Iluka Football Club's big ambition

A LACK of first grade action for talented local junior footballers has persuaded the Iluka Football Club to attempt to form a senior side for the first time in its history.

President Trevor Bennett said the club had begun preparations to gather interest from the area, but conceded the club's path to first grade competition was littered with stumbling blocks.

“The field (Ken Leeson Oval) is in pretty poor condition,” he said.

“One of the (other) problems is we have to draft in people who have never played before (senior football).”

The size and location of Iluka is assisting the club's plans to push for a senior squad.

“A town as small as ours needs to have home and away matches, so the locals can at least support the team at a couple of matches,” he said.

“If the kids can't play here, they are not going to travel to Maclean for matches.”

However, the necessity to play junior players in the senior side could be the factor which sinks the club's plans before they have a chance to sail.

“We have 80 members in the junior teams,” Bennett said.

“We have kids in the under-8s playing up a grade, we have under-13s playing in age divisions below them.

“North Coast Football doesn't want kids playing outside their age group.”

Bennett said the hurdles would not discourage the club from fighting for the football-playing youth of the area.

“Every boy on the school bus plays football,” he said.

“We look to encourage all the kids ... even if they might not have much talent, they could still be referees or officials.”

The club will front an all-clubs North Coast Football meeting this weekend in the hope smaller teams like themselves band together in the midst of the more powerful clubs.

“If two or three of the small clubs go collectively we will represent a large group of the competition,” he said.

“We will see where we stand and hope something can be worked out.”

Bennett said he hoped the club could attract about 100 members before the season began, but knew time was not on the his side.

“It all happens really quickly and there is a chance the kids could miss out,” he said.

“A town as small as ours needs to have home and away matches”

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