World Cup fever inspires new crop of players

FOOTBALL

Football South Coast officially launched their men's competition last night with the help of several 1974 World Cup Socceroos heroes.

Former coach Rale Rasic, striker Adrian Alston and goalkeeper Jim Fraser joined the coaches and players from around the Premier League to formally begin the 2014 campaign.

With the Brazil World Cup just around the corner, Alston, a former premiership-winning coach with Port Kembla, believes this year's competition will be a high-energy affair.

"The World Cup year revs every body up. It is non-stop football," Alston said.

"The players are watching the World Cup games all week and then they get to the weekend and they are just dying to get on the pitch.

"I remember when I was coaching it was the same thing. It was just wonderful to be involved on a Saturday afternoon after watching all the games and it brings back a lot of memories.

"For the young players right now it is quite exciting and I reckon it will be a big season for South Coast football."

Momentum has already started building for the new football campaign, with the South Coast Wolves making their move to WIN Stadium for home games.

Alston believes the move is just the beginning.

"I have been expecting things to take off for a number of years now and I think it really will this time," he said.

"It is a World Cup year, there is great opportunities now, there are lots and lots of kids playing.

"You can just see the quality improving now that we have the junior system set up down here with Glenn Fontana."

Further supporting the former Socceroo's view is yesterday's news that Member for Throsby Stephen Jones had challenged Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss to recommit $7.4 million in funding to kick-start the West Dapto "home of football" development.

The project was denied funding by the Coalition and failed to receive any of the Restart Illawarra Infrastructure Fund.

"The Home of Soccer at West Dapto was envisaged to serve the entire Illawarra region - giving soccer a home field, and providing a nursery for local talent," Jones said.

"It was in the budget and announced for funding, so for the new government not to proceed with its development is outrageous."

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