MONTHS of planning and preparation has finally come to fruition for coach John Salogni and his Emerald Eagles Football Club.
The Central Highlands club was seeking entry into the Rockhampton-based Central Queensland league. On Friday the club received the phone call with the two words the players, coaches and supporters had all been sweating on.
"You're in," came the voice down the line from Football Central Queensland.
Salogni said the excitement of the occasion certainly wasn't lost on his premier league players.
"There was a lot of high-fiving, I think they all breathed a big sigh of relief," Salogni said.
When the Eagles do enter the new season competition, Salogni said he will not be content with just making up the numbers.
"This will not be our build-up year, this is the year to win," he said.
"People want us in this competition so now is the time to step up.
"I feel really confident in what this team can and will achieve."
So far FCQ has granted the Emerald club a premier men's and premier reserves side admission into the league, with an outlook to possibly include an under-16 or U18 side in the future.
Emerald Eagles youth coach James Barley has been one of the driving forces behind the club's new venture.
After a number of fiercely competitive trials with clubs from all corners of the CQ region, Barley said the time was right to push into new territory. He reaffirmed Salogni's prediction that Emerald is right in money to take out a CQ premiership on their season debut.
"They have proved they're at that level to compete, so yeah I think we've got a definite chance of making the finals at least," he said.
Previously, Emerald had been a part of the Central Highlands League which is neither here nor there for promising young footballers looking to make their mark.
Now however, the players have an outlet with more exposure and a stronger competition and one which Barley wants everyone to be a part of.
"We'll be looking to incorporate players from other clubs such as Dysart, Blackwater and Tieri, not just Emerald, so we can showcase talents from around the region," he said.
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