Vancouver youngsters continue to grow

Thursday, July 28 2005 @ 12:00 am ACST

Contributed by: Brett Northey

The North Delta Junior Australian Football League (NDJAFL) is one of the great stories in the growth if Australian Rules football in Canada. An offshoot of the Vancouver Cougars club, season 2005 saw the number of teams grow from 6 to 8, with the sides competing in two divisions of four. With many of the players turning 15 or 16 next year, organisers have no doubt that some top senior players will emerge in the next few years. Perhaps the likely third International Cup in 2008 will see the first junior come through for Canada.

A full report can be found on the BC Footy website here. The eight junior sides played 9 rounds, playing each three times. The Kangaroos took out Division 1 and the Kookaburras were victorious in Division 2. Over 70 kids participated in 2005.

One of the key organisers is Jason Stratford, who suffered a nasty ankle injury in a recent match against BC rivals the Victoria Lions - although Jason attributes the injury to more of a Rugby style tackle than one normally seen in Aussie Rules. He is heading back home to Adelaide, South Australia, for a few months while he recovers. Volunteers like Jason are crucial to keeping clubs running and beginning junior footy programs around the world. Stratford was please to announce that the Cougars have just secured some Woodville-West Torrens Eagles (from the SANFL) jumpers for a possible third team in Vancouver in 2006 or for the fast growing juniors. Footy is definitely growing in British Columbia.

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