Growing pride: Gympie Cats double juniors for season 2020
AUSSIE RULES: The future of AFL in Gympie is bright with the Gympie Cats almost doubling their junior players numbers from last season.
The Cats started the 2019 season with 76 and this season the club has reached 146.
New president Ann-Marie Warren has made the juniors of the club her prime focus and junior vice-president Matt Killian has a similar vision.
“Last year we had an under-8s team, under-12, under-13 girls team and half an under-14 and under-16 team that combined with Hinterland to play,” he said.
“This year we are going to have two under-8s teams, an under-10s, under-12, under-14, we could have an under-16s, under-13 girls and under-15 girls team.
“The sign on just started on the weekend and the season does not start until the end of March, the numbers are looking pretty good. The future of the club is looking very bright.”
Despite the rise in numbers before the official start of the season, Killian has plans for the future.
“When Glenn (Warren, executive senior vice-president and former president) was in charge they had about 50 under-8s and that is our plan, to have four sides in the younger divisions and the girls,” he said.
“Women’s AFL is the fastest growing sport in Australia and we want to keep pushing it. We had one team last year, we have two this year and the next year we want to have three or four.
“They are the future of the club but it is also just about getting children out there playing sport.”
Coming from Victoria, Killian lives and breathes footy and will bring what he has learnt over the years here to Gympie.
“I have played since I was five, my parents ran Auskick for 10 years and then I played for the Basin Football Club,” he said.
“I have been on the committee at Basin for about 20 years, so I know how it all runs. I am still in good contact with them and we bounce ideas off each other now.”
Gympie Cats junior sign on days are Tuesday, February 11 and Thursday, February 13 from 4pm to 5.30pm at Ray Warren Oval. Most teams start training February 20.