ROARSOME: Buccs face A-League club to mark major milestone
FOOTBALL: It was touted the most significant deal in Wide Bay's football history, a deal that would provide our young up-and-coming players with the chance to play against and learn from the Brisbane Roar.
The first major milestone of that deal, spruiked in August as the first co-operative agreement between three-time A-League champions Brisbane Roar and a community football club, was reached at the weekend when Wide Bay Buccaneers took on the Roar's youth sides in a series of friendly games.
As with most friendlies the results don't matter - for the record, the Roar reigned - but the opportunity for players to take on those at the state's best club has equipped our underage Football Queensland Premier League sides with the knowledge they need to develop into not only a FQPL force, but into better players.
Buccaneers president Stuart Taylor described the series as an incredible experience for the players, and revealed the clubs have agreed to another friendly in 2019.
"They're going to Brisbane and they're not only being exposed to higher quality football, but they're being observed by high-quality coaches with the intention of finding out if they are good enough to progress further in their football," Taylor said. "It's not a case of them watching them once, these coaches will be watching our players continually over the season and again when we play in another friendly.
"From my perspective, it's very exciting to turn up and be inspired by the type of football they play which is a fresh and vibrant sort of football, facing forward and running. It was a great experience with some really good lessons."
The benefits are not just limited to on-field play, as new Buccaneers players and squads learned their first lesson in preparation for away games.
Wide Bay players will travel to Brisbane for games every fortnight, and while they struggled to adjust at the start of their inaugural FQPL campaign this year Taylor said the club was far advanced in its preparation this time.
"The new squads have now travelled to Brisbane on the bus for the first time, they know what it takes and that process," Taylor said.
"We were able to work on all of those things and make a few mistakes, so when it comes time to actually play football in the FQPL we will be really ready for it. I'm more than happy with what we achieved this week and I'm very comfortable with the relationship we have with the Roar."