Murwillumbah FC's short-term sacrifice for long-term gains
THE Murwillumbah Football Club's surprise decision to withdraw from the the Gold Coast's top-flight competition will benefit the club long-term.
That's the view of the club's outgoing president, Darren McKay, who believes the move is necessary to shore up the club's future.
A special meeting involving the club committee, life members and players held in September resolved that the club, which joined the Gold Coast Premier League eight years ago, would leave the competition.
"Essentially there were a number of reasons for the decision,” McKay told the Tweed Daily News.
"First and foremost, we identified there were a lack of junior players coming through that would fill positions in the senior squad and play at premier league level.
"Secondly, participating in Premier League provided financial burdens.
"Thirdly, the management team behind the squad were moving on, which happens, and we didn't quite have enough people to step up and fill those roles.”
It's for these reasons, as well as the retirements of veteran players who pioneered the club's foray into the Premier League eight years ago, that the club is setting itself up for a "rebuild”.
"The club will come back strong,” McKay said.
"It's time for a rebuild for our senior squad, which happens at every level of sport, and it happens to be the phase we are in right now.”
As for the shot-term future of the senior squad, Mt Warning FC will ultimately have to win promotion via the 'Coast League' if it is to return to upper echelon of Gold Coast football.
However there is currently no confirmation on whether the club will field a senior team at any level in 2019.
"I certainly hope that we have a Coast League senior men's squad going forward,” McKay said.
"But if we can't next year I don't see that as having a substantial impact on the club.”
Last week it was announced Tweed United would take Murwillumbah's place in the league, after Football Gold Coast declared Tweed had narrowly edged out Southport and Musgrave for the vacated position.
The promotion is an immediate reprieve for Tweed, after the club was relegated from top-flight football at the end of season 2018.
But the decision has stirred outcry from Southport in particular, with the club considering appealing the governing body's decision.
Southport president Gerry Glaser lambasted Football Gold Coast earlier this week after the club's board unanimously voted to appeal the verdict.
"This is ridiculous and we aren't letting it go,” Glaser said.
"We haven't appealed yet but we will do so and Football Gold Coast officials are going to cop it from our club on Thursday.”