Sport

Fire set to be better in revamped competitions structure

TALENTED: Sunshine Coast Fire against youngster Jez Lofthouse.
TALENTED: Sunshine Coast Fire against youngster Jez Lofthouse. Warren Lynam

FOOTBALL: Sunshine Coast Fire technical director Melvyn Wilkes expects the club's men's side will be significantly stronger in the revamped competition structure next year.

The team is languishing in 11th place on a 12-team state league ladder through seven rounds this season but he believes it will be much more prominent in 2018, when there will be a promotion-relegation system.

"We will have to be a lot more competitive and we will be,” he said.

The Fire's been dealt some hidings this campaign, including a recent 9-0 loss to Brisbane.

But Wilkes said the club's priority has been to support its juniors, particularly during the past two years. He said the young sides have had success and 61 players have progressed to high performance programs and/or beyond.

That focus on age divisions will continue, with expectations the club's products will in time make significant impacts in the A-League and W-League.

"(But) we're also building those teams from (under) 15s to 20s to strengthen our senior stocks,” Wilkes said.

He said that should help the men's side become more competitive.

The Roger Hardwicke-coached unit already has plenty of young players and Wilkes said they will be improved in 2018 after spending a season or more in the state's main competition.

And with the threat of relegation from Queensland's top league to the soon-to-be introduced state second league, the Fire is set to bolster its squad with more senior heads in 2018.

"We're not going to be looking for eight or nine external players. We're going to need three of four experienced players to top up the younger players, who will be 12 months further down the track,” Wilkes said.

He said the Fire has sponsors lined up for 2018.

The men's side travels to Ipswich on Saturday night to meet eighth-placed Western Pride.

Topics:  melvyn wilkes sunshine coast fire


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Faulty airbags 'can fire shrapnel at you and your family'

No Caption

Takata airbags linked to deaths are being replaced by faulty ones

Boy, 11, killed in quad bike crash on rural property

Police looking into circumstances of fatal incident on property

Queensland freezes as temps fall as low as -3.7°C

Generic cold weather.

Parts of the state had their coldest mornings in two years.

Local Partners

Diana Chan crowned MasterChef's 2017 winner

MELBOURNE accountant comes out on top after an intense 8-hour grand final showdown.

Mini ninjas get into training

Gary Nowlan, 12, of Gawler East trains in X-Park at Bounce.

Kids as young as 12 are already dreaming of becoming Ninja Warriors

Families that game together, stay together?

Gaming is becoming an increasingly popular opportunity for family bonding, according to new studies.

More parents, grandparents turn to gaming to connect with kids

Michael Phelps just raced a shark

Sharks have been snapped surrounding the carcass of a whale off the coast of Fraser Island.

Swimming legend loses by a fin in man versus beast battle

REVIEW: The Bodyguard musical is a great night out

Kip Gamblin and Paulini in a scene from the musical The Bodyguard.

PAULINI tackles Whitney Houston's powerhouse songs flawlessly.

What 'intimidated' Chris Hemsworth's Thor while filming?

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a new look in the third film.Source:Supplied

It looks like Chris Hemsworth met his match.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 episode 2 - Stormborn

Kit Harington in a scene from season seven episode two of Game of Thrones.

*WARNING this story contains spoilers*

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!