Junior footballers lead the way


Miniature footballers led what seemed like Maroon giants onto the playing field on Saturday.

Cumberland Park Junior Football Club was chosen to be mascots at Traralgon’s Gippsland League senior match against Drouin, and was thrilled with the opportunity.

“They thought it was amazing, they got to go in and have a look at the club rooms, the ice bath, and they got to hear the history of the Traralgon seniors winning 29 premierships, which was great,” Cumberland Park Junior Football Club secretary Jessica Tooth said.

“They got to train and were even more ecstatic when they heard there was a previous St Kilda player.”

Tooth said it was important for the team to see what would lie ahead of them if they continued playing football.

“They get to see the possibility if they continue on what they can achieve in district seniors to VFL to AFL,” she said.

“They learn new skills, how to become leaders and they learn discipline and encouragement.

“After that all the kids were determined to go in next week with the ambition to win.”

Tooth said opportunities like this did not come around for the club often and the children looked forward to it each time.

“Junior football is starting to slowly deteriorate, it’s starting to go away with at least one club each year folding,” she said.

“It’s good for them socially, gives them life skills, commitment, dedication, sportsmanship, and they learn about working in a team.

“The day helped to make the kids aware that football can continue on, it can be a life game if they choose it to be.”