Back row: Alex Firman, Hayley Hunter and Chris McCarthy; front row: Robert Kramer, Dale Lenkeit, Bree Pogany and Megan Stephens ... success in recent trials for SW Qld Thunder

November 30, 2012

Fifteen young South Burnett soccer players have taken their first steps onto the ladder of a professional football career following recent trials in Toowoomba.

Seventeen juniors took part in mid-week trials during October to try out for the new Australian Premier League (APL) invitational club, the South-West Queensland Thunder.

Fifteen have now been offered positions, some with the SW Queensland Thunder and some with development squads.

“This is the most success we have ever had in something like this,”  Football South Burnett’s Tracey Tunstall said.

“The new APL competition will be a great pathway for the kids.”

Results of the trials:

Boys
U12 – Dale Lenkeit and Robert Kramer
U12 Development – Oscar Schmidt, Callum Lyons
U13 Development – Chris Janz
U14 – Chris McCarthy and Alex Firman
U14 Development – Ben Cullen
U16 Shadow – Sam Gray

Girls
U13 – Bree Pogany, Megan Stephens and Laura Gray
U15 – Isabella Neil
U18 Shadow – Katrina Parsons, Hayley Hunter

As well, Carl Pickles and Luke Dobe-Waldie trialled for U18s.

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The new Australian Premier League will kick off in March, 2013 with clubs fielding teams from Under 12s to Firsts in men’s and women’s competitions.

Twelve clubs have been granted licences: Brisbane City, Brisbane Strikers, Central Queensland, Far North Queensland Bulls, Moreton Bay United, Northern Fury, Olympic, Palm Beach Sharks, the Queensland Academy of Sport, Redlands United, Sunshine Coast Fire and Western Pride.

As well as these initial 12 APL teams, three more clubs have been invited to take part in the U12 to U20 APL competition: the Mackay Crusaders, South West Thunder and Wide Bay Revolution.

The aim is for the APL competitions to provide a player pathway for talented juniors to receive top quality coaching and develop their skills in a professional environment.

By 2018, it is hoped that at least one of the APL clubs will be successful enough to gain promotion to the national A-League competition. There is also a proposal that Football Federation Australia may introduce a promotion/relegation structure from 2022.

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The Kingaroy Junior Soccer Club held its annual general meeting on Wednesday. Elected for 2013 were:

  • President – Tracey Tunstall
  • Vice-President – Thomas Carroll
  • Secretary – Shannon Seng
  • Treasurer – Sonja Love
  • Registrar – Kristy Carroll
  • Volunteer Co-ordinator – Amanda Erwin
  • Sponsorship Co-ordinator – Anita Wolski
  • Fund-Raising Co-ordinator – Tracey Clegg