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MFNC Player Shortage

MFNC Player Shortage

Football club struggles for numbers ahead of 2020 season

The Moulamein Football Netball Club has met with the Central Rivers Board about a schedule change because they're struggling to field an Under 17s football side.

The club currently has six players for the team and would need at least ten to be able to play some form of game.

Due to the low numbers, the club has met with the league last Sunday to discuss options for fielding a side, including bringing up players from their Under 14s squad.

One potential option and the most likely is to schedule U14 games to run prior, as more U14 players can commit to playing U17s if that happens.

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Club President Steve Battenally says they don't expect the issue to be long-term.

"Golden Rivers and Central Murray, I think we all sides and towns have struggled at some stage to get Under 14s, 17s and/or netballers," says Battenally.

"It seems to go in circles. You'll have plenty of kids and then you'll be down. Next year and the year after, we're likely to have enough 17s."

Chair of the Central Rivers board John Brookshaw says it's a region-wide issue;

"Its going to become very common because north-west Victoria is suffering from a scarcity of players and volunteers. Small regional communities like Moulamein, Quambatook and Macorna are shrinking, not growing in numbers," says Brookshaw.

"So, it's the board's, the league's and other clubs' responsibility to make sure that these clubs survive."

For Mr. Battenally, having youth at the club is important;

"We've always been a family club, we've really embraced it over the last few years and seems to be a lot happier place when there's a lot of young people around."

For the board, they'll do what they can to make sure they survive.

"The hub of a community like Moulamein is their football/netball club, so it's important that we look at every measure we can to ensure that these clubs survive and if that means changing the rules to support them, that's what we'll do," explained Brookshaw.

The Golden Rivers season starts April 18th.

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