THIS weekend will see umpires bounce the sherrin for the first time this year in the North Coast AFL competition as South West Rocks Dockers get ready to kick start their season.
The Dockers will be the only Aussie Rules clubs representing the Macleay Valley in the competition after the withdrawal of the Macleay Valley Eagles.
The Eagles were looking to field teams in the junior competitions but due to their key volunteers being in the COVID high risk demographic they'll be taking the year off.
South West Rocks will be fielding teams in the U'11's and 13's age groups and have been training since June 15.
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Coach and Vice-President, Mark Plummer, said attendance at training has been good with COVID-19 regulations applied.
"We've had pretty good numbers at training and the first few weeks saw us practice with no contested ball and no tackling," he told the Argus.
"Since July 1 we've been applying rules regarding hand sanitiser and constant washing of balls - there's been lots of webinars and things have certainly been different but Paul Taylor and Simon Smyth of Northern NSW AFL have been a great help."
Currently the Under 11's side has registered 16 players and 13's has 11 with Mr Plummer encouraging any juniors keen to try their hand at Aussie Rules to give it a crack.
Mr Plummer also expressed how delighted the juniors are to be starting the season with plenty experiencing the game for the first time.
"In our 11's age group we have 12 playing their first game - everyone is just really excited and happy to be able to play," he said.
The Dockers train on Wednesday's from 4 till 5:30pm and will play four home games throughout the 10 round season.
This week will see the 11's lineup against Campden Haven Bombers whilst 13's verse the Port Macquarie Swoopers.
The first home game for both age groups will be against Bellingen Bulldogs in round two.