Young Giants ready to launch season

By Andrew Johnston

A GROUP of young footballers braved the weather to take part in the SGR Giants season launch on Wednesday.

Members of the club took part in a session at the Girgarre Recreation Reserve, taking to training despite cold and rainy conditions.

SGR Giants is a youth girls football team made up of players from Stanhope, Girgarre and Rushworth.

SGR's Andrew Hipwell said the club was excited to launch their season.

“We've been training for a few weeks now,” he said.

“But we wanted to get all the players and families together, have an opportunity to meet the coaches and the committee and really get ready for the season.”

The playing group was also spoken to by SGR's partner club Girgarre's senior coach Billy Barnes, who said looking after grassroots football was incredibly important for the sport.

“It's incredibly important to start teaching players while they are young,” he said.

“Putting the emphasis on our game at a young age, it sets them up really well for a long time in the sport and helps the game to grow.”

Barnes, who joined Girgarre in 2019, said the SGR program was an incredible strength for his own club, as well as fellow partner clubs Stanhope and Rushworth.

“It's critical for their development,” he said.

“You're drawing from across a great region, these players get to have that experience with people they know which plays a key role when you're first learning the game.

“What I love about the club also is the number of female footballers who are a part of the club. We are seeing the women's game grow so much, so to have a local club who can give these girls a chance to play is brilliant.”

Hipwell agreed with Barnes.

“It's fantastic,” he said.

“It's a great initiative by the club to have the team in place. Once the girls take the field and its really happening I think it will grow even more.

“I really praise the club for getting on the front foot and starting it.”