Springfield football club revels in progress
THE biggest dilemma facing Springfield United president Scott Harding next season will be accommodating the number of players wanting to join the club.
The second-year administrator admitted it was not the worst headache to have, but was one as the club began preparations for its 10th year as an entity.
"A lot of other clubs are having issues attracting players so I certainly can't complain, it's a lovely headache to have," Harding said, citing the 25% player growth the club has revelled in for the past three seasons.
"It's been great until now, but our current growth is too great for where we are right now."
Come 2019 that will change, with the Springfield club set to move away from their temporary base at Woodcrest State College into a new multi-sport facility.
Harding and his colleagues are building a club brick by brick on the back of passion and a commitment to player development.
"We have some great juniors coming through our club, and we're increasing numbers all the time," the Springfield Anglican College teacher said.
"Yes because of the catchment area we're in, but also because we're getting a name for playing good football.
"One of our major determinants as a community club is quality coaching.
"A few of our juniors are trialling at Western Pride, and we do not begrudge them for doing so. They are products of our system and it means that system is working.
"We find that is often the determining factor for people coming back - it is the quality of instruction they're receiving.
"We're talking about people that are very committed and serious about player development and becoming better as coaches."
Fielding 436 players across 38 teams in 2017, this season was the most successful in the club's history. Five teams made the finals this year, up from three in 2016.
The under 14 Spartans and under 14 Steelers both made it back-to-back grand final wins.
The Steelers were particularly impressive in their 3-0 shut out of premiers Greenbank, a side which averaged more than eight goals per game during the season.
"They train religiously, twice a week working really hard, and there's no substitute for hard work," Harding said of the two U14 sides.
"I'm also the coach of the City Women's (which also made finals) side, and I can tell you now when players are willing to work hard, irrespective of their starting level of ability, they'll do well.
"That is what I'm most proud of. You can walk around at the beginning of training and see every group immersed in what they do.
"Hard work leads to results."
A cherry on the top for the club was the announcement of Capital League 4 player Kevin Barraclough as the league MVP for 2017.
It was his first season at Springfield and Harding said the former Brisbane Force player's decision to join the club was proof their blueprint for success was working.
"That particular side, it's their second year together and it we're now attracting Kevin's calibre of player," he said. "We have a really good base now, with a good set of U18s to support (the senior teams), and obviously the U14s have done very well.
"We now have that pipeline of home-grown players coming through, and we're starting to develop our own style of play at the club, which is exciting."