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Mar 13, 2007

Townsville ready if NZ fail in A-League

Townsville will be ready to deliver an exciting brand of A-League football this year should New Zealand fall over in their bid for the competition's eighth remaining licence.

That's the opinion of Tropical Football Australia project director James Gage who says North Queensland could be only 48 hours away from securing a franchise.

He says Football Federation Australia (FFA) has asked his organisation to supply documents to help secure a team in the North.

"We have been asked to supply a submission of capability and we have been given 48 hours to do that," Gage said.

"Hopefully there will be a decision made on Thursday or Wednesday late on the acceptance of either New Zealand or Tropical Football Australia."

This follows news FFA is losing patience with a Kiwi consortium which is unable to guarantee $2 million dollars in capital to base a side out of Wellington.

North Queensland football officials say they have been busily negotiating a number of key components and would be ready come August.

"Townsville is the base for the A-League side and Tropical Football is definitely capable of hosting an A-League side this year," Gage said.

"The coach will be announced straight after acceptance and we are very close to finalising something with Wynton Rufer, who ironically is New Zealand's most famous football player."

Gage said Dairy Farmers Stadium had been secured as the club's home base with training to take place at the Townsville Sports Reserve.

He said names could be drawn from all sorts of icons in the North with marketing agencies charged with building the team's brand.

"We have got some marketing people working on a name right at the moment and with Tropical Football Australia devised from the Tropic of Capricorn, we think the tropics, the sun, the heat, cyclones, storms, and thunder could be in contention," Gage said.

"We would have preferred to go to the community to get some suggestions, but because of our time frame we are a little limited."

He says player recruitment has started with the club set to rely on junior academies to foster growth as well as the contacts of their coach-elect.

"Wynton is well underway with player recruitment and is in discussions with a couple of Brazilian players linked with the German Bundesliga," Gage said.

"That Brazilian flavour is what we want to bring to tropical football with the excitement and flamboyance of the tropics allowing people to come and enjoy their game day entertainment."