Soccer club in no man's land
AS and where Uki District Soccer Club will play in 2011 remains a mystery, with coach Joe Scholl fearing he won't have the troops to man two decks.
Speaking from his club's first training session last night, Scholl said the failed bid for a Northern Zone competition has left his club in no-man's-land.
And, with the kick off to the Football Far North Coast season fast approaching and the March 1 nomination deadline less than a month away, he's worried for their future.
“I was still waiting for a phone call to establish how the Northern Zone concept was progressing. It's only because I read the Tweed Daily News yesterday that I know it isn't,” Scholl said.
“Fortunately, we haven't missed the FFNC first division boat altogether, but having said that, we mightn't have the stocks to play at that level anyway.
“It looks like we'll be playing fourth grade ... (we) may be more suited there.
“At least that way players may be inclined to stay. You see, the ironic thing is the teams in last year's fourth division were essentially the teams I proposed for the Northern Zone, just (at) a lower division, and that ultimately means less travel and more guys available.
“Mr Mackney says he's pencilled us in for first division and all I can say is I hope it's a blunt pencil because we had our first session tonight and player numbers have diminished a little.
“We're not chasing players away; we want them to come to Uki and they'll be looked after.
“If we get enough good quality players we'll enter into a division that we can be competitive in.
“But I'm not going to put the reserves through what they've experienced the last few years.”
Scholl is relying on the majority of last year's first division squad to remain at the club this season in order to have a solid nucleus from which to build upon.
However, he fears Uki and several other Tweed-based clubs may suffer for players.
Having witnessed the demise of senior men's soccer in neighbouring clubs Tumbulgum Rangers, Murwillumbah Saints and Banora Point, Scholl believes more needs to be done by the FFNC hierarchy to ensure the sustainability of clubs and, ultimately, the game in the region.
“The efforts throughout the entire Northern Zone proposal have not been good enough from the administration of FFNC,” Scholl said.
“Having spoken with other coaches and committee members it would appear the survey FFNC promised to establish interest was not delivered to several clubs.”