New format for QT Cup
THE annual QT Cup will be played under a new format next year with emphasis on clubs giving their under-19 players a run in the regional pre-season competition.
Cup organiser James Buchanan has confirmed the 2011 tournament would be split over two days at three different venues.
The 90-minute games will be on Wednesday night, February 2, and Saturday, February 5, with the 2011 Division 1 season starting a couple of weeks later.
Buchanan is also investigating the possibility of a women’s game involving regional sides.
On February 2, Western Spirit are scheduled to tackle Oxley at Kippen Park (Goodna), with the Ipswich Knights meeting the Ipswich City Bulls at Eric Evans Reserve (Bundamba).
A Saturday doubleheader is planned for Sutton Park (Brassall). The Bulls are to face Oxley with the Knights and Spirit completing the tournament that night.
“The QT Cup is about celebrating the local game,” Buchanan said of the tournament, which has run since 2005.
“I’ve locked it in with all the coaches. Everyone is keen to go ahead with it.”
Buchanan conceded this year’s two-day tournament at the new Briggs Road Sporting Complex was not ideal with a power outage prematurely ending matches.
However, the long-time football supporter is confident the region’s major teams will again field strong sides, featuring their best youth talent.
“We’re going to try and have a squad of 20 for the two games and we’ll have half of that squad being under-19 and below – from the youth comp,” Buchanan said. “We’re giving the young guys a shot at top-side football.”
The exception will be Oxley, which plays in Division 2.
Spirit, Bulls and Knights are Division 1 sides with more youth depth.
The Ipswich City Bulls won this year’s tournament at Raceview, being ahead on points when a blackout occurred due to an evening electrical storm.
Buchanan has played an important role in recent months helping set up Ipswich’s Centre of Excellence with Football Queensland development officer Paul Lonton.
Money raised from the annual QT Cup will continue to assist the Ipswich Hospital Foundation.