Junior soccer players flood into Shepparton

By Shepparton News

The best junior soccer talent in country Victoria arrives in Shepparton today, with more than 1000 players playing in the Victorian Country Junior Championships.

Sixty-five junior teams, made up of boys and girls aged 10 to 15, will compete in the championships, with clubs visiting from across Victoria.

Shepparton Junior Soccer Association secretary Karen Hocking was excited for Shepparton to host such a major event.

‘‘It’s one of the largest country championships in the past couple of years,’’ Hocking said.

‘‘It’s very exciting, we’re really looking forward to it.’’

The competition will also provide a stress test for the Shepparton Sports Precinct, which opened last year.

Hocking was confident the facility would be a great location for the championships.

‘‘We’ve just got the most amazing venue here and it’s a great opportunity to showcase this facility,’’ she said.

Hocking hoped the local teams would make use of the home ground advantage.

‘‘We’re hoping all our teams will be competitive, I’m not going to mozz them by saying who I have high hopes for though,’’ she said.

‘‘Above all I hope they have a good time.’’

The influx is expected to provide an economic boost to the area, as visiting players and their families not only enjoy the soccer, but local retail, accommodation and hospitality businesses.

Greater Shepparton City Council has estimated more than $1million will flow into the city from the tournament, which finishes on Monday.

- Alex Linton