The North Queensland Academy Championships will commence this weekend as the 2018 carnival kicks off in Airlie Beach.
Across the championships, all five North Queensland regions will be represented with Cape York, Townsville, Mackay and Capricornia all fielding teams while Cairns will field two individual sides.
This year’s championships will also be the first time in history Cairns, given their sheer abundance of talent, will be split into two teams.
The championships are also a landmark moment for women’s football in the region as Luana Healy will become the first female and indigenous coach to shuffle the magnets in the carnival, where she will coach the Cape York team.
The carnival will act as a springboard for the State Academy Championships in September.
Following this week’s North Queensland championships, 23 players will be selected to represent the region later in the year.
Similarly, 23 players will also be chosen for the Central Queensland side that will feature in the same intra-state championships.
Umpires for the North Queensland Championship will be supplied by the regions.