A $200 THOUSAND field upgrade has paved the way for Deception Bay Soccer Club to host international-grade football.
In just six days the Sunshine Coast Fire will do battle with the Malaysian national under-23s on the former Junior Club of the Year's newly resurfaced pitch.
It's an incredible coup for Deception Bay, a juniors-only club dwarfed by neighbouring giants like Pine Rivers United and Peninsula Power.
Secretary Kim Dean said she was proud to play host to such a big clash.
"It'll be good for Deception Bay and good for soccer," she said.
"The kids might get a buzz out of watching."
The Deception Bay club got the nod due to a set of lucky circumstances.
Its newly upgraded field was finished at the right time to stand in as a replacement for the Fire's field, which wouldn't have been ready.
The upgrades included a new playing surface and new lighting thanks to a combination of funds from the state government, Moreton Bay Regional Council and a hefty fundraising effort.
Jupiters Hotel & Casino kicked in $20,000 towards fencing and goalposts.
It's been a mammoth effort for Kim, who started applying for grants five years ago, and this latest achievement hasn't had time to sink in.
"I'm too busy really trying to organise it, for it to set in," she said. "There's a lot happening and so much to do.
"As we find out more information you start to realise it might be a big thing."
The move signals the start of an increased presence for the Fire in the region as the team starts a drive to expand its supporter base as part of its push for A-League inclusion.
Managing director Noel Woodall said there would be more opportunities for clubs like Deception Bay to host friendlies in the future.
"As an Australian Premier League Club we see our role now to stretch further into those areas," he said.
"We're going to be running a weekly community academy, we'll do more player appearances, we'll go visit local clubs."
The Malaysian team won the 2009 and 2011 South East Asian Games gold medal and will also be facing the Brisbane Roar in Brisbane on February 5.
Sunshine Coast Fire senior coach Kevin A'Herne-Evans said it was a great chance to see some high-quality football.
What: Sunshine Coast Fire vs Malaysia U23
Where: Deception Bay Soccer Club, Progress Park, 24-52 Old Bay Rd, Deception Bay
When: January 29, 7.30pm
Cost: Free for general admission, paid corporate box available.
Contact: 0437 637 771
Other info: Bring your own chairs
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