Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
They may be amongst Queensland’s newest clubs but one of the new entrants to Football Brisbane’s competitions, Logan Metro FC, are already making waves in their local community.
Formed less than five years ago, the club has lofty ambitions as club president Sam Escobar explains.
‘It’s always been part of the plan to join Football Brisbane. It was identified in our original mission statement that we wanted to join within the first five years and grow from there.’
In speaking with Sam, it’s easy to gauge the enthusiasm he has for the Logan area and the potential it holds.
‘I hate those clichés that football is a common language but it’s true. You look at our first team, there’s literally ten or eleven cultures and that flows through out the club.’
‘It’s the beautiful thing about Australia. It’s the beautiful thing about Logan as well, the multicultural diversity. There’s tremendous potential in the refugee community. A lot of new boys have arrived that can’t afford to play at the bigger, better clubs. We’ve opened our doors to them. We’ve seen a lot of players come through who have gone onto bigger things.’
Sam’s hard work at the club was recognised in 2015 when he received Logan City Council’s Young Citizen of the Year. Having lived in Logan for a considerable amount of time, he identified a gap in the Logan football market that led to the establishment of the club.
‘There’s lots of great clubs in Logan who do things very well and do it in their own way. We’re a little bit different.’
‘We target the community, be it migrant or refugee communities. We’re really well connected with the government agencies that look after these communities’
‘The area has a bit of a bad name and a stigma attached to it but we’re proud to represent the area. We want to bring a positive vibe to the club and win games and win trophies along the way.’
Picture: Logan Metro FC
It’s not only on the field where the club is targeting success. Tangible results from the club’s efforts away from the playing surface are beginning to show with the club recently announcing a relationship with Audi Centre Springwood that will see the club raffle off a brand new Audi A1 during the 2016 season.
‘Off the field it’s been great. We’ve been embraced by the council, the community and by sponsors. They get the vision and what we’re trying to do.’ Escobar said.
After entering this year’s Capital Four competition, the aim is clear. The club hopes to earn promotion this year but Escobar is first to admit that it will not be an easy task.
‘We’ve done the hard work off the field, now it’s about really winning games and being competitive and that will definitely attract players at different levels.’
‘We’re in it to win it. We don’t shy away from that but we are humble as a new club. It’s going to be tough with Caboolture being a top club in the league. Samford has been around a bit as well. St George Willawong will be a tricky one. There’s also plenty of derbies with about four or five Logan clubs in the competition.’
Part of the attraction of joining Football Brisbane is that the club will now be able to participate in the FFA Cup.
‘It’s a fairytale, a little bit of hope it gives you. We’re no different, we know it’s a big ask. When we bring players in, when we speak to sponsors and stakeholders, we say the same thing.’
‘You look at Balmain Tigers from last year. They were pretty low (in the Australian football hierarchy) and got a televised game (against Melbourne Victory). You’ve got to dream big and that’s what we sell to everyone involved with the club and give it a crack.’
While there has been much fanfare about the admittance of the senior men’s team, women’s football and juniors aren’t forgotten in the club’s five year plans.
‘We’ve had women’s teams for the past three years. That all came about from a refugee program. From there, it’s just grown and grown. We’ve got a great coach in Jen Dunn who’s been around the NPL program with Olympic. We want to promote that and have junior girls at the club as well.’
‘This year we’ll have mini-roos and juniors. We really believe about doing things right, quality instead of quantity. It’s taken us five years to really have enough resources to start.’
Escobar is also proud of the club’s academy, which he describes as the heart of the club. Part of its ongoing success though will be to improve the club’s Compton Park facilities.
‘We’ve inherited a pretty run-down, old facility. We’re speaking to the council about that to try and make it a nice little boutique football specific facility.’
Logan Metro’s first Capital League Four fixture will be at home where they host Kangaroo Point Rovers on Saturday 20 February at 3:30pm.