Goannas are kicking some big goals

By Mitch Gaynor

THE President of the Sunshine Coast’s first Indigenous football club says the Goannas are kicking big goals ahead of next month’s Australian Indigenous tournament.

The club will be represented by seven players across the men’s and women’s national squads at the Maroochydore ‘festival of football’. It is an impressive achievement given the club’s three-year history.

Wayne Alberts said he was “extremely proud” of the players’ achievements, adding it was inspirational to young Indigenous players that the club could provide a strong pathway to representative levels.

“It sends a message to younger players who’ve seen these players make the side that there is an exciting pathway for players,” the Goannas president said.

Juilianna Bree Talbot-Cooke, Samara Christmas and Lisa Gregson will represent the national women’s Koalas team.

While Goannas stars’ Darryl Barton, George Freeman, Kyren Walters and Josh Fearn, will represent The Indigenousroos.

“The Goannas are very proud to have players of this calibre involved in our local team and want to wish them all the very best,” the club said.

“We are sure they will do themselves and their culture proud.”

Since its 2018 foundation year the Goannas club has grown from a single men’s side to now include a women’s squad and two youth teams.

Part of the rapid success of the club, Wayne said has been its focus on creating pathways for players not only through sporting achievements but also in meeting social needs such as employment, housing, education and healthcare.

“Our sponsors help create these social pathways,” Mr Alberts said.

This push to bring communities and people together has paid dividends over the past three years and just last week the Goannas were invited to a smoking ceremony at the Glasshouse Districts Cricket Club for Reconciliation Round.

“It’s great to see people embracing the Indigenous culture,” Mr Alberts said of the ceremony.

The festival of football will be held at Maroochydore Football Club from March 2-6 and will include official receptions, football clinics and a showcase of culture and family through the ‘World Game’.

Main image: Kyren Walters in action