HEADED IN RIGHT DIRECTION: Luke Varga and Brodie Boyce are just two of the many players from the Sunshine Coast Fire to be selected in state teams.
HEADED IN RIGHT DIRECTION: Luke Varga and Brodie Boyce are just two of the many players from the Sunshine Coast Fire to be selected in state teams. Iain Curry

Strength of Coast revealed by results

THE region's reputation as a football stronghold has been enhanced by the lofty ladder positions of all junior Sunshine Coast Fire teams in the National Premier League Queensland division.

With droves of youngsters in Sunshine Coast Football's junior competitions, and the Fire proving to be a force in the junior state leagues, the code's popularity in the region cannot be questioned.

After 21 rounds, across all age groups from under-12s to under-18s, the Fire is the only club to have all eight of its teams in top-four spots.

Such is the dominance of the club's under-15 female team, it has already won the premiership with four rounds remaining.

The Fire also boasts state representatives and has players on trial at the Queensland Academy of Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport. It also has players developing skills at the National Training Centre.

"We're fortunate we've got coaching staff who are really focused on getting the best out of the players, and we're getting results out of that," said Fire senior coach and club technical director Kevin A'Herne-Evans said.

While the Fire is experiencing plenty of success, A'Herne-Evans believes the best is yet to come.

"I think we will go from strength to strength in the next two, three years," he said.

The Fire enjoys a strong relationship with A-League club the Brisbane Roar, which has been happy and keen to give trials to players from the Coast.

It is hoped many of the Fire's youngsters will develop into top-tier players.

"We have got some really good players, especially in the 11s and 12s, who will make claims at being pro players, but they are only young," A'Herne-Evans said.

"They've still got six, seven years of development and growth, and anything can happen in that time.

"And we have many good players in the girls' teams. I can see a lot of them excelling in years to come."

 All of the Fire's state representatives are listed in Sport Detail.

- STEELE TAYLOR


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