Plenty to inspire Valley version of ?beautiful game
WITH most of the football fraternity's attentions centred around the marvelous results of the Socceroos and the local battles in the Hyundai A-League, not to menton Australia's entry into the vastly more competitive Asian confederation, it is easy to forget that on the local scene, Grafton clubs are turning their attention to the domestic season ahead.
It promises to be as interesting as last season's round of matches.
All divisions will be catered for from Premier and Premier reserve divisions, through first grade and onto third division, or all age as a stepping rung for younger players.
The highly successful Under-16s will continue to show case their talents in the Friday nights competition which in the past has unearthed some of the valleys best players, many of whom have made the jump directly to the Premier division.
And Saturday mornings will once again see a blossoming of junior players out for a mornings enjoyment in age groups from Under-6 through to Under-15.
The events of November 16 have refocussed people's attention on the round ball game which has been appropriately named the World Game because of its universal participaton levels.
From this awe inspiring performance local clubs are anticipating an influx of players both old and new into the many competitions running in the valley and have begun their preparations to accomodate both male and female players.
From the Westlawn Tigers, president Anne Pursey feels that players who may have been considering trying another code this season will be drawn back into the fold and as such they have taken steps to bolster their coaching from their premier side down.
The appointment of the experienced Terry Wratten as senior coach should see the club continue its winning ways through 2006.
At the City club, promotions man, Greg Allan, has also been very active throughout the off season, not only conducting some informal training sessions with the very willing juniors of the club but sending out feelers into the business community seeking support for the clubs every growing numbers of players.
One organisation to answer the call was the well known real estate agency of Bailey and Gough with the princpal, Allan Gough, throwing his full support behind the club in its endeavours of promoting the code at all levels stating that 'he was glad to be able to do it.'
Allan has seen the blossoming growth of football from the very early days when he then sponsored teams his three sons were part of 20 years ago and has marvelled at the growing popularity of the game.
Which he refers to as 'a great game'.
The goodwill generated from his support will see his organization maintain its high status in the Grafton community and the support to the club will be most welcomed in off-setting the ever increasing costs to players and organizers.
Bailey and Gough will take the shirt naming rights for the remainder of the 2006 season and judging by the early enthusiasm at the clubs first trial training session they will get real value for their money.
The senior squads, first division Coffs/Clarence competition and all age will train at Rushforth Park from 5.30pm on Sunday evenings under the guidance of South American supremo Henry Betancur.
Junior sign-on will take place at the Grafton Primary School on February 18 from noon to 2pm.
Players from the Lower Clarence have not been forgotten with the clubs from this area already well into pre-season preparations with the Maclean Bobcats leading from the front following the appointment of coaches for their Premier sides.