Dust off the boots and become a Tiger

Footy for fun: The Gippsland AFL Masters welcomes any new over 35 players. Pictured are Kevin Rutter, Wayne Hicks, Dan Fowler, Chris Whyte, Charlie Howell, Adrian Mazza, Terry McGregor and Colin Mackrell. photograph liam durkin



THE Gippsland Tigers AFL Masters are on the hunt for recruits.
The Gippsland Tigers offers those in the over 35 age bracket the opportunity to simply enjoy playing the game without needing to go through the week-to-week grind they may have experienced during their younger days at a country football club.
Another advantage is the fact Masters games are played fortnightly, making it accommodating for those juggling family and work commitments.
Masters football is also seen as a better alternative than country football reserves, as the risk of injury is not as high, membership is cheaper and the emphasis is not so much on winning but having a kick with your mates, providing no shortage of mental health benefits.
Gippsland Tigers AFL Masters president Colin Mackrell encouraged anyone interested to join the club.
“We welcome anyone to the club, whether you are an experienced footballer or a first timer, it makes no difference,” he said.
“It is technically an over 35 side but we can have 32 and up through to whatever age.
“Our motto is ‘footy for fun’. Basically the way we work it is we are going back to the old roots system – we turn up, we play, we’re all mates, we’re all socialising, we all want to get through a game of footy.
“The games are a standard game of football. Twenty minute quarters with a few modified rules – no knees in the back because we want to go to work on Monday. We want to lessen the likelihood of injury. We don’t actually compete for points, we take that super-serious competitive edge out. We still put our bodies on the line, but we don’t have to go overboard.”
As Mackrell explained, the purpose of Masters football branched out much further from the playing side of things.
“Mental health is basically our key. Realistically it isn’t even about football, it is an outlet, a social gathering,” he said.
“We’re not committed to necessarily anyone turning up to training. If they just want to play they can play, if they just want to train there is no obligation, no pressure on anyone.
“We try as much as we can to gather. We build up to the end of the year, we always request our last game is a long away game, we have a game in Shepparton this year so we’ll do a bus trip.”
The Gippsland Tigers train Wednesday nights from 6.30pm.
Those wanting more information can phone Mackrell on 0434 660 429.