NNDFC game day notes – Round 2, April 13, 2024

Today we play our first home game for the 2024 season. Looking back on the Club Notes for the first game of the 2023 season, we looked at issues that were facing all clubs. One of those issues was a severe lack of players willing and prepared to play our great game of Australian Rules Football. We acknowledged that there were many reasons for this, and that the answers were also many and complex. One of those issues, the lack of juniors coming through the system has now really hit home, resulting in only four clubs fielding Colts teams in the 2024 SFL season. Unfortunately, the New Norfolk District Football Club is one of the clubs unable to field a team in this competition this season. This is an extremely disappointing situation and one the club will work on in conjunction with the New Norfolk Junior Football Club to address in the upcoming seasons.

Today we welcome the Dodges Ferry Sharks to Boyer Oval for our first home game of the 2024 season. After a very tough encounter against last season’s premiers Cygnet last weekend, we will be looking for a game which will give us a better indication of what lies ahead for the rest of this season. It was a very big task first up against the reigning champions on their home turf. Although we were well beaten by 104 points at the final siren, there were many things to like about the way we played, and the effort put in by all of our players.

Dodges Ferry has recruited quite well but has also lost some key players from last season, while we are still working on developing our up-and-coming young players with a view to longer-term success. New playing coach Dylan Ford will continue the work started by Matthew Smith on developing the young talent within the group and providing them with structures and game plans to enable them to be competitive for longer periods in games. We don’t expect immediate success but hope that from about Round 6 the Eagles will start to show glimpses of the type of football we can expect moving forward.

We have had a core group of senior players do the hard yards since late November. Our focus has been on gaining respect from inside our four walls and hopefully the wider community. Trusting one another has also been a growth of ours and that has really shown over the last six weeks, with just how we want to play and knowing your role in certain situations. Although we haven’t seen much success in the past few seasons, I expect a much improved and fitter side this season that will show glimpses of exciting footy. We understand what is required and where we want to be as a football club in the future.

A fortnight out from the start of the season, we were starting to get concerned with the lack of reserve players turning up to train. Co-coach Corey Ransley assured us that we would get sufficient numbers to be able to field a reserves side. True to his word, the final training run saw a huge number of players turn up. We are now in the enviable position of having more than enough players for the reserves this season. The reserves put in a great performance against Cygnet last weekend to be beaten by 60 points. As the majority of the players had not trained and a couple had not previously played football, it gives us great confidence in gaining some success as the season

With a fortnight to go before the start of the season and with only eight Colts players registered, with a possibility of another six players who were thinking of registering, giving us a total of only 14 players, it was decided not to field a Colts team this season. This decision was most disappointing however we are best to make the hard decision now rather than forfeiting games during the season.  This decision highlights the problems that we and other Clubs are facing with the lack of junior numbers coming up to play with senior clubs, with the result that there are only four Colts teams in the SFL roster this season. The Colts who have registered and been training will be supported in every way and will be welcome to play reserves, if they  want to and will be given preference over those who have not attended training. We have undertaken to arrange a meeting with the junior club to discuss this important concern and we will be raising the issue with the SFL/AFL especially in light of their announcement that they will be investing in junior participation.

Our women’s team, under new coach Josh Clifford, put on a real show against Cygnet last weekend in a dominant display which resulted in a 90-point victory. The Eagles looked strong with the return of Zoie Crawford, Jemma Hay, Olivia Harris, Chloe Ford and with newcomers Tiarna Ford and Nicole Moss will be in for an exciting season.

Community football clubs rely heavily on sponsors and the New Norfolk District Football Club (NNDFC) is no exception. In line with the Club’s three-year Strategic Plan and a lot of hard work from the incoming committee, the NNDFC are proud to announce and acknowledge the following sponsors for the 2024 season – Diamond Sponsors (Key Priority Partners): The Granada Tavern, Kinetic, Norske Skog, the New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News, The Valley Sports Bar, Power Solutions and the NNDFC Old Players Association. Platinum Sponsors: Barwick’s Landscape Supplies, Graham Family Funerals, Petrusma Real Estate (Tegan Rainbird). Gold Sponsors: Dyson Painters, Banjo’s Bakery. Silver Sponsors: ID Clothing, Priority Promotions. Bronze Sponsors: Plenty Cider, Williams Outdoor, Rebecca White MP, Brian Mitchell, Brendan Wigg Joinery, Claire Chandler, Craig Farrell, Tristan Triffett, Damian Triffett, Jake Wessing, Bennett’s Petroleum, Derwent Valley Glass, Derwent Valley Council, New Norfolk Hotel. The New Norfolk District Football Club appreciates, and thanks all sponsors for their generous support.

Most people are unaware of how much work goes into fielding community-based football teams each weekend during the football season. It takes a massive amount of work and there are many volunteers who work behind the scenes to ensure that this occurs. It is getting harder each season to recruit the number of volunteers required to fill all positions. If any supporter has some time available to volunteer in some way, please contact any board member. Your assistance is always welcome. During this season we will be acknowledging our volunteers with photos and profiles. It would be great to see our supporters acknowledge these volunteers whenever they see them around the games or in the street. The club thanks all our volunteers for all they do for the club. We want you to know how much we appreciate everything you do for us.

The New Norfolk District Football Club thanks Priority Promotions and John Wilshaw for supporting the club by once again putting together and printing the football Records for us this season. This initiative is exclusively between Priority Promotions and the NNDFC and is greatly appreciated. It takes a lot of work to produce the Record, but we think it is an important tool to keep our members and supporters informed. We hope everyone enjoys the content this season and any feedback or suggestions are welcome.

Women v Dodges Ferry at Boyer Oval at 10am.
Reserves v Dodges Ferry at Boyer Oval at noon.
Seniors v Dodges Ferry at 2pm at Boyer Oval at 2pm.

Saturday, April 20
Women v Brighton at Boyer Oval at 10am.
Reserves v Brighton at Boyer Oval at noon.
Seniors v Brighton at Boyer Oval at 2pm.

Chris Lovell
Vice President – Football Operations

New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News is a sponsor of the New Norfolk District Football Club.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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