2008 import Emmaus Wartino bumps a Noosa opponent.
2008 import Emmaus Wartino bumps a Noosa opponent.

Blues invite international players

A LITTLE international soul is set to be introduced to this year’s Coolangatta Blues line-up.

The Pineapple Hotel Cup and Summerland League combatants are celebrating their 50th birthday and have extended an open party invitation to eligible overseas players to join their ranks.

With the prestigious International Cup to be played in August, Blues president Scott Reid believes the upcoming season would be the ideal way for foreign footballers to hone their skills.

“We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2011 and we would like players from all round the world to celebrate with us,” Reid said.

“Coolangatta is the best place in Australia to play footy and experience the Australian beach culture.

“Many guys are expected to come to Australia for the Cup, but I thought why not give them a greater experience by playing footy on Australia’s famous Gold Coast?”

One of the key men behind the re-birth of Aussie Rules in Papua New Guinea during the past decade, Reid’s knowledge of international Australian football is both deep and realistic.

“We have three senior teams playing in AFL Queensland competitions so there is a good range of football available,” Reid said.

“Players from around the world will be planning their preparation and tour for the Cup and we want them to spend part of, or better still, the whole season with us.

“The week-after-week high-standard training and playing has worked wonders for past players, like the Nauruans (a contingent of players from the island of Nauru) in 2008.”

A lawyer with Minter Ellison, Reid said the club can even offer a little visa advice.

“Obviously all countries’ visa conditions to enter Australia differ but we can give some advice if required,” Reid said.

“Also, while we expect players to meet their own travel costs, should their visas allow we can help to find cheap accommodation, food and casual work.”

The local Aussie Rules season runs from March through September.

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