NPL campaign not over
LIFE will go on for women’s football in North Queensland, even though a few speed bumps have got in the way.
The North Queensland Fury will eagerly await the results of discussions between Football Queensland and NPL teams during a round of meetings in Brisbane this weekend, which Fury officials hope will provide a clearer picture of where women’s football in the North is heading.
The Fury’s hopes of giving local female players a better pathway to greater opportunit- ies hit a roadblock earlier this month when its bid for a female NPL licence, and acceptance into the statewide under17, and under- 15 and under- 13 leagues, was rejected by Football Queensland.
The explanation given by Football Queensland was its desire to preserve the longterm stability of the current female NPL league and maintain the integrity of regional local competitions, an explanation which did not go down well at the Fury.
“We made just as strong a bid with our female NPL licence as we did with our successful men’s NPL bid, 100 per cent,” Fury directory Glenn Mintern said.
“We’re obviously very disappointed not to get a female NPL licence.
“The best outcome would be for all girls in the North Queensland region to gain skills and for the cream of the crop to play NPL out of Townsville.
“Football is the world game and North Queensland deserves to be a part of it.
“We’ve got blokes who have gone on to play NPL, and there’s no reason why our girls and boys can’t also dream of representing Australia in football.”
North Queensland has performed strongly at state and national junior carnivals in both girls and boys, and just recently the Northern girls under- 15 team were crowned state champions at the 2017 Queensland Schools Football Championships.
Ingham’s Ashley Spina played W- League with the Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets, and Townsville junior India Kubin last year played for the Mini Matildas in their Asian Football Cup under- 16 Championship qualifiers.
Mintern believes they are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to North Queensland’s female football talent.
“We’ve had our regional teams play exceptionally well for some time now,” he said.
“The talent is without doubt definitely here.
“My understanding is that Football Queensland wants to make progress with our region as soon as possible, and we need to act now.”
North Queensland Football joined forces with the Fury earlier this year, with the Fury placing pressure on Football Queensland to give them a place in the female NPL.
One Fury player even penned a passionate letter to a the governing body asking where the future of North Queensland female footballers lay, and Mintern hopes that voice is not lost on powerbrokers when talks begin in Brisbane today.
“We’ve had it made quite clear to us that one of the topics on discussion is how to provide opportunities to players in regions who have no NPL licence,” he said.
“We still hope to have a female North Queensland Fury NPL team, and we’re very much committed to putting that pathway in place for our female players.
“From five years of age we want our football players to have opportunities and pathways so that they can go on to great things.”