Upwey Tecoma Junior Football Club are benefitting from an off-season where bringing kids and families back together has reignited a great community spirit, which now sees high participation numbers for the Tigers ahead of its 50th year.
In late February, the Tigers ran a Community Day for its members on the grounds of the senior club where a great turnout of members was had and this was the beginning of a recruitment drive which saw participation numbers rise ahead of the season.
Pre-season training had its difficulties during the summer where ground availability was an issue with teams constantly moving to different locations to train but is now all resolved ahead of the new season.
Club president Brendan Ferguson is pleased with where his club is at ahead of season 2022 and is excited of what it can produce in an important year.
“The kids were slow in numbers to come back for pre-season, but we have been building it over time,” he said.
“The kids have been putting in a good block of training over the last month which holds us in great stead for the start of the season.
“All the kids have come back keen and want to get footy started which is really good.”
The Tigers will field 10 teams in 2022, an increase of two from last year, which includes an under 12 and 14 girls team and has particularly good numbers at under 9 level with a minimum of 25 kids registered.
Most coaches from last season will remain at the club in 2022, but in an exciting move, the club has enlisted two females to be involved in the coaching roster.
“We have our first female coach with Donna Nicol to coach the under 12 girls which is exciting as she has been heavily involved with bringing young girls to the club,” Ferguson explained.
“We also have Amanda Fage who will be the assistant coach of the under 9’s and it’s been fantastic to see women involved with coaching at the Tigers thus far.”
As the club looks towards the new season, there is a lot to look forward to, particularly where celebrations and events will be of great importance.
The 50th anniversary of Upwey Tecoma Juniors will include a gala event at Mulgrave Country Club in the latter half of the year.
Past players, coaches, life members and all current members of the Tigers will be invited along to celebrate in the great history of the club.
From an on-field perspective, Upwey Tecoma look strong with competitive teams and aim to do well, but success is not at the forefront of what they are about, instead the retention of players and ensuring everyone is enjoying themselves again is put at a higher level.
“Winning finals and premierships are great, but what we always base ourselves on in terms of a successful year is high participation and strong retention for the following year,” Ferguson said.
“Our coaching coordinator has put an excellent framework together for our teams to work towards which is excellent because I think we will be quite competitive.
“We are looking forward to completing a whole season again and if we are able to obtain successful outcomes from that, it’s a bonus.”