Mackay misses out on A-League
HOPES that Mackay would host an A-League showdown between the Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix in December have been dashed.
Football Federation Australia yesterday revealed the venues for the five community matches in a revised draw for the Hyundai A-League 2011-12 season.
Morwell, Bathurst, Dunedin, Campbelltown and Launceston were named as the venues.
It was hoped that the new Virgin Australia Stadium would host the Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix, but this will now be played as a midweek fixture in Dunedin on December 14.
Stadium operations manager Clinton Begg said the decision would not dampen the enthusiasm for future bids to host an A-League fixture.
"Through the negotiation process we were obviously keen to try and gain the A-League game for Mackay," he said.
"It's been, I suppose, a good education process in dealing with the FFA.
"There have been indications that the FFA would like to work towards 2012, 2013 to secure a game for Mackay, Queensland."
Football Queensland chief executive Geoff Foster inspected the stadium in July. The game had originally been pencilled in for Cairns, but those negotiations fell through.
Begg indicated that no game had been allocated north of Brisbane for the A-League.
"I think with disappointment comes opportunity and there is still an opportunity to work with the FFA in the future to try and secure an A-League game for Mackay," he said.
"People have to realise that the stadium is a new product ... it's a new entity.
"We obviously showed interest within the A-League in conjunction with the Whitsunday Miners, as well as Soccer Queensland was very supportive.
"Eugenie Buckley, who was the CEO of the Roar, indicated her support for a bid for Mackay."
Rather than use the word disappointment, Begg likened it to an education process.
"Obviously there's opportunities in 2012-13 to revisit the possibility of hosting an A-League game in Mackay," he said.
"The way that I've always looked at things I suppose, you've got to look at it from a positive.
"We're definitely keen on exploring other options in regards to the A-League or soccer in the very near future."