PROMISING footballers from around the Mid North Coast will soon have another pathway to the top level in Australia through A-League club Brisbane Roar.
It comes following the announcement of a relationship formed between East Coast Futsal Academy in Port Macquarie and the Roar.
The relationship will be ongoing and provide opportunities for individual players to work their way through the ranks and into the A-League and W-League.
Players mainly between the ages of 13 and 16 who travel from Wauchope, Taree, Forster, Kempsey and Tamworth could earn a position with the Roar Academy if they impress the right people.
They might even rub shoulders with former Liverpool superstar Robbie Fowler sooner than they might think.
Fowler will be in the Queensland capital for at least the next two years in his role as coach of their A-League side.
ECFA director Mick Day said it was an exciting time for talented players to be plying their trade in northern New South Wales.
"We've got about 150 kids in the academy and there's probably 40-50 who are at a level where they can be looked at in a selection process for Brisbane Roar," he said.
"They will fly down here and conduct private trial selection camps with their professional coaches."
Day will personally select players from his academy who will attend the camp and from there, players would have the opportunity to progress straight into the Roar setup.
"This is an ongoing commitment and relationship we've got now," Day said.
"It's not just a one-off; it's a dedicated program and feeder into Brisbane Roar."
The Roar have a strong emphasis on player development through their own academy and the relationship will allow their coaching staff to spend time in Port Macquarie.
Under the relationship they will cast their eye over potential players hand-picked from ECFA's Alexandria Soccer Academy.
"It is good to have options for our talented and dedicated players and families," Day said.
"We are always working hard for our 1000-plus members and families, setting benchmarks for others to follow."
Soccer Genius Australia director Jason Buchanan has seen first-hand what talent is on offer in Port Macquarie after holding a training clinic in February this year. He also works closely with the Roar.
"We had men, women and juniors that ranked in the top of Australia (on that day)," Day said.
"Jason knows how good our players are and he's been up and down this state and Queensland so those facts and figures speak volumes for what we're doing here.
"He has seen every academy from Cairns all the way down to Newcastle and our academy was one of the ones that stood out to him."
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