Officials will revise junior football draw

COLAC district junior footballers could play at different grounds from senior teams after Lorne announced it would not field an under-17.5 team this season.

The announcement means only nine clubs will have teams in the under-17.5 junior competition, with Forrest having already withdrawn.

League chairman Peter Lucas said this week that, as a result, officials would make alterations to the draw to ensure all teams played an even and reasonable number of games, with teams facing as many as six byes.

“While these alterations may cause some inconvenience for some people, the board and clubs felt that the changes were necessary for the benefit of all involved,” Mr Lucas said.

Initial plans were to have teams with the bye take on Forrest’s opponents, but Mr Lucas said the draw became complicated.

“That meant that some clubs would play the same teams twice in two weeks, so we’ve investigated a draw that irons out all the concerns and we’ll run it by the clubs on Friday,” Mr Lucas said.

Under revised plans, junior footballers could also face Sunday games this season.

Lorne president Michael Balderas said a lack of top-age players forced the club to withdraw an under-17.5 team for the second year in a row.

“I think we had possibly 12 or 13 kids set to play but we didn’t have enough top-age kids, and the Lorne school has a major camp with a number of them going away for seven or eight weeks so that didn’t help,” he said.

Mr Balderas said the club hoped to obtain over-age permits to keep players at the club who were too old to play under-14.5s.

“We’ll lose a couple to Colac or Anglesea but hopefully we’ll get them back next year when hopefully we’ve got those few extra players we were missing,” he said.

The league hopes to release the revised draw early next week.

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