Picola District Football League could unearth the next budding star after it announced the introduction of an under-11 competition.
The fifths, which will be introduced next year, will have a minimum of 10 players a team and compete over four eight-minute quarters on a field about 100m long.
Starting at 9am on Saturdays, the quarter-time break will be an instant changeover, while at half-time players will be given a two-minute break.
League operations manager Shane Railton was delighted the new competition had come to fruition after years of planning.
‘‘It hasn’t happened overnight, we have been planning to have an under-11s competition to ensure the stability of our competition,’’ Railton said.
‘‘It is really exciting, initially, we had a few clubs jump on board, but as the momentum grew everyone got behind it and now we look forward to getting it going in round one.’’
Most PDFL clubs already run Auskick programs, therefore, the new competition will make an easier transition for juniors to stick around their clubs.
‘‘We aim to maintain and keep kids in club football in order to have viable clubs,’’ Railton said.
‘‘The Auskick has been great for the clubs that are doing it and now instead of the kids maybe being too scared to play fourths, they can transition into fifths.’’
In other news, next season’s draw has also been released in the south-east and north-west divisions with Shepparton East and Jerilderie hosting their respective grand finals.
Tocumwal and Berrigan will begin the north-west division with the traditional Good Friday clash going ahead once again, while the south-east will have a grand final rematch played between Rennie and Tungamah.
The Eagles will also begin their campaign against Katamatite at home on April 7, while both divisions have their own stand-alone grand finals for the second year in a row.
‘‘It’s great to see, it enables a good atmosphere at both games with a big crowd expected to come for the occasion,’’ Railton said.
The north-west grand final will take place on September 8, while the south-east big dance is the following Saturday.