WHILE Ipswich continues to search for answers as to how the city can benefit from the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, council could do no better than to look to local businessman Pat Boyle for some crucial advice.
The former Socceroo is still heavily involved with local soccer as the president of the Western Pride and over the past two months he has been involved in details negotiations with the Nigerian Women’s Football Association.
He has trying to get them to base their squad here for the upcoming Women’s World Cup competition.
The World Cup runs from July 20 through to August 20 and will be played here in Australia and New Zealand.
Nigeria was looking to locate themselves in the Brisbane region for a two-week pre-tournament training camp and they reached out to Football Queensland to help find them a venue.
According to Pat, Ipswich came into focus because it had the Briggs Road soccer fields as a venue and the pitch is regarded as one of the best in Queensland.
“Knowing our facilities were top quality Football Queensland put the Nigerian management in contact with myself and the Western Pride,” he said.
“We worked with them for more than five weeks and had every detail sorted except one.
“That was we couldn’t offer them accommodation for their squad and officials in Ipswich in a hotel that also offered a large a restaurant.
“We ticked off every other requirement, but no restaurant at the hotel for the 36-member touring party brought it tumbling down,” he said.
Pat said his push to make it happen wasn’t just about getting money for the use of facilities or the economic benefits, it was more about providing the opportunity for local junior and senior players to see how an international team trained and operated.
“In the negotiations the Nigerian management had agreed to allow us to bring schools and football devotees along to watch them train and then have access to the players after their session,” he said.
Pat said Ipswich was close to getting on the sporting map, but there were still key one-per-centers such as no major hotels which were hurting us. “We once had a good hotel in the CBD with a great restaurant and if we still had it, I have no doubt the Nigerian Women’s team would have based themselves here.”