The Picola District Football League is set to field an under-11 competition next year after successfully trialling an unofficial contest this season.
After just four rounds, league operations manager Shane Railton was more than confident the inaugural competition would succeed with the intention of drawing families together on game day.
‘‘The purpose is to have all the families together and stay at the one club instead of having to travel around all day to drop kids off here and there,’’ Railton said.
‘‘Too often families are torn apart having to take their children to so many different venues and we think with the introduction of the under-11s, this can help prevent that.’’
Most Picola District league clubs already run an Auskick program teaching juniors the fundamentals of football, but are tending to lose players to rival clubs and codes before they are eligible to play in the fourths (under-14s).
‘‘At the moment it is an under-11s competition that is being run unofficially with the aim of becoming an official competition, helping clubs retain some of their young stars,’’ Railton said.
‘‘We are not 100 per cent sure on the timing and when and how long games will be played for, but we will work that out as the season progresses.’’
At the moment a number of Picola District league clubs are playing the unofficial under-11 matches at half-time of the seniors and Railton said that could be a future possibility.
‘‘Anything is possible at the moment, we will see though what happens, but I am confident to say a competition will be up and running in the south-east division next year, with the hope that north-west will follow,’’ he said.