More than 1200 children from all over Tasmania participated in the McDonald’s Hobart Carnival on the weekend.
“We take pride in the number of junior players and this is an opportunity for them to show their skills and, most importantly, have fun throughout the day,” said John Boulous, the CEO of Football Federation Tasmania.
Boulous said there were three such carnivals held each year.
Photo: Action from a girls’ match at Wentworth Park [PlessPix]
“The Launceston Cup is in a couple of weeks’ time and it’s an opportunity to have our best players from Hobart playing against the best players in Launceston playing against the best players from the North-West Coast,” said Boulous.
“It brings the State together, united in football and, certainly, united in participation and enjoyment.
“It’s a reward for the season. We’ve picked teams early in the year. Our development squads and each junior association looks after them.
“With the support of McDonald’s now, we have a junior association carnival and we’re now able to identify players who can perhaps enter State teams further on in their careers, but also represent their region in the future.
“We see that as a perfect opportunity to complement their club football.
“We have under-13 and under-14 State teams and the opportunities are there for children all around the State to go to the next level.
“They can further their careers through the talented football player pathway and also through the community pathway through their clubs.”
Boulous said the signing of Jeremy Walker on an A-League Youth contract by Melbourne Heart showed what was possible.
“I’d envisage there’d be plenty more out of, not only today, moving through the State system, but also moving into the Hyundai A-League youth set-up,” Boulous said.
“I’d see [Tasmania] as an untapped source at the moment.”
Boulous said that the coming A-League match in Launceston between Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar would give scouts an opportunity to have a look at Tasmanian players as the curtain-raiser and final fixture of the day would be between Tasmanian teams.
In regard to the proposed re-establishment of a Tasmanian State League, Boulous said a business case was about to be presented to the FFT Board and that constant consultations were being conducted with member clubs.
“We have the clubs’ support to continue to explore the model,” said Boulous. “We’re going to present a business case to our Board which enable us to see what the next steps are and what the financial implications are for clubs.
“We certainly remain very hopeful that we’ll have a State League, playing the best against the best, in 2013 in Tasmania.
“Once this business case is affirmed, we’ll know the amount we need to go to the market with and we’ll certainly be looking to launch a new marketing plan and a new strategy of how we do football to entice people to come into the game and enter into the largest participation sport.”
Report by Walter Pless
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