The shadow of the 2014 is behind us and yet another football season is about to get underway. In 2015, VAFA U19 competitions will adopt a new structure which will observe the disbanding of the North and South sections and the formation of an exciting and competitive fourth section. The decision was made to maintain a competitive balance across all U19 competitions. VAFA general manager of football Brian Goodman declared that in spite of travel complications likely to arise from the formation of the new section, the number one priority of both the VAFA and the member clubs was to have match day results as fair and even as possible.
Section Two promises to be fiercely contested in 2015. Seven retuning teams and three new teams make up the section. One of these returning clubs is Whitefriars, who will be seeking redemption after a straight sets exit from the finals. The Friars had a brilliant season which saw them claim the minor premiership, but will know this year that finals are a different beast. Of the newcomers to the section, St Bedes/Mentone will be looking to have a strong season after being relegated from U19 Premier for the first time in recent years. Old Ivanhoe will be attempting to build upon their breakthrough premiership last season in U19 Section 3, whilst rivals Marcellin will be eager to exact revenge against the Hoes following their heartbreaking 11-point loss in the Grand Final. Caulfield Grammarians will be searching for a significant improvement after a disappointing 2014 campaign, notching a miserly three wins for the season.
2014 U19 South grand finalists Hampton Rovers and Ormond, headline the newcomers to U19 (3) in 2015. The Rovers will be full of confidence following their dream run of 10 consecutive wins en route to a dominant 60-point victory in last season’s Grand Final. Also new to the section will be the St Bernard’s number 2 side following a solid season in the Northern section, which concluded with a disappointing grand final loss against Ivanhoe. Williamstown CYMS will return to the section after falling agonizingly short of a grand final berth last season, going down to eventual runners-up Marcellin by 31 points in the preliminary-final.
A larger pool of 12 teams make up the newly formed U19 Section 4. These teams feature primarily old south and north teams, with two newly formed teams and a 2014 Colts team filling the final three spots in the section. Oakleigh will fancy their chances of backing up their excellent 2014 season, despite being left stunned after getting emphatically beaten in their two finals matches. The fortunes of Point Cook will be an interesting story to follow as the season progresses after making the jump from a 6th finish in the Colts last season. Newly formed St Kevin’s number 2 team and Parkdale’s number 2 side will be looking to emulate the success of their first teams and increase the depth of their U19 program.
Last seasons runaway premiers Mazenod return to a new-look Colts section in 2015. After winning all but one game last season the Nodders will be striving to mirror the success of last season’s squad. Newcomers Bulleen/Templestowe and Parkside will be aiming to make a name for themselves in their inaugural season in the Colts. Following a poor 2014 campaign the University Blues will need to improve across the board if they are to match it with the stronger lineups in the section. Ivanhoe could be one of those sides as could a replenished UHS-VU. It all makes for an exciting year in the Colts.