Joe Duckworth running with the ball

With the NPL season just over half way through I thought I would take some time to bring you up to date on the happenings at first team level.

Firstly, I am delighted to announce that Hayden McHenery last week signed for the Brisbane Roar youth team, making him the fourth Western Pride player in the last twelve months to move into professional football.

The reason I reference Hayden’s progression is he made the decision to join Western Pride based on the environment that was created. He turned his back on his nearest NPL side, travelled from the north side of Brisbane three or four times a week to chase his dream and gain an opportunity in the first team.

I felt this message was important to re-inforce, as there are many distractions that occur throughout the year that may interrupt the pursuit for excellence. I am yet to meet a professional football who didn’t make sacrifices to reach their goals and we as a club are determined to instil this throughout our operations on and off the field.

As a club Western Pride’s goal is to continue to provide a pathway for our players into professional football. Nothing would make me prouder as a Head Coach to see this happen with some of our current junior based players who have risen through all age groups at the club, so I encourage all junior players to continue their hard work in training, listen and learn from their coaches.

In further news we currently have two players, Boni Thomas and Joe Duckworth on trial with the Roar youth team and we have three other players in the UK attempting to earn professional contracts, so you can see there are opportunities for our young footballers now they have been given the opportunity to play in the first team and show case their skills.

Finally to continue our goal of providing players opportunities in the game we recently hosted a friendly against the New Zealand National team. It was an amazing night and one that will live long in the memory for the players. To see such a large crowd, with all of our juniors there supporting (on a school night) was simply fantastic, so we thank you for that commitment, and hope you learned a lot from the players on display. My thanks also goes to the New Zealand National team for engaging us in such a project and congratulate them for winning the OFC Nations Cup in PNG this month.

I encourage all parents to continue their fantastic support of our young but emerging club. I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the season!

Graham Harvey – Coach, Senior Men