2018 World Cup plans highlight need for junior player development pathways

ACT Democrats
Media Release 30 October 2007

2018 World Cup plans highlight need for junior player development pathways

“Canberra should have a top grade football (soccer) team in both men’s and women’s competitions”, says Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser, Darren Churchill.

Local ABC TV tonight announced Australia is likely to bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The ACT has more junior footballers than anywhere else in Australia. In football, as in other sports, we have to give our young players something to aspire to.

Democrat policy aims to promote junior sport and participation in sport at all ages. Canberra football is a prime example of the need for government support for player development pathways.

“We have a stadium that has hosted Olympic football, and World Cup Rugby, but we haven’t had a team in the national football competition since the Cosmos was axed from the old NSL competition in 2001.

Last week former Canberra Cosmos coach (current Matilda’s coach), Tom Sermanni was nominated as a likely Asia Coach of the Year, after the Matilda’s strong performance in the Women’s World Cup.

It was great when we had the Cosmos and the Eclipse (women’s team) in the national competitions. The Belconnen Blue Devils made the NSW Premier League finals almost every year they played in that competition. Canberra Deakin (now Canberra FC) won their final year in the National Youth League. We have lots of talent, but need a pathway to keep young football talent in Canberra and to give us representation in the national football competitions.

A start would be to be to get a team back in the NSW Premier League. Playing out of the McKellar Soccer Centre, and also get a Canberra team in a new national women’s competition, with a view to eventually putting in a successful A-League bid.

“Federal backing and funding to develop a pathway for top grade football participation would help get World Cup football in Canberra and assist young Canberrans to achieve excellence in the sport” Mr Churchill said.

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser


0412 196 473


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