Tips to building pathways

The Girls United soccer carnival brought out some concerns from Aaron and Liam about pathways in local sport this week. 254837 Picture: RAFAEL PHOTOGRAPHY/FOOTBALL QUEENSLAND

In this weekend’s edition of Let’s Talk Sport, 4RO’s Aaron Stevens and Gladstone Today’s Liam Emerton talk representative sport, pathways, and of course horse racing!


We’ve got representative cricket underway on the weekend, how good is that to see?

Aaron: What an honor. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about under 6’s playing for Central Queensland, playing State of Origin, or playing for Australia.

It’s just a huge honor to put on a jersey or a shirt of your local region and to be able to run out there and show off your true colours and be proud of where you live.

It’s a great opportunity for Capricornia and Central Queensland to say c’mon Mackay, because we love that rivalry with Mackay no matter what sport it’s in.

Liam: I was just about to chat about Mackay, they’re obviously a pretty strong team but it is a massive rivalry.

They kind of think they’re in Central Queensland but I think WE are Central Queensland. Rocky and Gladstone are the centre of Central Queensland.

It’s going to be a good couple of games. We’ve got some players in really good form from the T20s.

I think the boys will be out there to prove themselves in forty-over cricket and hopefully we can get one over our rivals.

Aaron: It’s quite incredible that rivalry stretches across so many sports. Basketball is a big one, rugby league when the Capras go up to play the Cutters or they come down here.

There’s just a different taste in the water. Those local derbies that they have down in Sydney that are famous, this is the closest thing we have.

We’ve gotta go 400 kilometres down the road to face our closest rival and it is always passionate when Mackay and the Whitsundays, and Central Queensland do battle.

C’mon Central Queensland, two really good sides who have had some practice in the T20s and now it’s time to get down to business.


There was a huge two-day carnival for women’s soccer down at Boyne Tannum this week, isn’t it great to see the ladies’ game evolving?

Aaron: I feel a bit sorry for soccer because soccer, for a long, long time, provided the pathway for women all the way through from juniors to senior women.

And now you’ve got the likes of cricket, rugby league, Aussie rules and rugby union starting to step on their toes a bit…haha.

They’ve cut up the pie and I think soccer realises that they need to turn on events like this, the first one of its type, to encourage women to continue playing the game.

You remember when we were kids, I’m a little bit a head of you, but you played a winter code and you played cricket in the summer.

So when you didn’t play those you played something for your school, women mainly played netball and men played soccer, union, league or AFL.

And that just doesn’t happen any more. One reason is the price, because parents have to shell out for four or five different sports for their kids and it is a lot of money to pay.

And the kids don’t really get let off either. We spoke recently about how the rugby league season finishes and you’re back into training for the next season.

The pie is cut up more than it ever was and like I said I feel a bit sorry for soccer because they provided that pathway for women for 30,40, 50 years and now there’s other challenges too.

They need these competitions and introduce them to girls at a young age to help keep them all the way through.

Liam: Well that’s it, and is it also with soccer that the pathway just stops once you reach seniors.

With other sports, like women’s rugby league you’ve got the Capras.

Soccer needs to make that next step. We’ve had a couple of games for CQ but we need an NPL-like competition up north to help develop our players up here.

Maybe that would get more people involved having that high level there.

Where’s the opportunity for our ladies to go into the A League? They have to move down south.

Maybe we need to look into that. It has to be a collaborative effort. Once a month we could go out to Mackay, to Townsville.

Like what the men in cricket are doing right now, that’s what we need to start doing across the board.

We have some very talented ladies. Both Gladstone teams, Clinton and Central are both phenomenal to watch.

We had 70 goals for two different players, that tells you the quality we have here.

There’s plenty of quality and we could have a team in that area but it’s about the practicality of it and you need support behind it.

Aaron: My wife played soccer for 20 years. She’s a Bluebirds girl, and won the grand final in 2001.

And I know from experience how popular the girls’ game is here in CQ in particular.

Let’s boost our pathways for our girls and make sure that there is the opportunity all the way through to the women’s A League.

Once again, going back to it, soccer was the sport that women could play.

Now that pie has been cut up once again hasn’t it.

Liam: Certainly, and I’m in the same conversation about this topic with netballers at the moment because we’ve seen Netball Queensland essentially pulled out of the regional areas.

There’s no pathways right now. It’s very hard for a player in any sport around Central Queensland to move on to the bigger competitions unless they move down south.

And that’s so true for any sport and that’s why the Redcliffe expansion is so important for our footballers.

But what about our soccer players, netballers, all these players need to play a higher level if they can get there.

It would be interesting to see if we can build pathways for all sports and not just soccer.


Back on track, quite literally, Callaghan Park was pumping on Saturday afternoon, it was packed to the rafters, what a spectacle! What a show!

Aaron: Did you have a win though?

Liam: I can guarantee you. I looked at one of the horses. It was race three and I told my mates down south in Penrith, this horse Bluindi, it looks ready to go.

And it won. So I am very proud of myself for being able to tip one.

The next two tips were absolute rubbish but that’s alright I tipped the first one when I was there.

But what an amazing day. I was down there from race two to race five, there was an electric atmosphere

Aaron: On Saturday during the Sideline View I spoke with Ian Mill the CEO of the RJC, it was his first major event since coming into the role.

He said he has all the right people. The RJC have got this and they are prepared for a event like that.

And few places do it better. They just do a great job.

We’re coming into the biggest racing time of the year as we prepared for the Spring carnival with the Melbourne Cup on the way.

You just know that if you’re heading out to Callaghan Park you’re going to have a damn good time and just hopefully you can tip a horse on the track.

Sounds like we’re calling Liam for our tips from now on.

Liam: No definitely not, please don’t call me for tips, I will lose you money.

But thanks again Aaron, it is always a pleasure talking to you and I look forward to chatting again on Saturday afternoon with the Sideline View.

Aaron: Thanks mate.