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5 February, 2021

Rising soccer stars set to soar

THREE talented Indigenous junior soccer players will have a chance to develop their skills like never before, after each receiving a 12-month scholarship to access free elite coaching and mentoring at Jamie Gosling Football Academy (JGFA).

By Tanya Murphy

Soccer scholarship winners Alex Lawson, Mahalia Martin and William Goman (front) with Jamie Gosling Football Academy operations manager and senior coach Sander Muskee, coach Nick Lyth, director Jamie Gosling and sponsor Jaap den Engelsman from Blue Brink Pty Ltd.

The three chosen players from 25 applicants in 2021 are Mahalia Martin (sponsored by Innate Natural Health Clinic), William Goman (sponsored by Blue Brink Pty Ltd), and Alex Lawson (sponsored by Cairns Colonial Club).

The 12-month scholarships valued at $1,000 each, are available each year to Indigenous children aged between 6-14 years.

The program, which began in 2017, has already seen eight Indigenous children successfully complete the scholarships based at Holloways Beach Sporting Complex.

One of the previous recipients – Julianna-Bree Talbot-Cooke – has since made the Under 15 Girls Peninsula representative team, as well as starring for Cairns State High School as they made history by becoming the first Cairns school to qualify for the Bill Turner Trophy national final.

JGFA Director of Football Jamie Gosling said extra sponsors were sought in order to provide more Indigenous players the chance to train and play at a higher level.

“When I’m at Endeavour Park on a Saturday watching junior games, I always notice how many talented Indigenous players I see playing football,” he said.

“I’ve also run football programs for Indigenous children at Cairns West State School and have previously held clinics for children from Weipa, and I really enjoy enhancing their love for football.

“Often, these children are not offered the same development opportunities other children are through academy programs such as JGFA.

“I’m passionate about making sure kids get equal opportunities, especially those displaying a natural talent for the beautiful game.

“JGFA’s mission is to develop these young players with extra specialist coaching for the ultimate benefit of their local clubs and FNQ football in general.

“We want to develop them as individuals, and ultimately strengthen junior soccer in the region.

“Through this exciting scholarship program, we can offer soccer-mad Indigenous children the chance to develop their game like never before, and will be looking to expand the program in the coming years.”

Cairns Colonial Club Resort General Manager Damian Lyth said he was delighted to partner with JGFA on the innovative opportunity for Indigenous children.

“We’re excited to be part of such an awesome program. Great work Jamie and the team at JGFA,” he said.

Parents, guardians, coaches and community members are encouraged to send in applications for interested children for its 2022 program.

Deadline for 2022 applications is Monday 1 November 2021, with successful applicants to be notified early January 2022. Applications can be made at

Aside from its Academy program, JGFA also runs holiday clinics, school programs, private sessions, and birthday parties across the Cairns region, as well as its popular Little Goslings Football Academy for 2-5 year olds and JGFA Champions League, FNQ’s biggest and best off-season 5-a-side competition for junior footballers.

Anyone interested can enrol online at, call Jamie Gosling on 0450 181 626, or visit the JGFA Facebook page at

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