Zac Gray was one of the better performers for the under 18.5 Magpies on Saturday. Photo: Jeff Tull.

Xavier Spaull was able to get this kick away in Poowong’s under 16.5s loss to Neerim Neerim South. Photo: Jeff Tull.

Bryce Townsend sunk the slipper into this one for Poowong in the under 16.5s. Photo: Jeff Tull.

POOWONG welcomed Neerim South on Saturday to play thirds and fourths – the only games scheduled alongside the under 13s, 15s and 17s netball on the way out of the COVID lockdown.

We congratulate the league executive for getting a game for the juniors – it did not happen in many leagues.

The weather was kind and the ground surface was good with a bit of a breeze down the ground, with everyone accepting the COVID requirements on entering the ground and masking up.

Poowong’s fourths were first up against a strong Neerim with a couple of recruits from local clubs.

To the credit of the Poowong Fourth boys though, down on numbers each week, they have done themselves proud and the Poowong Football Club proud in continuing to support football in the area.

These boys have developed so much from the start of the season under coach Matt Henschell and many are competing also each week in the under 18s and holding their own. Well done, boys.

The thirds, with the help of six permit players and a couple of fourths, took on the strong Neerim South side.

The Poowong boys played some great disciplined football over four quarters to come out winners by 10 points.

Some very happy boys about with the win – something they deserved with their continued perseverance with their efforts over the season.

The local boys in the thirds and fourths stepped up and with the permit players playing well, it was a good standard of football for thirds.

Junior football has been tough across the region with numbers down but with the help of these permit players supporting local clubs, we may be able to lift numbers in football next year if we can keep junior clubs going.

We appreciate all the support from our permit players we have over the season in the thirds and fourths and we hope all the boys have enjoyed their games for the Poowong Football Club; we have enjoyed their participation efforts. We wish all these boys the best if they are competing in finals in the area.

I must say it’s a credit to the Poowong Football and Netball Club committee to hold these junior matches on the weekend and thanks to all the volunteers, coaches, etc., and parents who helped out this week and every week and the effort to support these lads and girls to play football and netball.

The club is proud of the boys’ and girls’ support but it also so great to see them develop their game over the season. There is a lot of talent around.

Unfortunately, Mitch DeKleuver – one of our great lads from the thirds every week – had a hip injury which may be a bit more than first thought. We are all hoping things will be OK. We’re all behind you, Mitch.

The netball girls won all three games – a great effort, girls. Keep up the work and finish the season on a high note.

Great to see local poowong netballer Dallas Loughridge selected to represent Australia in the Under 19s playing in Hungary early August. Best wishes Dallas from everyone at the club; we wish you well.

Big year for the Poowong Club with an Australian representative and a VFL recruit making his debut for Hawthorn.

All going well, we will be playing Nyora at home next week for the Demon Cup. Seconds and seniors only.