Junior athletes lace up for start of season

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FINALLY BACK… Shepparton United junior footballers, Sam Adams and Seb Pellegrino with netballers, Tazmyn Stovell and Janaya Pettie, can’t wait to get back to weekend competition this Saturday in a modified GVL junior season. Photo: Struan Jones.

JUNIOR sport is back on in the Goulburn Valley.

Last weekend saw the return to competition in the Shepparton and District Junior Football League, the Shepparton Junior Soccer Association, and the Goulburn Valley Hockey Association juniors.

This Saturday, footballers and netballers of the Goulburn Valley League (GVL) will take the field after a long limbo, for a modified nine-round season with collective fingers crossed to make it to a September 26 grand final.

The GVL juniors will consist of its inaugural under-16s and under-18s in football and 15- and 17-and under netball competitions.

GVL board chairman, David Roff, said, “Season 2020 is certainly not how anyone envisaged it to be. It is very different to any season in the 126-year history of the GOTAFE Goulburn Valley League.”

Other changes to the 2020 season include an eight-player bench in the football, and rolling substitutes introduced for netball.

The traditional finals series has been replaced with a final play-off between the two top teams from each grade, at a yet to be determined venue at the end of nine rounds.

“The primary goal of the board and all our participating clubs is to encourage participation for our juniors,” Mr Roff said.

The league has reminded people that only spectators necessary to support participation should attend training and competitions and must abide by current group gathering restrictions.