Healesville juniors are looking forward to the new season

Three U14 teams last year. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Dongyun Kwon

Junior teams of Healesville Soccer Club are gearing up for the new season, starting on Saturday 20 April.

The club has increased five more junior teams to 16 teams with over 180 players for the new season.

Healesville Soccer Club vice president Leesa Riley said the club is very happy to return the teenage year teams.

“We’ve got three U15 teams and we’ve also got two U13 teams,” she said.

“So, we’ve been able to retain a lot of our talents from the younger years into these teenage year groups and that’ll really benefit the club not only because they stay around but also they’ll fit into our senior teams.

“Two of the new teams are female teams. That was a combination of the league creating more junior age groups for girls and a lot more interest in girls from the Matilda’s phenomenon.”

The junior teams had a remarkable season last year.

U14 Girls wrapped up the season with runners up and U14 Boys won the premiership in B division.

Five players were selected in the Top 5 Best and Fairest in the league in their respective age groups with Will Watson and Ava Holman both taking out the League Best and Fairest Award for the U14 Boys and U14 Girls respectively.

Four players were picked up to compete in the CCFA Nationals on the Sunshine Coast.

Will Watson was selected for the U15 Boys team and Ava Holman, Melita Campbell and Ruby Mann in the U17 Girls team coached by Sarah and Maddie.

Ms Riley also accompanied them as a team manager.

Ms Riley said all the remarkable results that the club achieved last season were thanks to the support from the volunteers and is looking forward to more achievements in the new season with the support.

“We are so excited about the growth of the club,” she said.

“We have had a lot more interest from players and thankfully a lot of support from our community to volunteer both for the committee and in roles that will support our players including coaches and team manager.

“We have grown our committee from eight members to 13 and fulfilled important roles including an appointed child safety officer and marketing and sponsorship lead.

“Through our strategic planning process, we have a vision and plan for the future and have set up a more sustainable structure to enable growth and success.”

Some changes to the rules and regulations have been made for the new season.

U15 Girls will play on a full-size pitch and have offside rules.

U13 Girls, which is a new division, will have offside rules and be in a competitive structure including the Best and Fairest Award and a ladder.

U11 Boys will also have offside rules too.

“It’s preparing them for getting into the older age group,” Ms Riley said.

The vice president said the club’s vision is always for the players to have fun with their friends while building their skills.

“We want to build their skills so that they can enjoy competitions,” she said.

“We also want to support the players that are interested in taking their soccer to the next level, provide the coaches support to help them facilitate skill building and also continue to provide a soccer academy as an additional option for players to participate in.

“We are so proud of the community that we have created and want to continue to foster a good atmosphere on training nights and competition days at Don Road and would love anyone from the community to come to cheer the teams on.”