Mininera and District Football League looking at the future

sport, local-sport,

Despite COVID-19 impacting a second successive season of community sport, the Mininera and District Football League were able to push through and be able to see out their home and away season. The 2021 MDFL senior football competition proved to be another competitive year with five wins separating first and fifth place. MDFL president John Box said the league, and other country football leagues had done a “great job” to keep seasons alive with the stop-start nature the coronavirus pandemic placed on the fixtures. “The top-six teams have played very strong football, some of the football players who have come out after a year off have been great,” Box said. “The standard of play when we could get going has been very good.” Despite only having six of the 12 MDFL sides fielding Under-16.5 sides in the 2021 season, Box said he was proud of what the league had achieved. RELATED: Mininera and District Netball Association excited by the future “The six clubs that stuck together have definitely achieved all that we asked, because it is definitely difficult to keep the competition running with six clubs,” Box said. “Our vision is next year to have a couple clubs, who pulled out this year, to put juniors in and get up to around eight teams or even a bit better.” In 2019 the Ararat Eagles finished the season in last place, winless after 16 matches. Fast forward 11 months and 11 matches later, the Eagles have finished the 2021 MDFL season in fifth place with seven wins and four losses, on their way to securing their first ever MDFL finals birth. Club President Nats McRoberts credits losing to Great Western by 509 points in 2019 as the turning point in the club’s misfortune. READ MORE: “It was decided amongst a group of players that were affiliated with the Eagles since juniors- they decided to come back and that got the ball rolling,” McRoberts said. “We worked tirelessly for the remainder of the season and took on every opportunity to raise money for the club and put ourselves in a better spot financially, that really pointed us in the right direction.” The Eagles reserves had a respectable season finishing eighth on the ladder with four wins and seven losses. “The reserves were relatively competitive as well, they potentially could have made finals if the season went to plan with 16 rounds,” McRoberts said. OTHER NEWS: Ararat Eagles were forced to withdraw their Under-16.5 side prior to the season, however they intend on entering a side in 2022. “That’s the plan, we’ve obviously got a fair bit of work to do,” McRoberts said. “We need to try and do something (about junior football) because we can’t keep letting it go the way it’s going.” Great Western’s Damon Folkes became the club’s first league-leading goal kicker, in recent history, finishing with 70 goals from 11 matches in the COVID-19 interrupted season. The Lions finished third with nine wins and two losses, while the Great Western reserves side had a great home and away season, finishing second with nine wins and two loses. MORE NEWS: The Lions’ Under-16.5 side were equally impressive with seven wins and four losses, placing them third on the ladder. Tatyoon finished second on the ladder with 10 wins and one loss, finishing one game behind the undefeated Woorndoo Mortlake. The Hawks’ biggest win of the season was against Caramut in round six where they demolished the Swans by 317 points. The Hawks reserves side narrowly missed out on the final five by four points, ending the season with six wins from 11 matches. Tatyoon’s Under-16.5 side didn’t fare as well as their senior counterparts, finishing last with one win and 10 losses. Moyston-Willaura improved three spots on the ladder from the 2019 season, finishing eighth on the ladder with three wins and eight losses. The Puma’s reserves completed the season in seventh place with six wins and five losses. Moyston-Willaura’s Under-16.5 side had a competitive season, finishing in fourth place with five wins and six losses. SMW Rovers had a disappointing season, winning three less games than in 2019 to finish in tenth position with three wins and eight losses. Their reserves side performed substantially better than their senior counterparts, finishing the home and away season in fourth with eight wins and three losses. The Rovers did not enter an Under-16.5 side in season 2021. If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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Pictures: PETER PICKERING

Despite COVID-19 impacting a second successive season of community sport, the Mininera and District Football League were able to push through and be able to see out their home and away season.

The 2021 MDFL senior football competition proved to be another competitive year with five wins separating first and fifth place.

MDFL president John Box said the league, and other country football leagues had done a “great job” to keep seasons alive with the stop-start nature the coronavirus pandemic placed on the fixtures.

“The top-six teams have played very strong football, some of the football players who have come out after a year off have been great,” Box said.

“The standard of play when we could get going has been very good.”

Despite only having six of the 12 MDFL sides fielding Under-16.5 sides in the 2021 season, Box said he was proud of what the league had achieved.

“The six clubs that stuck together have definitely achieved all that we asked, because it is definitely difficult to keep the competition running with six clubs,” Box said.

“Our vision is next year to have a couple clubs, who pulled out this year, to put juniors in and get up to around eight teams or even a bit better.”

In 2019 the Ararat Eagles finished the season in last place, winless after 16 matches.

Fast forward 11 months and 11 matches later, the Eagles have finished the 2021 MDFL season in fifth place with seven wins and four losses, on their way to securing their first ever MDFL finals birth.

Club President Nats McRoberts credits losing to Great Western by 509 points in 2019 as the turning point in the club’s misfortune.

“It was decided amongst a group of players that were affiliated with the Eagles since juniors- they decided to come back and that got the ball rolling,” McRoberts said.

“We worked tirelessly for the remainder of the season and took on every opportunity to raise money for the club and put ourselves in a better spot financially, that really pointed us in the right direction.”

The Eagles reserves had a respectable season finishing eighth on the ladder with four wins and seven losses.

“The reserves were relatively competitive as well, they potentially could have made finals if the season went to plan with 16 rounds,” McRoberts said.

Ararat Eagles were forced to withdraw their Under-16.5 side prior to the season, however they intend on entering a side in 2022.

“That’s the plan, we’ve obviously got a fair bit of work to do,” McRoberts said.

“We need to try and do something (about junior football) because we can’t keep letting it go the way it’s going.”

Great Western’s Damon Folkes became the club’s first league-leading goal kicker, in recent history, finishing with 70 goals from 11 matches in the COVID-19 interrupted season.

The Lions finished third with nine wins and two losses, while the Great Western reserves side had a great home and away season, finishing second with nine wins and two loses.

The Lions’ Under-16.5 side were equally impressive with seven wins and four losses, placing them third on the ladder.

Tatyoon finished second on the ladder with 10 wins and one loss, finishing one game behind the undefeated Woorndoo Mortlake.

The Hawks’ biggest win of the season was against Caramut in round six where they demolished the Swans by 317 points.

The Hawks reserves side narrowly missed out on the final five by four points, ending the season with six wins from 11 matches.

Tatyoon’s Under-16.5 side didn’t fare as well as their senior counterparts, finishing last with one win and 10 losses.

Moyston-Willaura improved three spots on the ladder from the 2019 season, finishing eighth on the ladder with three wins and eight losses.

The Puma’s reserves completed the season in seventh place with six wins and five losses. Moyston-Willaura’s Under-16.5 side had a competitive season, finishing in fourth place with five wins and six losses.

SMW Rovers had a disappointing season, winning three less games than in 2019 to finish in tenth position with three wins and eight losses.

Their reserves side performed substantially better than their senior counterparts, finishing the home and away season in fourth with eight wins and three losses.

The Rovers did not enter an Under-16.5 side in season 2021.

If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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