Top support for football revamp: ‘Let’s get on with it’
FORMER Brisbane Roar championship-winning A-League coach Mike Mulvey has praised Football Queensland for launching a restructured junior competition next season.
Although Western Pride has been relegated from the National Premier Leagues senior men's competition, the club retains a strong presence in the junior NPL ranks.
Pride was ranked seventh of all the NPL Queensland clubs involved, providing a positive platform for the future.
"I applaud Football Queensland for their initiative,'' Mulvey said.
"They've got a new CEO (Robert Cavallucci) who has just started and they've got a couple of board members who I know are ex-players and I think that has been sorely missed at football in the past. It's great to see ex-players involved in the game.
"I was quite impressed by the meeting the other night because they decided on doing something and they've not stood on their hands and sat back . . . they've done it straight away.''
Despite some suggestions the format could have been delayed 12 months, Mulvey disagreed.
"I say all the power to Football Queensland for doing it right now,'' he said.
"This is where we are now. Let's get on with it.''
Mulvey said clubs like Pride needed to use the ranking to advantage.
"The message I got was 'here's a starting point','' Mulvey said.
"We're seventh. No problem there.
"What it says to me is 'this is where we are at right now'.
"Let's look at where we are in 12 months time and in two years time because we have to build a base that is long-term sustainable.''
Under the new three-phase NPL junior structure, clubs will play in certain competitions based on gradings and how they progress throughout the year.
Western Pride juniors will line up in the 2020 Maroon Pool, along with the Ipswich Knights.
"Whether you are seventh, 10th, 25th, that is where we are,'' he said.
"That's your rating. You read your rating and try and improve.''
Mulvey hopes Pride can use its ranking to set new goals, including tapping into massive growth areas like Springfield.
"This is about a club that potentially could service the whole of Ipswich and surrounds and further out from Brisbane to Toowoomba,'' he said.
He said expanding into new populations could provide incredible opportunities. Pride are among the clubs keen to use the multi-million dollar Springfield Central Sports Complex.
"One of the big things is, in an organisation for youth, you need to have a plan,'' Mulvey said.
"You need to have the coaches and you need to have facilities. And there's only one other thing you need on top of that and that's competition.''
Mulvey said early indications at Pride were the coaches were keen to learn and help young players fulfil their goals.
"I think that there is an overall feeling that there's lot of energy and lots of enthusiasm around the club and there is a genuine sincerity,'' he said.