Sport

Rovers in need of a league

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February 22, 2017

Pre-season training is underway for the Rovers, but they are yet to find a league to compete in.

The Benalla Rovers Soccer Club might go from playing in top leagues in the area to fielding social and junior teams only.

The club was removed from the Goulburn North East Football Association (GNEFA) at the end of last season following a restructure from Football Federation Victoria.

Now the Rovers are not tied to any league and therefore would not be able to play competitive games this season.

Club president Rhiannon Collie said depending on what the community wanted out of the club, it could be remodelled as a junior club.

‘‘There are a number of junior clubs around that don’t have competitive football, and act as a stepping board for (other clubs) that play competitively,’’ she said.

The club was voted out of the Albury Wodonga Football Association (AWFA) in 2008, and affiliated with GNEFA in time for the 2009 season.

Since that time however, playing numbers at the club had dropped, Ms Collie said.

Junior games being played on Saturdays and senior games on Sundays had a part to play in player numbers dropping, she said.

Ms Collie said she had two boys who played and she also played for the club.

‘‘(Some games were played in Albury.) This meant we would have two full days of soccer and we just wouldn’t enjoy it the same. Plus we’d have no time to get ready for the upcoming week,’’ she said.

Ms Collie said support from Benalla Rural City Council had helped, with representatives attending monthly meetings at the Rovers’ home ground Churchill Reserve, and they were ‘‘very helpful and supportive’’.

Now for the upcoming 2017 season, the club is expecting enough players to field four teams, but is yet to enter any competitive league.

Ms Collie said the next job for club members would be to get the word out to any prospective players, even if it was only to play more social games.

‘‘We will look at those options, but we haven’t done a lot of advertising yet. So that’s the plan to remind people that we are here, really,’’ she said.

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