By Ron Lane
It is Thursday afternoon and at Girraween Sports Complex the training sessions for the Noosa Lions Soccer Club are well under way. “For our normal Thursday training sessions which start at 3pm for our u/8s, through to a starting time of 7pm for our Premier Mens squad, we have some 23 teams going through their paces,” said Head Coach and Technical Director of Coaching Kevin A’Herne.
With such a large club and so many games being played (both mid-week and weekends) it is obvious that the Lions are working to a well thought out program. “At present we are working and playing with a 5year strategic plan in place and allowing for growth, in both facilities and members, we by 2023, should have close to 1000 players. This plan also includes a heavy program for coaches and correct involvement for further development.”
As part of their planning for the future in December this year, they will be taking 30 players on a trip to England and Spain for a period of two weeks; with visits to such famous clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid. This will be followed in 2020 by a team of some 25 girls who will visit America where they will play against college teams; and do the tourist bit with a visit to the likes of Disneyland and Universal Studios. This will take place during the September school holidays.
“One thing that comes as a surprise to a lot of people,” said the coach, “is the fact that in the USA the number of females playing the game is really outstanding; and here in Australia it is estimated that some 4000 are now becoming involved in the game.”On Thursday evening of last week a promotion of the girl’s game was held at the Complex under the supervision of a Football Queensland representative.
However as a result of the expansion of the game the facilities at Girraween are no longer adequate.It is hoped that following discussions with council land for another two fields will become available.
Head coach Kevin A’Hearn who hails from Wales, comes from a solid soccer background having played for Leeds United and Cardiff City and also represented Wales in both u/18 and u/21.
This Saturday June 22 at 6pm the club will play host to a game between the Noosa Premier Men and Woombye starting at 6pm. At half time a ceremony celebrating the “Old Pride of Noosa Lions,” will be held and after the game a celebration of all things historical will be enjoyed.
On Saturday at Pirates Park the pirates’ rugby league club took to the field against their arch rival Nambour. Playing in three divisions, the Open Women’s, Reserve Grade and A grade the Pirates made it a clean sweep; the ladies winning 28-26, the reserves, 36 -0 and the A’s 16-12.Ladies captain and prop forward Brittany Holding said, “The game was very physical with the score changing back and forth but we came home right on the bell.” For the reserves it was one sided but for the A’s it was tougher. Scoring a try in the opening minutes Pirates looked good but Nambour hit back with two tries to lead 12-4 at half time.
However Pirates rallied to finish the game with a 16-12 win, scoring twice in the last seven minutes. Coach Brett Winkler said, “This puts us fourth on the ladder with six wins; they (the team) are starting to learn it is a matter of process and numbers. The whole atmosphere is starting to change.” Bouncing back under the new coach and after a tough time last season, we wish our local Pirates the very best.