Time running out on Miners
WHILE the Cougars feel comfortable about the 2011 Hyundai QSL season, it appears the news is not so bright from our northern neighbours.
The Whitsunday Miners had indicated they were struggling getting together the money required for a season of state league football but were expecting support from Football Queensland.
Unfortunately, that has not happened and the club has called for a major sponsor to come forward quickly, otherwise the club could be in danger of folding.
Football Queensland has made no secret of its wish to have the state fully represented in the Hyundai QSL competition.
However, what lengths it can go to to keep a Mackay-based team involved is not known.
Such concerns will not prevent the Cougars from continuing their preparation for the new season.
The squad has been together for a couple of weeks, beginning its build-up with light training.
Cougars chief executive Bevan Dingley said head coach Washington Gonzales was reasonably happy with the way things were shaping.
“He is not giving much away but he is very happy with the young blokes,” Dingley said.
Gonzales is in Sydney, where he is taking another coaching certificate, which will place him among the most qualified coaches in Australia.
The first major test for the new Cougars squad will come during the weekend of December 11-12, when Gonzales plans to get the players from Gladstone and Rockhampton together for a session.
Dingley said preparation for the new season should begin to build up from Monday, when he and his counterparts from Hyundai QSL clubs will be at Brisbane for a pre-season meeting.
Football Queensland has delayed giving the 2011 fixtures to clubs but has said they will be released at the weekend.
The fixtures were to be distributed in September but Football Queensland decided to delay the release until entry of two new teams to the competition was confirmed.
While there are all sorts of things to arrange before the start of the 2011 season, the one positive decision that has been made is to move the Cougars operation back to Jardine Park.
Last season the Cougars played all home games at Ryan Park but Dingley said it was decided to return to the Southside United base for the coming program.
“We are definitely playing there but we are still sorting out some business arrangements with the Southside club,” he said.