Connecting with each other was the theme to North Geelong Warriors’ recent road trip around the region.
The Under 12s boys NPL squad took to staging a series of matches and training sessions with various clubs all over the Greater Geelong Region.
Visiting Geelong SC, Geelong Rangers, Elcho Park Cardinals, Barwon SC and Barwon Heads, the Under 12s put themselves to the test as they commence the transition from Under 12 9v9 format in the NPL structure to full field football for the 2005 born players in 2018.
In addition to learning and adjusting to the different demands of a full size pitch, the greatest asset they all picked up over the duration of the experience was creating connections with their friends in community football, which for some was a visit back to their original clubs.
This year’s North Geelong NPL Under 12s represent the region from eight (Barwon SC, Geelong, Geelong Rangers, Kardinia International, Surf Coast, Elcho Park Cardinals, Werribee and North Geelong) different community based clubs in the state-wide competition. It was the first year that the Under 12 format took on the 9v9 format and it was a terrific success.
The format provides coaches and technical assessors the opportunity identify future talent for representative squads such as the FFV’s Talent ID Centre where 17 of the 23 member squad were invited to be a part of the Federation’s program including one member of the Under 12 team being selected to join the Vic Country Rep team of Under 13 and 14 travelling to Japan on a lifetime experience.
North Geelong had a further 11 members from their under 13s and 14 program selected for the that same tour.
With NPL Trials underway, the result of the connections North Geelong is making with its community is a direct result of open communication and collaboration with record numbers attending trials, most significantly the Under 12 group, with 50 players trialling from 13 different community clubs.
“Football has grown in interest and participation, capturing the hearts and minds of our region,” enthused Football Operations Manager Josip Zilic said. “We encourage everyone to embrace the sport at whatever level they enjoy the most and get the most our out of it.”
Zilic continued by urging support for infrastructure investment to meet the demand. “What we need now is all tiers of government and business willing to act upon and endorse the progress of facilities and infrastructure to keep us [clubs] all engaged and supporting our members of the community to remain involved in a healthy and active lifestyle”.