Elmore and LBU prepare for modified seasons

By Brayden May

FOOTY and netball is back for Elmore and Lockington-Bamawm United’s next generation.

Last week, the Bloods announced they are set to field an under 18 football team and under 17, 15 and 13 netball sides in a modified competition between Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues which is expected to start later this month.

The planned season, with a target date of July 18 and 19, would include eight rounds and two weeks of finals in which every team would feature.

Elmore president David Trewick said it finally felt like the club’s first win in a long time.

“It’s great that our junior players are going to be able to play some games,” he said.

“AFL Central Victoria have done a terrific job to get this up and running because the situation has been changing so quickly on a daily basis.

“For us as a club, it is vital that we keep our kids playing the sport they love. Many of them are at an age where if they do stop playing, they might not come back next year.

“We’ll do our part to make sure all the rules are followed so that the kids can make the most of this opportunity.”

Although, the case isn’t as simple for LBU.

The Cats had originally asked to join the Shepparton District Junior Football League, but their request was knocked back.

“We thought it would be a good way to help limit the travel for some of our players who live in the Echuca area,” club president Colin Bacon said.

“Now we’ve asked to join the Bendigo League’s under 16 competition and that looks like it could happen. There is the possibility some of Leitchville’s juniors could come and help us out.

“It’s a difficult situation because we had 26 players on our under 17s list and most of those are top age players. If Elmore need players, we might be able to lend them a hand, but that’s a discussion we still need to have.”

While the Cats netballers won’t play in a modified competition which will take place in Bendigo on Thursday night.

“Like our football teams, a lot of players live in Echuca,” he said.

“The commitment to make a two-hour round trip on a weeknight would have been a big ask.

“Many of them have part-time jobs and work on that night of the week as well.”

Bacon said the club remain committed to fielding under 12 and 14 football teams in the Goulburn Campaspe Junior Football League.

Runnymede will have an under 12 side in the same competition.