Galloping into a new year

Manning Valley Mustangs are galloping into the 2017 season, following the exciting announcement that the club will be entering both under 11 and 13 teams in the AFL North Coast competition. This marks incredible growth for the fledgling club, which joined the competition only last season.

This growth has been replicated in a number of towns across the region resulting in four new teams within the existing competition as well as the introduction of a four team Youth Girls competition (13 to 17) to meet the demand from girls wanting to play AFL.

Club spokesperson Jeremy Thornton said that junior AFL is in a really exciting growth phase.

“AFL is growing in popularity year on year. Off the back of the recent visit to the region by the Sydney Swans and the introduction of the AFL women’s competition we’re seeing boys and girls of all ages wanting to join clubs and play the game,’’ he said.

“Our sport is safe, fun, and inclusive, and promotes physical fitness and teamwork. Our club is family-oriented and we welcome anyone wanting to play, coach, umpire, or volunteer.”

The North Coast is rapidly emerging as one of the fastest growing regions for AFL within NSW. Matt Crawley, development manager for AFL NSW/ACT, said that the volunteer coaches and administrators deserve much of the credit for the code’s recent successes.

“Club volunteers work tirelessly to provide a positive and safe environment for the kids to play the sport  they love, to learn the skills and rules, and to have the chance to pursue their dreams,’’ he said.

Young Mustangs Jacon Brown-Stokes with Joseph and Alex Wright at the Come 'n' try day held at Wrigley Park. The Mustangs will field two teams in this year's North Coast junior competition.

Young Mustangs Jacon Brown-Stokes with Joseph and Alex Wright at the Come 'n' try day held at Wrigley Park. The Mustangs will field two teams in this year's North Coast junior competition.

In addition to the team the club also offers an Auskick program for boys and girls aged 5 to 9. For more details contact Jeremy Thornton on either 0417 874 717 or mustangsafc@mail.com.

Rugby gala at Old Bar

FIVE clubs will contest the annual Lower Mid North Coast Rugby Union gala day is this Saturday at the Richard Crook Field at Old Bar.

Host club Old Bar Clams, Gloucester, Wallamba, premiers Forster-Tuncurry and Manning Ratz will be involved. Games will start at 11.30.

Two former players have taken over the coaching duties at the Clams. Dave Kennedy and Tim Tout will share the job. Matt Lansdowne was originally appointed to the position but has had to take up work commitments in Newcastle, club president Anthony Barber explained.

“Dave and Tim are both very dedicated and enthusiastic about the club’s potential this year,’’ Mr Barber said.

“We have had some new players turn up for training and we are looking positive to build on last year’s improvements.’’

The LNC competition-proper will kick off on Saturday April 1.