U19 policy changes leads VAFA news cycle

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Nick Armistead

Cyclical in nature, hard-hitting and interesting news isn’t always forthcoming when needed. I often cringe at the filler stories on national news broadcasts but understand that some viewers enjoy the respite with 30 seconds of giant panda footage or David Warner TikTok videos.

When the VAFA season concludes, the news cycle often slows for a month before heating up again with coaching announcements, player movement and end-of-year highlights. This time around, however, the end of year highlights will be few and player movement will be less, while coaching appointments have been a constant Facebook feed item for the past couple of months.

Despite this, VAFA news has ignited this week with huge announcements from the Footy Ops team, players selected in the AFLW Draft, a Hawthorn premiership ruckman joining Ormond’s coaching ranks and a Pirate becoming the latest US punter.

There’s no denying it, the VAFA Footy Ops team is on fire! This week, they’ve catered for both ends of the playing spectrum by releasing news on changes to the U19 over-age policy AND the possible implementation of a Supers/Masters competition for 35yo+ males.

The U19 policy change, which now allows an unlimited number of over-age players instead of the usual four, was a welcome announcement for our clubs.

“Fantastic news from the VAFA HQ today that allows our Jnrcorns that missed their second year of U/19s footy this year to have a big 2021 campaign with their mates!” – MHSOBFC.

“Fantastic news from the VAFA HQ today that allows our boys that missed their second year of U/19s footy this year to go back for another crack in 2021! Can our boys win back-to-back flags??” – Kew FC.

For the Twitterers amongst us who tagged their 40yo mates in the U19’s news, fear not gentlemen, because the second announcement about the possible Supers/Masters competition is tailormade for you. With 14 clubs from Premier – Division 4 currently interested in fielding teams, this initiative will hopefully go ahead and re-engage former players who still want to kick around with their teammates.

Our women’s competition always has an ability to bring positive news to the forefront of our feeds, and this week was no different with a handful of players selected in the AFLW Draft on Tuesday night.

Leading the charge was Mimi Hill (Scotch Stars), Isabella Eddey (Old Brighton) and Ruby Svarc (St Mary’s Salesian). Isabella was taken by North Melbourne and Ruby will join her sister in Brisbane, while Mimi will join SKOB premiership coach Daniel Harford at Carlton after she was taken with pick 12 – fingers crossed she didn’t screen the great man’s call like her new teammate.

Hawthorn FC fans rejoice at the latest news from Ormond with 2013 premiership ruckman, Max Bailey, taking the reins as their Holmesglen U19’s coach. A sensational appointment, Max’s coaching resume boast stints at Richmond and Hawthorn before most recently working as the Head Coach of the Box Hill Hawks. Having overcome three ACL reconstructions, Max’s resilience will no doubt be a key learning for the young Monders.

Finally, we’ve brought you the punting journeys of Dane Roy (Richmond Central) and Alex Mastromanno (Old Brighton) in the last two editions, but this week we’re heading down the Nepean to Old Peninsula after former Pirate, Tory Taylor, became the latest Hawkeye at University of Iowa Football.

The 23-year-old played 42 senior games after 38 in the U19’s and kicked 78 goals – and we hope to see him punting plenty of the pigskin soon.

Short and sweet this week like Davey’s TikTok dances but stay tuned to VAFA Media for the next ‘Clubs in Focus’ Podcast as we delve into the history of Aquinas OCFC.

For now, enjoy the AFL finals – if the games are anywhere near as exciting as last week, we’re in for a belter.

Photo: News Limited