Benalla will have at least two under-12 teams for the first time, competing in the Wangaratta and District Junior Football League this season.
The teams will be co-ordinated by the Benalla and District Junior Football League, according to newly elected president Darren Skelton.
‘‘It’s been a very busy few months for the committee following the AFL’s decision to integrate the Benalla and Wangaratta under-12 competitions,’’ Mr Skelton said.
‘‘We are now making strong progress towards the appointment of coaches, allocation of players and the logistics which go with establishing potentially three new teams.’’
Depending on the number of registrations, the BDJFL will field up to three teams in the Wangaratta and district competition — Benalla Red, White and Green.
Mr Skelton said the new teams would join the Benalla Giants and Benalla Bulldogs under-14 and under-16 teams in the regional competition.
‘‘All the teams will continue to be administered by the BDJFL which is extremely important in terms of ensuring that our junior players are given the best chance of developing their skills and enjoying their football,’’ Mr Skelton said.
‘‘The BDJFL has provided an opportunity for junior footballers, both boys and girls, to play our great game for the best part of 70 years, and we will continue to make decisions based on what’s best for our town and players.’’
Mr Skelton said he anticipated that coaching appointments and training would begin in March.
‘‘We have received expressions of interest from some great local coaches, so I am extremely positive that our new teams will be well coached and administered,’’ Mr Skelton said.
The BDJFL has also been busy appointing new Auskick co-ordinators for the coming season.
Shane and Julie Richardson will take over the reins from Mick and Bec Liddington who have undertaken the role for the past seven seasons.
‘‘Mick and Bec have done a tremendous job co-ordinating Auskick, and we thank them for their commitment and passion for junior football. We are delighted that Shane and Julie have put their hands up to take on the job.’’
Auskick registrations are now open online by visiting www.aflauskick.com.au
Under-12, under-14 and under-16 registrations are expected to be open in the near future.