Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci addresses the Wide Bay Buccaneers parents, coaches and children.
Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci addresses the Wide Bay Buccaneers parents, coaches and children.

Football Queensland explains why Wide Bay licence is gone

FOOTBALL: Football Queensland insists its new pathway for juniors is the right one despite angst and staunch defence from parents and children of the Wide Bay Buccaneers.

The peak body met with the Buccaneers parents and children on Saturday at The Waves Sports Club to discuss the new pathway - the talent support program - and explain why the licence for Wide Bay had been withdrawn last week.

The talent support program is aimed at giving players games against more quality opponents and a better chance for them to be picked for state honours and push towards playing one day for the Socceroos or Matildas.

It is also aimed at reducing other factors hurting development of children in the game.

The meeting went for two and a half hours and was meant to provide an opportunity for Football Queensland to explain the decision and deliver a presentation about the TSP.

But it soon turned into a question and answer session with parents, coaches and children asking everything to Football Queensland about it all.

At times it got heated, at times there was civil discussion and at times the same questions got asked not once, not twice but more than three times.

This article will cover the meeting with the full explanation of the TSP coming in tomorrow's paper.

Here, in list form, is what was revealed at the meeting.

*Football Queensland revealed everyone failed when it came to the Buccaneers, this included FQ, Football Queensland Wide Bay and the Buccaneers.

*There was poor communication between all boards.

*The Buccaneers' failure to field senior teams in three seasons, including this year, and failure to field girls' teams, not girls in teams, also counted towards the licence closure.

*Qualifications had not been met by the Buccaneers in multiple areas including coaches having the right licences, no youth development plan, no organisational structure at FQWB.

*Long distance travelling, despite no Buccaneers parents and children being worried about it at the meeting, was found to have severe impacts on children in terms of anxiety and other factors, which also related to studies.

Football Queensland revealed the findings in a presentation and it wasn't just aimed at Buccaneers but other teams that needed to travel.

*The Wide Bay Buccaneers can survive as a club and an entity but the licence and Wide Bay playing in either the Football Queensland Premier League or Nationals Premier League will end at 2020.

*The talent support program will start in 2020 with Buccaneers players eligible but likely to join in 2021 given their commitments to the NPL this season. Players from other Wide Bay clubs will be able to start this year.

*The licence is officially gone, nothing will bring it back with the TSP to replace the NPL and FQPL competitions the Buccaneers play in.

*The NPL and FQPL model might be ending at the end of the year, which would leave the Buccaneers' future in doubt in the competition anyway.

*The decision was made a week ago, not in October, not in December. It was a process that went on for six months to decide the future of the licence.

Football Queensland said it was disappointing the whole situation had unfolded but the Buccaneers model was not working.

"The decision for the board to cease the licence in 2021 was built around six, seven, eight factors," FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

"Then there are all of the elements of the licence conditions which were not met."

Football Queensland revealed it could have done better to support the Buccaneers when the licence started back in 2017.

Football Queensland Wide Bay were handed the licence after The Waves Football Club pulled out at the last minute, which left the association with a lot of work to do.

It received some concessions from Football Queensland but ultimately it didn't turn the situation around with seniors failing to field for the past two years and no girls teams entered at all, which led to last week's decision to end the licence.

"I don't know the answer to that, I've only been in the role six months," Cavallucci said when asked if Football Queensland should have done better in the first 12 months.

"It's not a question I can give a definitive answer to.

"But I do know this, we did provide all the resources and the funding for the TD (technical director), which was supposed to be for the zone and the Buccaneers.

"If we are providing the funding for the two key roles that are supposed to manage the Buccaneers, I'm not quite sure how much more we can do.

"Whether they were delivered on the ground, we all accepted responsibility today (Saturday) that may not have been the case.

"That's the Buccs' responsibility, the zone's responsibility and its Football Queensland's responsibility.

"But we are taking responsibility today (Saturday), a decision was made and now we are stepping into a great role in the zone, taking it by the hand and making sure that we do deliver for its future."

Football Queensland said with its new program more new funding would be available for the program, the TSP.

Pick up tomorrow's NewsMail for a full explanation of the program and why Football Queensland believes it is a better pathway.