Noel Woodall has a target to take the Sunshine Coast Fire football team to the A-League.
Noel Woodall has a target to take the Sunshine Coast Fire football team to the A-League. Warren Lynam

Plan targets the A-League

THE Sunshine Coast will have a place in a national sporting competition within five years and it did not need an imported billionaire to make that happen.

Peregian lawyer and owner of the Sunshine Coast Fire Football Club, Noel Woodall, said this week the Clive Palmer approach was the wrong way to build a sporting franchise.

The Fire is now five years into a 10-year plan that Mr Woodall is confident will win it not only a place in the national A-League competition but also a place in the women's W-League by 2017.

"We've had long-term ambitions to join the A-League," he said this week.

"But first you have to try to work for a position in the community and grow support.

"You can't just buy a licence and say, 'Here we are', like Clive did at the Gold Coast."

Mr Woodall said the hugely successful Fire state league club had been diligent in its push to generate support and passion for the game.

Junior development will ensure the club has players and fans into the future. It has signed agreements for its paid coaches to work in Coast schools to develop talent.

Without firm foundations in the community, and fans genuinely passionate about the game and the club, success and sustainability would be extremely difficult to achieve.

Mr Woodall said he had been offended by the call from mayoral candidate Brett Winkler for Mr Palmer to be offered land opposite Corbould Park racecourse as a home for his A-League team.

"We've worked with council and Quad Park and have the runs on the board," he said. "Why doesn't he tell us about this plan?

"Why would he think Clive could be successful here when he's been a disaster at the Gold Coast?

"I'd love to have his money, but it takes more than that."

The Fire boss agreed with Palmer that the Football Federation of Australia needed to become a more owner-friendly body.

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