The National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors competition – already the biggest junior footy competition in the nation – will continue its impressive expansion through the addition of an Under 17.5 years Boys and Girls Division in season 2021.
The introduction will coincide with the Adelaide Footy League disbanding its current U18 Boys and Girls competition, in a unified approach to improve player retention and transition into senior grades at clubs across metropolitan Adelaide.
In working collaboratively with the Adelaide Footy League, SANFL has also adjusted the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors U16.5 Boys and Girls Divisions to an Under 16 competition.
”This is an exciting opportunity for National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors and we believe, amongst other positives, the expansion will help with retention and the transition into senior football for participants,” said National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors Manager Geoff Riddle.
”It will also provide SANFL Juniors with greater control of the fixturing process to avoid clashes whilst easing the burden on clubs from a scheduling point of view.”
Mr Riddle said clubs were welcome to consult with SANFL in regards to overage dispensations next season on a case-by-case basis, to allow boys and girls to participate as an overage player in the newly structured age groups.
”These initiatives have been made after significant research and data tracking, involving close consultation between SANFL and the Adelaide Footy League, to obtain the best possible outcome for football in metropolitan Adelaide,” Mr Riddle said.
Mr Riddle noted the number of U18 teams in the Adelaide Footy League had declined significantly, from 32 in 2010 to just 13 this year.
The National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors competition saw over 11,500 junior players line up in 650 teams across the metropolitan area in season 2020 from under 7s through to U16.5 years, despite a two-month delay to the season start due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Registrations are now open for all age groups for the 2021 season at more than 50 community clubs. Register on the link below.