Juniors to kick on in Grafton

THIS Sunday will be a historic day for Australian rules football in Grafton when the town’s first ever junior takes the field.

Considering the Grafton Tigers club has been around for nearly 30 years, this day has been a long time coming.

The establishment of a junior team can be attributed to a few things.

Firstly, the AFL is marketing the game in our region more than ever with two new teams entering the competition in the next two years – the Gold Coast next year and Western Sydney in 2012.

And the most important reason for the emergence of the Tiger Cubs, as they will be known, is due to the work of Warren Bagnall and Wayne Phillips. Both men have been presidents of the senior club and with their children now looking to play the sport, they saw a need to get a team up and going.

Since then senior committee members Chris Schaeffer, James Hourigan, Naomi Blackwell and Simone Baker have been working tirelessly to make the seemingly impossible a reality.

The Cubs begin the season with a game at home, Ellem Oval, against the other local side, the Lower Clarence Eagles.

It is hoped that the two clubs can build a strong rivalry over the next few years.

The under-11 game will get underway at 8.45am with the under-13s and 15s games between the Eagles and Northern Beaches Blues (Woolgoolga) to follow.

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