Calling on Bundaberg's best
ARE you a talented young footballer with aspirations to make it big?
Do you want to represent Bundaberg in Queensland’s best competition?
Well, Richard Mitchell wants to see you at Martens Oval at 6.30pm this evening.
Tonight is the night talented footballers from across the region have the opportunity to impress Bundaberg Spirit selectors at an open trial at Martens Oval.
Each Wednesday night for the next month, Mitchell and other Spirit officials will oversee some of Bundaberg’s top football prospects vying for a spot in the Bundaberg Spirit and new Bundaberg Spirit Under-19s sides.
“We want players who want to play for us and we want players with a good attitude,” Mitchell said yesterday.
“We want young players who want to go on to the next level, who want to go on to Q-League or A-League or even Australia.”
The session will be a training run for current Spirit members, an opportunity for prospective players to show coaches what they are made of and a chance for Spirit coaches to see what players are at their disposal.
After a winless season last season, Mitchell admitted the squad needed to be revamped to compete in the Queensland State League competition.
“We need to get some of those experienced players who weren’t there last year to come back because we need those players so we can be successful,” he said.
“That’s taking nothing away from the young lads who stepped up and played tough, but we have to play smart too.”
The main purpose of the session will be to uncover talent for the new Spirit Under-19s side, which Mitchell hoped would compete in the state league competition next season.
Another aim is to boost the spirits of the club and supporters after two lacklustre seasons.
“We want to be respected and, in a few years, we want to be feared,” Mitchell said.
“We want Martens Oval to be a place where teams come knowing they are in for a tough game of football.
“And we want to play a brand of football that is attractive, that will draw a crowd on a Saturday night.”
Attracting a crowd could be helped by winning matches.
Despite a pedestrian two years in the QSL competition, Bundaberg crowds have consistently been among the best in Queensland.
But Mitchell knows even the Spirit faithful would begin to lose interest if the team cannot start performing.
“If we can train and play the Bundy way we will have a tough team,” Mitchell said.
“I’m excited about next year and hopefully we can get a good turnout (tonight).”
Spirit veterans Brett Kitching, Laurie Stephenson, Aaron Bakker and Matt Doolan will be at Martens Oval.
Even Sunshine Coast defector Andy Wood will return to his home ground for the event.