LIVERPOOL native Ray Wood has seen one of world football's great club rivalries.

That's why the CQFC Energy coach would love to see Central Queensland have its own derby.

Wood, who hails from the northern England city, was enthusiastic about the Gladstone-based Central Queensland Mariners FC plans to push for a National Premier League berth in 2015.

He was hoping it would develop into a healthy rivalry, similar to the one Liverpool and Everton share in the English Premier League. "It's something very much that excites me, especially being from Liverpool," Wood said.

"It's not as close as Liverpool and Everton, but it'd be nice to have a derby. I was really excited when we got the news a few weeks ago that there was a possibility of Gladstone getting a licence.

"I think it will enable the local communities and the fans to really build up that rivalry and get behind football."

Former CQFC Energy coach Joe Fenech will head up the Mariners development program, based in the harbour city. Wood took over the reins at CQFC after Fenech left midway through the 2013 NPL season and finished the season with mixed results.

He said having an NPL side close by would help improve the standard of football in the region.

"It will help both areas out because one of the biggest problems that I've got during pre-season is getting quality opposition and quality pre-season games," he said.

"If we've only got Gladstone an hour and a half down the road then we've always got the opportunity to have a good training game against them and prepare ourselves better for the NPL season ahead."

Fenech said the establishment of the Gladstone-based NPL side, which planned to enter teams in the CQ Premier League next season, would help lift the level of the sport in the region.

"All football people need to ensure that the growth of our game in CQ is paramount and that together we work to provide opportunity for players and coaches, regardless of where in the region they come from," he said. "It is exciting times for football in the region as financially sound clubs make the game more and more affordable to play."



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