Matt McKay is Queensland football royalty. A local boy from the south side of Brisbane who developed up through the ranks of football in the Sunshine State to reach the heights of international football.
“I began in church soccer with Sunnybank Saints before moving to mount Gravatt Hawks,” said the Roar man.
“From there I graduated to the QAS and then the AIS. Eventually I signed my first pro contract with the Strikers in 2001.”
The Socceroo midfielder is proud of the level of football in Queensland and is optimistic towards the future of the game which, like most Australian states, has to compete with the other football codes as well as many other sports.
He believes football is holding it’s own against the other sports and is also producing quality players as can be seen in national team selection.
“Football is the most popular sport amongst juniors in Queensland,” explained McKay.
“It’s great seeing the game grow throughout the state and our game really caters for everyone – boy, girl, young or old.
“We hold our own. Our talent pool is large and it encourages players to improve and that is recognised later down the track with national squads.”
Getting his start with the Brisbane Strikers, McKay still follows the local competition and has been impressed with what he has seen in the current NPLQLD season.
“I know a lot of players in the competition and get down now and then to see some action. There are some talented players floating around the local comp,” McKay said.
McKay sees the NPLQLD as an important pathway for players in the region to not only develop but also get acknowledged and rewarded whether it be with an A-League club contract, or team success.
“It’s another avenue for players to develop. A competition that will give younger players a direction to continue their footballing journey. That may be recognition of their talent and movement into an A-League team or to improve their club and win championships,” explained Mckay.