The Emerald Eagles are preparing to take their competition to the next level.
The Emerald Eagles are preparing to take their competition to the next level.

GM has vision of Eagles in flight

CENTRAL Queensland Football’s general manager Rod Cousins has a new vision for regional football and he wants the Central Highlands to be part of it.

“I want a clean slate and this is their opportunity,” Cousins told the Central Queensland News.

With the league under review by the CQ board, everything has been put on the table, including the very real prospect of the Emerald Eagles’ inclusion in the new structure.

The Eagles are currently in limbo, with a recent club accreditation by Football Queensland, but no formal competition to play in.

“My personal view is that it’s very important for clubs out your way to have a pathway such as this,” Cousins said.

“Three or four years ago the idea would have been dismissed out of hand, but I know now that a lot of clubs, not all of them, but a lot, are very enthusiastic about getting Emerald into the competition.

“And I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t happen.”

Already the processes are falling into place to get the Emerald club up to speed.

The club went down to a respectable 3-1 scoreline against an invitational Capricorn Cougars side at the weekend.

Staged as the curtain-raiser to the Queensland State League match between the Cougars and NQ Razorbacks, Eagles coach John Salogni said his Central Highlands charges held their own in the trial, even with a diminished player-base, three of who were playing in the QSL main game.

“That team we put on the pitch was six to seven players down,” Eagles coach John Salogni said.

“A fair few of the players we were up against had played with the Cougars before, which made it pretty daunting.

“We had a lot of our youth players who had to stand up and they did us very proud.

“It shows to me that the club has the depth.”

The Eagles’ latest trial comes on the back of a shock 2-0 upset of Rockhampton Premier League side Nerimbera.

CQ Football’s Rod Cousins said while developments are only in their infancy, they should have a plan of attack “within a month”.

“We’ve been getting feedback from all the clubs and just trying to find the best way of getting things done,” he said.

“It’s all very preliminary and until I get the structure, we’d just be speculating.

“If we manage the competition correctly then there is minimal fall-out for everyone.”

The final verdict of the CQ board cannot come soon enough for coach Salogni.

“I want CQ to know who we are,” he said.

“The giant is starting to rise and I want them to know that.”

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