New junior AFL competition into the Southern Tablelands.

Line it up: Players aged 10-12 will compete in the six-week-long AFL competition between Yass, Murrumbateman, Gundaroo, Goulburn and Bungendore. Photo: Zac Lowe
Line it up: Players aged 10-12 will compete in the six-week-long AFL competition between Yass, Murrumbateman, Gundaroo, Goulburn and Bungendore. Photo: Zac Lowe

The AFL is introducing a new junior competition into the Southern Tablelands.

The new competition will be designed to introduce children to competitive football while also making it more accessible for them. 

The Lake George Junior Australian Football League (AFL) Competition will focus on the Southern Tablelands and ACT region.

It will encompass teams such as Yass, Murrumbateman, Goulburn, Gundaroo and Bungendore.

Junior AFL development coordinator for the ACT, Luke Martin, explained that the competition was being targeted at this region due to the lack of accessibility which currently prevents youngsters progressing in their AFL development.

“We’ve found that our participation base out in the areas that we’ll be playing isn’t as strong as we’d like,” Mr Martin said. 

“We want to give kids the opportunity to play the game.

“Instead of asking them to come into Canberra to play, we’ll take footy out to the regions.”

This being the first year for the competition, Mr Martin is aware that it will most likely be imperfect and will be streamlined in future editions. 

“Year one, we’ll have some rough spots,” Mr Martin said.

“But we think that this is an offering for kids in the region to trial football instead of coming from zero weeks to come into the full twenty week commitment Canberra, this is a good supplementary offering.” 

Along with providing an opportunity for kids who haven’t had much exposure to football, Mr Martin also said that the competition will benefit the families of the children taking part. 

“And families as well, it [the regular season] becomes a whole day and whole weeks of training for them as well, so this is just a bit of a tester for them,” he said. 

The competition will be played under different rules to those of regular matches.

However Mr Martin said that the rules currently remain loosely defined. 

“It’s going to be fairly flexible for this competition,” he said. 

“The rules will be flexible whether it’s field size, around players per team – at this stage it looks like 12 player per team. 

“It’s nothing hard and fast at this stage.

“It’s just about getting them out there playing and building off that.”

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