Squirts and junior players across Central Queensland now have a development pathway to take them to the game’s top level.
Squirts and junior players across Central Queensland now have a development pathway to take them to the game’s top level.

Cubs on pathway to Cougars

LOOK out Central Queensland - as regional development officer, Joe Fenech sees the changes he is starting as a renaissance of local football.

Since his arrival in Central Queensland less than two months ago, Fenech has been active meeting people in the sport and looking at ways to make the pathway from junior levels to the elite senior levels easier to identify and more accessible.

One guarantee Fenech can provide is he will be highly visible around the region.

When Fenech arrived in CQ he emphasised the importance of providing a pathway for players and the requirement of having suitable coaches working with junior players through all age groups.

Step one in the pathway is to cater for Squirts (4-6 years) and prepare them for small sided games then see them ready to play on the big pitches when they turn 12.

He said he planned to give his Squirts program an identity.

"I intend to introduce the Cougars Cubs," he said.

"Come January, I will have put together 40 size three footballs, rucksacks and shirts."

Fenech plans to have 10 Friday evening sessions for his Cougars Cubs, each lasting about 40 minutes, providing an introduction to the sport where youngsters get the chance to feel comfortable with a football while learning co-ordination skills.

An incentive for youngsters completing the 10 sessions will be receiving the balls, rucksacks and shirts. The master coach will not look to staff the sessions on his own and plans to call on senior Cougars players to assist.

Another regular will be the Cougars mascot as Fenech wants to promote the region's number-one side as a goal for players wanting to reach higher levels in the sport.

"I see the Cubs increasing the player base locally and they will be encouraged to sign (when old enough) with local clubs," he said.

Fenech sees player transition to the Cougars as continuity in the sport and not as a rivalry between the clubs and the Cougars.

Following the Squirts, young players are with their clubs playing small sided games and Fenech sees this time with the clubs as vital in preparing them for the larger version of the game on full-size pitches.

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