Gallery: Fawns take to the field on historic day
RUGBY LEAGUE: It was a historic day for the Mary Valley Stags on Friday night with the Mary Valley Stags juniors taking to the field for the first time in the club's history.
After months of planning and community involvement, 27 juniors took to the field in what is hoped to be the start of an era for the Kandanga based club.
"All the kids had a great time. They had been waiting for this for weeks,” Stags vice-president Aaron Parker said.
"They were extremely excited and on Friday they finally got to play their first real game.”
While the club's division two team is one of the best on the Sunshine Coast, and tipped to make the grand final this year, the Stags hierarchy felt it was time to expand.
"We received a grant for the lighting at Jack Spicer Oval and part of getting that money was to try and get the juniors going,” he said.
"The club started advertising in The Gympie Times, Facebook and we visited schools in the area. It just grew from there.”
While it appears the Stags are going from strength to strength on the field, it has not been without its challenges.
The club had tried to form a juniors side in 2015 but were waylaid when only four players expressed interest.
"This time we changed our strategy and we got a massive response,” Parker said.
With solid numbers, the under-7s fielded a side, with the under-9s and 11s playing in the Gympie Devils joey's squad.
"These juniors are the future of the club and we can only grow from here,” Parker said.
"The focus at this age is just playing and having fun, so there are no scores kept. It is all about learning the game and having fun, which I think they all did.”