THE Torquay Tigers have welcomed a decision by AFL Barwon to allow each of its football clubs to have five Under 13 teams in the 2019 season.
AFL Barwon was planning to introduce a cap of four teams in Under 13s (the first of the competitive age groups) next year, but has increased this to five ahead of a four-team limit in 2020.
Torquay has had a huge number of junior teams in recent years, especially in the lower grades – in 2018, the club had six Under 13 sides, two Under 12 Girls sides, three Under 11 sides, three Under 10 sides and six Under 9 sides.
In an update to club members, Tigers president Jenny Wood said AFL Barwon’s decision was a great outcome.
“We believe we can work with five teams in Under 13s, taking into consideration the natural attrition we have from Under 11s to Under 13s.
“Our survey results indicated that there are a small number not returning for various reasons and we usually have a few children who decide later that they don’t want to return to football.
“Depending on the final numbers, we will talk to parents about how the five teams will be managed.”
Ms Wood said AFL Barwon had asked the Tigers to commit to a memorandum of understanding with clubs in the area to place children who miss out on a team to ensure they stay in the game.
“We accept that request and have already started discussions with our football development manager to facilitate these discussions. In saying that, we don’t believe we will need this in place for the 2019 season.
“We are confident this outcome is a result of the feedback from parents, the commitment of the club and the sheer data that reflects the decision of four teams as not suitable.”