Football Queensland (FQ) has been working closely with Football Queensland Wide Bay over the last month regarding Wide Bay Buccaneers’ Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) licence.
As a new regional club, the introduction of seven teams into the FQPL competition has proved challenging.
As a result, the Buccaneers will now only field teams in age groups U13 to U16, with no U18, U20 or Open Men’s teams.
FQ and FQ Wide Bay have agreed to allow the Buccaneers to field an U18 team only in 2020, with the intention of U20 and Senior Men’s programs returning to the FQPL in 2021.
The club will continue a local program in senior age groups to bridge the gap in the coming seasons.
FQ CEO Richard Griffiths said it was imperative that a pragmatic approach is taken to every regional centre in Queensland.
“The Wide Bay Buccaneers’ junior program has been hugely successful, and we want to continue supporting the development of youth in the Wide Bay region because these players are likely to move into the senior program in the coming years,” Griffiths said.
FQ Wide Bay President Stuart Taylor said it was a difficult decision to withdraw the teams, however this decision was made in the best interests of the club’s long-term development and sustainability.
“We are confident the program and culture we have created in the youth space will flourish into a strong senior program in the long term,” Taylor said.
The FQPL Open Men’s, U18 and U20 competitions will be restructured to accommodate the remaining ten teams, with 18 fixtures.