ON TARGET: Sunshine Coast Fire players celebrate during their 6-0 drubbing of Brisbane City in an NPL Queensland clash earlier this season at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
ON TARGET: Sunshine Coast Fire players celebrate during their 6-0 drubbing of Brisbane City in an NPL Queensland clash earlier this season at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Brett Wortman

Sunshine Coast Fire aiming to make A-League

SUNSHINE Coast Fire technical director Melvyn Wilkes says the club is in such good shape it could essentially enter the A-League if invited.

"If it happened tomorrow, we would be pretty much ready to go," he said.

"If an A-League expansion happened and they wanted a team from Queensland, you'd give Sunshine Coast FC a really good look because the infrastructure is there, the facilities are there and the financial backing is there.

"It has also been in a stable position since it entered the (former) Queensland State League (in 2008)."

There would be the matter of building a stadium or increasing capacity at the 1100-seat Sunshine Coast Stadium, but Wilkes said "if the A-League was on the horizon then I'm sure with the backing we've got, people would come and help to make that happen".

The club's primary supporters are chairman Noel Woodall and his contacts.

"The owners are working tirelessly behind the scenes... the club is set up in such a way that it is ready if that eventuality (an A-League offer) ever happens," Wilkes said.

The club also has a winning culture. At state league level it boasts four championships and three premierships.

This season the Fire's senior team is third on the National Premier Leagues Queensland ladder and the club has one of the most successful junior bases in the state.

Wilkes, who has had roles with Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, said the Fire's facilities were already as good as those of any club in the UK's Football League.

"I know the Brisbane Strikers had something in the media about them being ready for an A-League licence, which is great, but I can confidently talk about where we are and where we're heading," he said.

The Fire also has a focus on its women's and girls' teams - an essential factor, Wilkes says, if the chance arises to join the W-League.

In the long term, there is some hope the club will also be financially self-sufficient.

The Fire, which has won four in a row, takes on Brisbane Roar's youth side today.

"I think we were written off (by pundits) at the start of the season, but from day one we (Wilkes and coach Paul Arnison) got the group of players we thought could do the job on the pitch for one another and for the club," Wilkes said.

SUNSHINE Coast Fire technical director Melvyn Wilkes says the club is in such good shape it could essentially enter the A-League if invited.

ROAR YOUTH v SUNSHINE COAST

Today, Bowen Hills, 3.30pm



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