Far North juniors offered elite football programs

Flashy junior footballers will be eager to impress at this weekend’s trials for new development programs being offered through FNQ Football.

The Talent Support Program (TSP), for boys and girls aged 13-16, and the Skills Acquisition Program (SAP), for boys aged 9-12 and girls aged 11-12, will form the basis of the Football Queensland Player Pathway moving forward.

media_cameraKICKING GOALS: Football Queensland has introduced new development pathways and programs for junior players in the Far North. Noah Hitchins plays in a trial match at Little Barlow Park. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE

Head coach Zenon Caravella said the first trials, held last weekend, showcased burgeoning talent in the Far North.


“Judging by how the weekend’s trials went, it’s going to be a super 2019 of football,” he said.

The Cairns-born former A-League player said he was glad to be able to give back to the game locally.

“This is a brilliant way for me to contribute to the development of the game I love in my home town,” he said.

“I’m excited to be joining the Football Queensland team.”

FNQ Football general manager Matt Kelso said the establishment of the revised pathway not only created a new level of accessibility for players, but would also be more cost-effective for parents.

“Training will be supported by a competitive Quad Series involving all football zones from Cairns to Rockhampton,” he said.

“The SAP will replace all existing junior representative football across the zone, thereby eliminating conflicts.

“We see this as a major step forward in providing opportunities for our elite juniors.”

He said a “major coup” for the programs was the two-pronged recruitment of Caravella in the head coaching role and Papua New Guinea equal most-capped international Reggie Davani as FNQ Football Technical Development Manager.

The duo will be joined in the head coaching team by former Matildas star Tammie Thornton, leading goalscorer in Cairns FC’s final year Josh Taylor and FNQ Football Premier Women’s championship-winning coach Angelo Caravella.

Originally published as Paths open up for Far North youth

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