A chance to make dreams come true
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE winds of change are sweeping through North Coast Football with the expanded zone set to take effect next season but now the game can become even greater at a local level.
That is the general consensus among the local football fraternity in the wake of the Socceroos qualification for the World Cup in Germany next year.
The newly appointed Operations Manager for North Coast Football Gary Phillips says that the Socceroos qualifying provides football in the area with a tremendous opportunity.
"The $8 million that the FFA gets for qualifying aside, this is really a chance to capitalise and open doors for the game in the area," he said.
"How we capitalise on it is the difficult part but we have an opportunity now to get more sponsors and raise the profile of the game.
While Phillips is ecstatic that the Socceroos have qualified and is still coming down from the adrenaline high that the victory created, he knows that it also adds a bit more pressure to himself and his new role.
"It's up to me now to employ the right strategies that ensure we capitalise on this," he added.
"We have to work hard to maintain the great opportunity that we have.
"Really we've got until June to get it right because after the World Cup is finished, we've got four years to wait for the next chance.
"Ultimately, we all hope that this provides the inspiration for young kids to make their dreams come true and play professionally and become a member of the Socceroo team."
Veteran referee and football fanatic Jim George couldn't hide his glee at the result and agrees with the affect it will have on juniors around the nation.
"It's the greatest thing to happen to Australian football," he boasted with pride.
"I was saying to a friend after the game that all the kids will want to be wearing Australian shirts now with Kewell or Bresciano on them."