World game arrives
Soccer fever, and about 600 players, take over Laidley
SOCCER: Laidley became soccer central at the weekend as close to 600 children took over the recreation fields.
Laidley Soccer Club’s 2019 carnival attracted 19 clubs from across southeast Queensland, with 62 teams going head to head on Sunday.
President Michael Blackwood said the day had been a huge success for the club.
“There were a few speed bumps at the start but other than that we got over it and all the volunteers got into it and I think it went pretty well,” Blackwood said.
“Response from all clubs has been absolutely fantastic and we pulled it off pretty well.”
Games were played through out the day, with 15-minute halves making for fast-paced football, and a lot of fun for the players.
The Lockyer Valley was well represented, with Gatton Redbacks and Laidley both competing with multiple teams.
Other clubs came from as far as Kingaroy, Warwick and Albany Creek to take part in the day.
Blackwood said the melting pot of teams meant players would be exposed to new skills and tactics, and it would be a benefit for them.
“To bring in pretty much all of southeast Queensland for the Toowoomba teams to play — you can’t put a price on that. It’s just unreal,” he said.
“Toowoomba is great, it’s got this skill level that it’s at, but then Brisbane and Ipswich and Logan bring another level up again.
“While the kids might get a little bit downhearted that they might not win, what they come out of it with at the end (is important) — to see what else they can be doing, and for the coaches too, they can see different things they can pick up on.”
With an army of players, coaches and supporters to feed and organise, Blackwood said the day wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated support from the club’s committee and volunteers.
“It definitely took tons of work from all the committee, and a big person behind the scenes was Pam Wardle,” he said.
“All the committee, all the teams, volunteers, the men’s team and visiting coaches and managers contributed too.”
It wasn’t just the players picking up new skills on the day, with six young referees using the carnival to complete their Level 4 requirements as junior referees.
Blackwood said the carnival was an important event for the local club.
“We’re not the biggest club but to have that once a year — where it seems to be the soccer world converges here — it’s just unreal,” he said.
“I’m hoping to town benefited from it — that was a big push towards the end when we realised the numbers.”
While Sunday’s carnival may have only just wrapped up, Blackwood is already thinking about next year’s and he isn’t ruling out going even bigger.
“There are always plans to go bigger,” he said.
“If we can make it bigger and keep these outside towns coming in — can’t say no.”
LINING UP A SHOT: Laidley Soccer Club hosted its annual carnival on Sunday, with close to 600 players taking to the fields.