Superclinic turnout disappoints
A TURNOUT of 10 boys and girls following a three week promotion of its Friday evening Superclinic was a heartbreaking outcome for the MDU Football Netball Club.
Flyers were displayed in supermarkets and sent out to schools, there was a radio interview and newspaper coverage of the event and it all comes at considerable cost.
In the end perhaps that cost is to club morale and the shockwaves extend out to other clubs in the region where the same struggle to attract players to the grass roots, their junior teams, is being faced.
It is a significant issue for the community as the junior teams are the future of the clubs.
If clubs aren’t supported in their endeavours to attract boys and girls to play football and netball then their future looks uncertain.
Few would argue that local football and netball clubs aren’t close to the heart and soul of their respective communities; places where people come together and feel their identity in a strong and tangible way.
MDU Football Netball Club is a magnificent organisation, second to none.
President Andrew Mackie said, “The club has done its best” in response to the disappointing turnout to the drive to attract Under 10, 12 and 14 players.
Andy Horvath the club secretary pointed the finger at nearby Leongatha’s fielding of two teams at each junior level.
“We’re blindsided,” Mr Horvath said.
Leongatha plays in the premier Gippsland League which makes it a more attractive club to play football for; the stakes are higher and recruiting is easier.
Chelsea Capel AFL Gippsland football development manager was at the Superclinic; AFL Gippsland had provided equipment, to support the activities.
She said, “AFL Gippsland can’t put restrictions on clubs fielding more than one side.
“Our role is promoting junior football. Hopefully the children who are here tonight will talk to their friends and that will help to bring more in.
“MDU is a proactive club and a great club to be involved in.”
Andy Horvarth said, “If Leongatha fields two teams at its Junior levels, that leaves fewer for us and other clubs in the Alberton league generally.”
He described a David versus Goliath situation with MDU getting the double rough end of the pineapple.
“Leongatha has become aggressive,” he said. “Its Senior playing group this season will include at least six players from Alberton clubs.”
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