Filippo Mele carnival has been scoring goals for decades Ready for kick- off
MORE than 450 of North Queensland’s most promising young football players will today kick off the annual Filippo Mele Memorial Carnival.
Brolga Park will play host to the five- day junior football tournament featuring teams from regions including North Queensland, Cairns, Johnstone River, Mackay and the Burdekin.
Named after local football stalwart Filippo Mele, who passed away in 2014, the carnival is now in its 33rd year and has grown into one of Australia’s largest junior football competitions.
This year’s carnival will feature boys age groups from under- 9s through to under- 13/ 14s, and also a girls competition in under- 9 and under- 10/ 11 age groups.
North Queensland Foot- ball development officer Craig Perfect said all systems were in place for an action packed carnival.
“There’s definitely going to be a carnival atmosphere out here, it’s always a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a stepping stone for a lot of young players and for many it’s their first experience of playing in representative teams, so it means a lot to them.
“I think what’s exciting is the fact they meet different players from other regions, play against different styles of football and make friends along the way.”
The Townsville Multicultural Support Group will hold a four- team competition in conjunction with the Filippo Mele carnival, and a Politicians v Local Sports Stars game featuring Cowboys legend Matty Bowen is also part of the program.
Perfect said the annual junior showpiece was growing stronger each year.
“Filippo was huge supporter of football in Townsville and he had a big passion new for the game,” he said. “He loved watching the kids play the game he loved, and we’re so proud to see the carnival come all this way.
“It gives young players from all regions a starting point and an opportunity to get themselves noticed as well. Who knows how far some of them might go with their football.”
First games kick off today at Brolga Park, Murray Sports Complex, and run every day until final matches on Wednesday.