FOOTBALL FANATIC: Laidley Footballer Rafe Blackwood attended the first Football Queensland Community Cup held in Mackay as part of the U12 South West Queensland Boys team.
FOOTBALL FANATIC: Laidley Footballer Rafe Blackwood attended the first Football Queensland Community Cup held in Mackay as part of the U12 South West Queensland Boys team. Contributed

Blackwood makes Football Queensland Community Cup debut

FOOTBALL: Laidley Soccer Club member Rafe Blackwood is living his dream after being selected for the South West Queensland U12 boys team.

The youngster travelled to Mackay to play in the Football Queensland Community Cup, which concludes tomorrow.

Blackwood said it was exciting to play the sport he loved at a representative level.

"It's a good sport and it's fun and it's got a lot of team work in it,” Blackwood said.

With idols including Messi and Ronaldo, you know Blackwood is dreaming of big things - he wants to play elite sport for a living because "it's the best thing you can do”.

The pre-teen football fanatic was one of two boys from Laidley Football Club chosen to attend selections for the South West Queensland Zone, which were held in Toowoomba earlier this year. Since being selected Blackwood has attended 11 weekly training sessions with the representative team on top his regular football commitments, which consists of training twice a week and a game on a Saturday.

It's the first year for the Community Cup, an initiative FQ General Manager of Football Operations Brendon Boss hopes will encourage young football players from the regions to play the game they love.

"It will also provide our National Premier Leagues selectors with an avenue to identify developing players for NPL programs, as well as provide coach and referee education,” Boss said.

Blackwood's dad and coach, Michael Blackwood said it's a great opportunity to showcase the talent of young regional players who are often overlooked.

"It's great to show there's more talent further out than what people think,” Michael said.

"We find a lot because we are on the edge of our zone that we tend to get missed a little bit rather than the bigger clubs.”

Michael said he could already notice an improvement in Blackwood's game after just 10 weeks.

"It's been good to watch him, he's worked and worked and worked and to see the difference just in ten weeks has been really good to watch,” Michael said.

Blackwodo said scoring goals was a great feeling, but team work was the best part about the sport.

"I've made heaps of friends, there's three of them that come to my school and there's some I've been playing with for 7 and 6 years,” Blackwood said.

"It's a great game, its got good team work in it and I think everyone should play it.”

The U12 Boys SW QLD team played four teams over the competition including North Queensland United, Football Central Queensland, Football Brisbane and the Magpie Crusaders from Mackay and the Whitsundays.


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