RETURNING TO FORM: Buccaneers player John Cullen during a match against the Capalaba Bulldogs in June last year. A development side will play in the Wide Bay Premier League this year.
RETURNING TO FORM: Buccaneers player John Cullen during a match against the Capalaba Bulldogs in June last year. A development side will play in the Wide Bay Premier League this year. Alistair Brightman

New development side puts Buccaneers back on track

FOOTBALL: AFTER a bumpy start to the year, there may be hopes for senior players in the Wide Bay Buccaneers

Football Queensland Wide Bay general manager Peter Guest announced the team will field a development side in the Wide Bay Premier League for 2019, following a meeting with clubs and players across the region on Tuesday.

It follows the team announcing last week an under-18, under-20 or open men's team would not be fielded this season.

The new development team will consist of several senior players who will help train and develop younger Buccaneers players.

Guest told the Chronicle the development team was "basically an under-20s side” that had played in higher levels of football.

"It's good news for us, it allows us to keep a core group together and build on that through 2019,” Guest said.

"With the agreement from FQ that we're able to have an under-18s in 2020, which is basically our under-16s that will come through, this gives us a core group for our under-20s in mens.”

Senior clubs struggled through last year's premier league, with the open men's team failing to win any matches and the U18s forfeiting several matches due to low player numbers.

But in their stead the junior sides soared, with the U13s finishing just outside of the top four in last year's competition.

Guest said the club was also looking at making several changes across the board to ensure players were looked after during and after their games.

"With Bill Mitchell coming on board as our technical director, he brings a wealth of knowledge in that area,” Guest said.

"We're looking to bring in someone to help us with our player performance model, so someone that will work on strength and conditioning, health, mental health, a whole package we're looking at.

"It helps to show the players we're trying to be as professional as we can.”