2013 in review
NORTH WAGGA SENIORS AND JUNIORS FLYING HIGH
North Wagga Juniors and Seniors are mending their once fractured relationship, a move that is so far proving to reap rewards for both clubs.
By James Matthey
The North Wagga Junior and Senior clubs haven’t always been on the best of terms, but that is starting to change as both clubs look to work together for the betterment of the whole football and netball community.
With many senior and junior clubs in the Riverina operating as separate entities, North Wagga has broken the mould and is setting an example for other clubs to follow about the benefits of joining forces.
North Wagga Juniors President, Garry Crouch, said it was fantastic to see the work the seniors were doing in helping out the junior players.“In years gone by, North Wagga juniors and seniors were at loggerheads with each other, but now we’ve got good communication with Foxy (President Greg Fox) and Rod Sheedy (secretary) so it’s really good,” said Crouch.“We’ve had the senior group come down and train with our juniors all the time, which is great, the kids love it, seeing the senior boys running around out there so it’s been fantastic.“A lot of clubs don’t have that and I think young Nathan Dowdle (captain-coach of the senior side) is doing a great job with the kids even though he’s only young.”
Senior Club President, Greg Fox, said this closer relationship was instrumental in ensuring that local juniors continued to rise through the ranks into senior footy, which is a signature of this year’s senior squads.“Positives for the club are the amount of kids and the amount of juniors that have come through the club and are playing senior footy,” said Fox.“That’s the pull through of the juniors, trying to get a pull through of our junior club into our senior club, so the majority of our guys playing reserve grade and first grade at the moment have an average age of about 20.“It’s been pretty positive, I’d say three or four years ago it wasn’t overly positive, it was probably like most other clubs where we were a bit separated, but we’ve worked pretty hard to try and bring the two clubs together and try and talk about pull-through from our junior sides and to work together.”
After floods ravaged any hopes of a successful 2012 season, just being on the field is a positive for members of the North Wagga Junior Football Club, whose Under-12 and Under-13 sides have been two of the stand-outs for the club this season.
Our Mission Statement
North Wagga AFNC operates from McPherson Oval in the heart of the local North Wagga community. We aim to provide a family friendly environment for youth and adults of the area participating in Football and Netball.Our purpose is to develop and foster junior netball and football players in an environment that encourages them to improve their skills to the maximum level possible.It is our aim to provide a continual stream from the basic starter level to the highest senior level that they can reach while playing Australian Football and Netball in this region.
To Foster the development of the youth of our community through competition, training and club activitiesTo build and encourage junior football and netball participation numbers.
To provide a successful club for the participants and supporters in the North Wagga area.
Ensure a quality club environment with a high level of interaction between seniors and juniors.
The provision of quality coaches
The senior club went in to recess following the end of 2006, After concerted effort and many meetings the Club was reformed in 2008, joining the RFL rather than the FFL, as it had been determined that without a smooth transition between the Junior and Senior Clubs the long term future of both Clubs would be in jeopardy.
As expected the Club was massively outclassed in the seniors, however the u18’s again as expected were successful and more then held their own playing in RFL finals.
The Club was forced (relegated) back to the Farrer Football Netball League in 2010, the senior team continued rebuilding with our boys defeating arch rivals CAK to win that years u18 Premiership.
In the following seasons all teams have played in FFNL finals, The Reserve grade side played in 2 losing grand finals before winning in 2013.
The 3rds made the Grand Final in 2012 ending the season as u17 premiers for the second time.
A handful of North Wagga junior u15s boys also achieved the extremely rare feat of playing in and winning two Premierships in the same season, as they were 2012 WDJFL premiers as well as playing in the winning FFNL u17 grand final the following week.
The FFNL u17 competition folded at the end of season 2012, a new AFL Riverina u17 competition was formed in 2013 consisting of teams from both RFL and FFL competitions primarily at the instigation of both the Junior and Senior North Wagga Club executive.
The Club is on course to re-claiming our dominant position in the league, our core playing squad is largely made up of players that have progressed from the North Wagga juniors through the 3rds (u18/u17), the majority now have over 50 senior games to their credit.
The massive debt that the Club inherited from the preceding decades has now been re-paid, with the Club recording a profit at the last two AGM’s, this is thanks to the professionalism of the executive and in particular treasurer M Powell who has put in place procedures and budgets that will ensure the financial stability of the Club into the future.
The Clubs focus has always been on the promotion of OUR junior players through to the senior leagues – rather then on importing a premiership winning senior squad. It has taken time but now that we have our CORE playing group we have started to recruit key players from outside of this area, so that as well as our u17 and reserves playing in premierships our senior team should now also start to dominate.