NEW ALLIANCE ENSURES BRIGHT FUTURE
The Western Magpies and Kenmore Bears have formed an alliance to strengthen the game in Brisbane's all-important western suburbs.
The Magpies will fill a gaping hole in the State League competition with the re-inclusion of their club into the top level Division One competition in 2009, while Kenmore continue to build in strength and numbers in the State Association Division One.
Since the demise of Western Districts, one of the great traditional clubs in the former QAFL for more than half a century, in the mid-1990s, there has been a vacuum for top level players in the area.
However, both clubs believe that Australian football has never been stronger in the region.
Western Magpies president Matt Vowles believes that footballers in the region are spoilt for choice.
"It's fantastic for our clubs to be able to offer something to all the footballers in our area," Mr Vowles said.
"In the Western Suburbs we have an incredibly strong base of junior footballers, but in the past we have lost many of our most talented juniors to other clubs.
"With the Magpies moving into the top league and the Bears in the leading division of their competition there is no reason for our footballers to leave the area.
"And there's every reason for them to return."
The clubs have formed a strong alliance, with the Magpies providing the Bears with a field to train and play on their field while theirs is resurfaced.
Ash Steffensen, President of the Kenmore Bears seniors, said that the alliance went further than that.
"This is a new era of cooperation between our clubs. This is the first time the Bears have been so strongly associated with a top club and we couldn't be happier," Mr Steffensen said.
"Ultimately, what we'd like to see is our junior footballers getting an opportunity to play at the highest level and we can offer them that now.
"For those players, who choose not to play at that level, the Bears offer them an excellent alternative.
"We're playing in a league against some semi-professional clubs, who have footballers who have played at the highest level and many footballers who aspire to do so."