Brisbane Roar Football Club has continued its commitment to providing opportunities for young footballers with the announcement of a new regional partnership with the Gareth Edds Soccer Academy in Townsville.
The Academy is run by former North Queensland Fury player Gareth Edds – a well-respected figure in the Townsville football community who played and then managed in the region after returning from a lengthy playing career in England.
After playing two seasons in the Hyundai A-League, Edds understands first-hand what it takes to transition into professional football.
Brisbane Roar are committed to providing greater opportunities for young players with the Club having now established relationships with a variety of stakeholders in Queensland football including church organisations, Brisbane & National Premier Leagues clubs, private providers and new franchises.
The partnership will see Edds based in North Queensland acting as a Regional Recruitment Officer, helping to identify talented up-and-coming players across the region.
The new relationship is the Club’s first with an independent provider, which will allow players from all North Queensland clubs to have access to the program.
"It's an amazing opportunity for myself and the kids of North Queensland to be given a professional pathway to Queensland's only Hyundai A-League club. I'm very excited to be working alongside like-minded professionals," Edds said.
"This new pathway will provide young players in Townsville and surrounding areas an opportunity to showcase their talents and also gain support from a club that utilises world class practitioners in youth development."
The Roar will support regional children between five and 16 years of age with the best players to be relocated to Brisbane to join the Academy when they are ready and of age.
BRFC Academy Director Drew Sherman is excited by the opportunity to construct a pathway to the Hyundai A-League for young footballers in North Queensland.
“We’re excited by the fact that we are able to establish another regional program exposing the talented young players in North Queensland to a tangible pathway into the Hyundai A-League,” Sherman said.
“This partnership will see us provide access to games programs for these regional boys and girls throughout the season and send our full-time Academy staff to Townsville throughout the year to support their coaching.”
The Club's long-term objective is to play a key role in the development of football across Queensland and the eight new Academy preparation centers will help to deliver this in the coming years.