Tweed keeping all its options open
By TANIA PHILLIPS
TWEED Heads Soccer Club has decided to play in the Gold Coast First Division play-offs next weekend, but is still keeping its options open for the future.
The club has also received an offer from Football Far North Coast, the new Tweed/Lismore-based association, to play in its first division competition, which could lead the club to a Premier League spot next year.
That offer, made by the FFNC CEO Matt Kelso to president Peter Hendry yesterday, is expected to be discussed at the club's board meeting this week.
The playing future of Tweed's senior side has been in limbo this week after a decision by Gold Coast Soccer not to automatically allow the Kangaroos to return to the first division ranks.
The Kangaroos pulled out of the first division competition due to lack of numbers last year, but had always made it clear they intended to return for this season. Despite being a rebuilding year, the young side had an outstanding year in the Tweed District competition, winning several mid-season competitions and finishing runner-up in the final.
However Gold Coast Soccer has recently voted to restructure its first division competition from 12 down to just 10 teams. Nine clubs from last year have gone into the draw automatically, with four other sides, including Tweed, being placed in a three-match play-off series at Merrimac starting next Sunday, February 26.
Although not pleased with the situation, Hendry said after meeting with the club's playing group on Thursday, they had decided to pursue the play-off option.
The club's main worry is that if they do lose the play-off and are forced to play in second division there is no provision to be promoted to the first division.
"But we have received assurances from Gold Coast Soccer chairman Peter Gray that he would take a proposal to introduce second division promotion to the board," he said.
"I believe the board meet next Wednesday."
Meanwhile, he said, the Kangaroos would consider the offer from Kelso and Football Far North Coast.
"We could immediately fit Tweed Heads into our first division," Kelso said.
The club's second team will already play in the new Tweed-based FFNC Northern Districts competition which replaces the former Tweed District competition.
"We have given the firsts the choice to play in the zone-wide first division competition which carries automatic promotion to the Tursa Premier League competition for the winner," he said.
"It has a better standard than what they can get in the Northern Districts League. "Four of the teams in that competition have played in our premier league in recent years."