November 11, 18 and 25. Key times are:
Boys U12 and U13 - 9am-10.30am. Boys U14, U15 and U16: 11am-12.30pm.
Girls U13, U14, U15 and U18: 1pm-2.30pm.
U18 male youth: 6pm-7.30pm.
Senior men's first team trials are from 7.30-9pm at Kippen Park (Goodna) on November 13, 15, 19, 20 and 21.
To obtain a registration form or for more information, contact the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org