FOR the cost of less than a cup of coffee, CQFC Energy coach Ray Wood wants to unearth the region's next generation of football stars.

While football superstars are filling their pockets throughout the world, closer to home Wood believes parents of players are struggling to handle the rising costs of junior sport.

"One of my major areas of concern with football when I arrived in CQ is that it is seen as a sport only for families who can afford to pay the fees," he said.

"It's a rich man's sport and this is something that is not only for me but everyone involved at CQFC gets very frustrated with.

"We believe every child in CQ should be given an opportunity to experience and play football without any financial burdens stopping them from participating."

Wood and his brains trust sat down and devised a plan to ensure the Energy, and football in general, didn't miss out on the next Harry Kewell or Tim Cahill.

CQFC has setup a mini academy, with two training sessions per week for children aged 5-11-years-old, scheduled to start on October 28.

Costing $40 per child for about 80 sessions per year, Wood said the children would learn by playing fun football-related games, with advanced skills brought in later in the program.

The concept is set to be run alongside the current Central Queensland Junior Football season, with players still able to train with their club sides.

"If players are currently registered to local clubs they will stay registered with their clubs and will just join us two times per week for some more elite based training to complement the great work the clubs are already completing," he said.

"We are currently working with all local clubs around CQ to ensure we all work to an agreed roster for 2014.

"It's important that children have the opportunity to attend both their club training and also the CQFC elite based training."

Wood said the mini-academy was for non-footballers as well, with the program aimed at increasing participation in football in Central Queensland.

"What CQFC are working towards is to enable everyone with an opportunity to join us and play," he said.

"Hopefully we will be able to increase player participation.

"This is one area that has been an issue in the past in regards to participation numbers and we at CQFC are hoping to raise these by sending more players to the local teams.

Contact CQFC Energy for more information about getting involved by email at office@cqfc.com.au.



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