CHANGE is in the air at Emerald Football Club as the club prepares to under-go a massive restructure.
Gone are the days when the small town soccer team drank more beer than played minutes of football, skipped training sessions in favour of less rigorous evening schedules and boosted their emphasis as a social club, built by the players for the players.
The social aspect will remain, although perhaps a touch subdued, but the players’ attitudes to football will be revamped like nothing anyone in the club’s existence could recall.
They want to be the best - nothing more, nothing less. They have set a platform and new framework to tie their new dreams to.
The challenge was set by some of the club’s senior ranks in a typical informal club gathering late last week. The topics of issue, however, were far from informal and those calling the shots were deadly serious.
There was a common plea for a commitment from all playing members to join with them in their pursuit for a bigger and brighter future in Central Queensland football.
The first steps have already been taken with Emerald soccer officially joining forces with state and national football bodies. The club will no longer be split down the centre by the senior and junior clubs, but instead one collective and cohesive unit united in one common cause - to be one of the best around.
Senior players have been notified that commitments to club do not end at the final whistle, with junior ranks needing just as much support in their games.
Success, many can see, will not be achieved overnight, but rather over the course of the next 12-24 months and just how far that success may lead is as yet indeterminable with developments still in their infancy.
The club’s new senior coach John Salogni has seeded the dream for players to believe, himself resolutely sure the current make-up of the Emerald squad has all the characteristics to succeed.
“It is history in the making and you’re part of it,” John voiced to his players at the club meeting.
In the meantime, it’s not quite business as usual in the senior ranks with some alternative training methods breathing new life into the usual up and back fitness program.
Players donned resistance parachutes at Emerald’s Morton Park late last month, demonstrating how training can be tweaked to maintain interest while still achieving fitness goals.
While Emerald’s training may be right on track, it is the direction of neighbouring clubs that has coach John worried. Emerald’s recent amalgamation with the football federation has ruled them out of official competition with the majority of the surrounding Central Highlands clubs.
“We don’t want the competition to die,” coach John said.
“We can play Blackwater, but then they don’t always have the numbers… it makes it hard.
“We are struggling for a season.”
There is some light on the horizon, however, with unofficial word Emerald will host a big name club in the coming months.
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