Record number of teams kick-off
NORTH Coast Football is celebrating the entry of a record number of teams across its junior and senior ranks a fortnight out from kick-off in the new season.
North Coast’s two dozen clubs have entered 22 new teams (four senior and 18 junior) for a total of 318 teams across the Coffs Harbour and Clarence regions.
The biggest increase of player numbers has been in the vital eight and nine years age groups, which are bursting at the seams.
This has impressed operations manager Bob Harris.
“Our youngest representative players are just 10 years old, so to have such an abundance of players in the game at eight and nine will be a real boost in the years to come,” Harris said.
“That is why we have put so many resources into equipping coaches for this age group. With the right coaching now, these young players could be set for a career in the game.”
There are 10 first grade men’s teams, with each contributing a youth/reserves team to play before each first division fixture throughout the season.
The youth/reserves competition is under-21, with four over-age players per team.
The biggest change to the men’s competition this year comes in the second and third division.
Clubs have elected not to play a second division competition from the start of the season, in favour of two large third divisions, one in the Clarence region and one in the Coffs region.
Both regions will have 13 teams, making it by far the most heavily subscribed senior competition.
After one full round of 12 matches, the top three from each region will combine and play a new second division finals series, leading to a grand final.
The remaining 10 teams in each third division competition will play on with their accrued points for a place in their regional grand final and then a championship final featuring the top team from each region’s competition.
The women’s competition has been strengthened, with eight teams entered into each of the top three grades, first, second and third division.
Maclean Bobcats have stepped up to first grade this year. It is a competition in which they would have been competitive in previous years, such is the standard of the women’s game in the Clarence at the moment.
Maclean Bobcats have stepped up to first grade this year, such is the standard of the women’s game in the Clarence at the moment.