Club marks a new beginning
FOOTBALL: The challenges that have plagued the unification of the football fraternities in the Whitsundays seemed long gone, as an enthusiastic crowd welcomed a new era at the launch of the Whitsunday United Football Club last Friday night.
The event, held at the Mantra Club Croc, was attended by representatives from Bowen, Proserpine and Airlie Beach football associations and for the first time included players from the junior clubs.
The amalgamation means that players from under-13s from all three regions can play for a united club under one banner, providing a senior pathway that has been lacking in the past.
The three regional clubs will remain for junior players, retaining the traditional friendly rivalry between Bowen, Proserpine and Whitsunday.
Whitsunday United secretary Allan Milostic, who has been pivotal in the process, said he was moved by seeing people from all Whitsunday football regions "eating from the same table”, in what he declared would pave the way for young people in the Whitsundays to play representative football in the future, by helping to keep players between the ages of 12 and 16 in the game.
He thanked the efforts of Proserpine Taipans president Peter Eve and Mick Kirkpatrick and Karen Lavaring (Bowen Blast) for their support of the concept.
Dawson MP George Christensen heralded the new era by describing the unification as a victory for the region, while Whitsunday Sportspark president Justin Butler applauded the efforts of all parties involved.
Current Whitsunday Football Club president Stephen Tween said during his speech that he recognised the necessity for the restructuring of the existing organisation, in which he played a crucial role. He said he and wife Annette, who began the club as the Cannonvale Cyclones many years ago, were excited about the future of football in the region.
The new-look logo and playing strip were also revealed and were well received. The logo and strip, designed by Mr Eve, combines the match-day colours of each region and a map of the Whitsundays etched on a soccer ball.
Breaking from tradition, the playing strip, which strongly features the colour orange, was fashioned with A-League club Brisbane Roar as an inspiration.
Mr Tween says the design will help in forging a relationship with the club and help attract bigger clubs from Brisbane to play matches in the Whitsundays.
The new era on the field also began well last weekend as the Whitsunday United FC Premier men's team roared to an emphatic 6-2 win against rivals City Brothers at the Bowen Sporting Complex.