Exciting season ahead for juniors

Action from the 2023 AFL North West Under 14 Grand Final.

AN additional age group and a strong commitment to the Gala Day format have laid a foundation for what promises to be an exciting 2024 for the AFL North West’s juniors.

This season will see an Under 12 age group introduced to create a transition between the non-competitive Under-10s and the Under 14s that played last year.

Both the Under 12 and Under 14 age groups this year will feature three teams.

The 12s will see Glen Innes return to competitive football, the New England Nomads continue to gain strength as a strong junior club and Gunnedah and Tamworth combining to create a team.

In the Under 14 age group, Tamworth and Gunnedah will again combine to make a team. They will play matches against the Nomads and reigning premier Inverell.

Teams will play a 12-match home and away season starting on May 5 before the top two on the ladder at the end of the season face off in the Grand Final on August 25.

The successful introduction in 2023 of Under 10 teams playing in fortnightly Gala Days will continue this year.

The season starts with a huge Gala Day in Tamworth with clubs from across the North West region gathering for Under 10 matches before the Tamworth/Gunnedah teams play against the Nomads in the older age groups.

Further Gala Days will be held throughout the year in Armidale, Gunnedah, Glen Innes and Inverell.

AFL Northern NSW Community Football & Competition Manager Brad Greenshields said the start of the season can’t come quick enough.

“The junior players in the region can’t wait for the season to start,” Greenshields said.

“The strategy has been build a strong base at the youngest levels and it’s encouraging to see that it has already turned into an extra age group for footballers to enjoy.”

CLICK HERE to see the AFL North West fixtures for 2024.