All posts by Paul Cameselle

The Gold Coast Champions Cup and Fields

What is the Gold Coast Champions Cup?

The ‘Cup’ is a football tournament run by Mudgeeraba Soccer Club. This tournament was first started in 1996. It has been run by various committees, and volunteers, throughout that time. This event has grown over the year’s to where it now averages 150 teams participating every year (over 2000 participants), from all over Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

The tournament caters for teams from Under 8’s to Under 18’s, boys and girls.

Why is the Gold Coast Champions Cup being played at Mudgeeraba Fields this year?

After the completion of the tournament each year we are required to have a debrief with GCCC. In 2017 this was not different. At that meeting GCCC informed us, that due to the Commonwealth Games, they could not guarantee us the use of Glennon Park for the 2018 ‘Cup’ and that they would have a better idea by late February, 2018, as to whether the fields will be available. (After further conversations with GCCC in early 2018, it was confirmed that we would not have had Glennon Park).

At the end of each tournament we have a minimum of 20 teams that register for the following years tournament and by February we have close to 100 teams registered. We needed to make a decision on where we were going to have the ‘Cup’ in 2018. These teams pre-book accommodation and transport, they needed to know what was happening.

GCCC guaranteed us the use of Sid Bigg Park (Mudgeeraba Fields). There was nothing else that suited our needs to run a successful tournament.

We took the opportunity to secure fields for us to hold this event.

But why not play Finals at Home?

Once the decision was locked in we notified our members via Facebook (a shared post from the Gold Coast Champions Cup Facebook Page)

Every decision regarding our field conditions and usage had the ‘Cup’ in mind.

The committee had to take into account the condition of the fields at the end of the 2017 season. As we may all remember, the fields were a dust bowl, even one WNPL game that we scheduled at home was cancelled due to the poor condition of the fields.

The committee had to assume that we would face the same situation at the end of the 2018 season, so we had to come up with some ideas to help maintain a high fields standard.

These ideas included:-

  • During the Lightning Premiership, field 1 & 2 were played in a east/west format, to help spread ware.
  • When we had rain, we kept the fields closed a extra day to avoid tearing them up.
  • We pushed to have teams return goals after games and training (most times to no avail)
  • Teams were to avoid training on Field 1

GCCC had done their bit during the year with fertiliser and other treatment.

Coaches and Managers were informed at every meeting that the ‘Cup’ will be at home. We stressed the importance of helping maintain our fields.

And the fields have held up better this year.

But we needed to do something else to insure the fields are in top condition for the ‘Cup’. We have employed a groundsman who will be applying more product to fields, to compliment what the GCCC are doing, to give the grass a bit more of a kick in the guts to start growing. But for this to help we need to keep people off the fields.

And this is were we end up having to shut fields after the normal season finishes.

The field closures are in stages. Firstly, the worst affected areas are shut first (Field 1 & 2). Field 3 stays open for an extra week, maybe two weeks, to accommodate training for finals and Mudgeeraba Champs Cup teams. After that all the fields will be shut for close to 2 weeks before the tournament to allow them sufficient time to recover. Those teams training for the ‘Cup’ will have to train on the outside of the fields.

As you can see these things were planned out. There was no spur of the moment decisions. The unfortunate choice we had to make was to play home semi finals away, but it was unavoidable.

Why did you make these decisions without telling us?

You have ‘elected’ us to make these kind of decisions. The majority of our members do not want to know all the decisions we have to make throughout the year. Those that do want to know are the ones who get involved, attend AGM’s and committee meetings. These are always open for those that are interested in attending.  We have nothing to hide, what we do as a committee is for ALL our members. No one on the committee benefits from being on the committee. We give our time, every week, to insure that our members enjoy their experience at the club, both on and off the field. But it is something we enjoy doing (most days).

Should we have notified everyone earlier about what was happening with finals? Probably. Did we miss a beat by not notifying everyone? Maybe. Have we missed much else this year? No.

But why worry about a carnival? What’s the big deal?

The Gold Coast Champions Cup is our major fund raiser. We do not ask you to sell raffles tickets or chocolates during the year.  We do not force you to ground official or run the canteen.

You come to Mudgeeraba Soccer Club to train, play football and enjoy the atmosphere.

But these luxuries cost money that rego’s don’t totally cover. That’s why ALL clubs have to fund raise. Some clubs do it like stated above, or through sponsorships, but we have the ‘Cup’. That’s how we fund raise.

Stage one of our building program (the Junior Clubhouse) was part funded by the ‘Cup’. The future stage two development(the synthetic training pitches) will also be part funded by the revenue from the ‘Cup’.  Other project that have been undertaken at the club throughout the years were because of the ‘Cup’

Without the Gold Coast Champions Cup the club will not be where it is today.

In conclusion, because of events that were out of our control (the Commonwealth Games and field availability) the committee was forced to make decisions that were not optimal but were necessary to insure the longevity of your club.

Please visit the Champions Cup Website and Facebook Page to get a feel as to how important the ‘Cup’ is to your club and why we have to make it another successful year.