Mathoura coach says clubs could face junior crisis

By Brayden May

MATHOURA senior coach Darcy Robinson believes retaining junior players could be one of the biggest challenges following the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout the summer, the Timbercutters underwent a big recruiting drive to help boost numbers in the club's youngest teams.

And it paid big dividends as Mathoura was set to field three sides - under 11s, 14s and 17s.

“There was certainly a lot of excitement around the club,” Robinson said.

“A lot of people put in so much work behind the scenes to get those programs up and running.

“Being able to field a team in different age groups is one of the biggest challenges for clubs in small towns.

“Having to tell my own kids that the season had been postponed was hard. It is something we look forward to as a family every week.

“If the season wasn't to go ahead, some clubs might struggle to get kids to come back and play footy.”

Robinson's concerns also extended to his own playing group.

“This is a time where people might be questioning their love of the game,” he said.

“Every club would have players who might have taken the opportunity to work on a Saturday and even a Sunday, something they wouldn't usually do during a normal season.

“That extra income could be crucial for their family so they could just keep up the routine they've become used to.

“When we had all the excitement of round one taken away from us, it did leave you feeling flat.”

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