Football Queensland 2020 Senior Team of the Year award winners Stanthorpe United Redbacks is celebrating the return of competitive football on the Granite Belt with a “Festival of Football” to be held at the Stanthorpe International Club Football grounds on Saturday 6th March 2021.
Due to COVID19, the local competition was cancelled in 2020, but United nominated a team in the Toowoomba Football Leagues – Premier Mens Division, on the basis that all games would be played away from home – despite the travel commitment the team made it to Grand Final, losing on penalties. So United’s fixture against West Wanderers on the 6th March will be the first competitive game played locally since the Grand Final in September 2019.
Former Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey will be a special guest on the day.
Both SWQ Thunder and Caboolture FC will support their regional cousins in promoting the code on the Granite Belt when their under 23 and FQPL1/FQPL2 squads square up in two preseason games as curtains raisers to Stanthorpe United’s the first game in the 2021 Toowoomba Premier League competition.
“Terry Kirkham and Peter Dutton (Caboolture) and Jason Hall (Thunder) and Janelle Sothmann (TFL) has been fantastic in supporting these games” Redbacks Director of Coaching Steve McEvoy said “Terry phoned me late last year to see if Caboolture could travel down and help support local football, he had been here before with Morten Bay Jets a few seasons back and they really enjoyed it. This time it is a little bit different as the whole region has suffered with the continual drought, Covid19 plus with no back packers working in the district (usually 10,000 work here over 6 months) it has been a tough couple of years”.
But Stanthorpe United continue to push through the hurdles put in front of them to keep the game alive locally “We understand what sport brings to regional towns, it is an important social fabric that gives communities an opportunity to forget their woes as they cheer on their local boys, especially in a tougher regional competition like the TFL” McEvoy said
“The financial cost to the club was very high last year, especially with all games being played away – no canteen, no income at all – but with the support of local businesses we subsidised player and bus costs, but this year, different costs have come up with repairs to showers quoted at over $4000- (they have not been used in years), but United is determined to ensure Stanthorpe provides facilities expected of a club playing at this level – lucky we have a good local plumber who is helping out to ensure everything is operational by the 6th March” McEvoy confirmed “along with other community support it should be a great night!”