Hampden juniors keep Sunday play as league releases draw

THE Hampden Football Netball League junior competition looks to be staying on Sundays for next season.

The 2014 draw has been released, with all rounds scheduled for Sundays. It comes just weeks after it emerged at the league’s annual general meeting that more discussions were being planned next year about the possibility of consolidating matches on Saturdays.

In keeping with this year’s draw, the competition will open on April 6, but officials have scheduled three byes during the season.

League chief executive officer Mike Farrow said the junior draw followed the Saturday competition draw’s three byes. There will be no games at Easter, none on May 24-25 when both junior and senior competitions have interleague matches and a mid-season break the first weekend of July.

Farrow said byes at the same time for both Saturday and Sunday competitions ensured club officials and parents involved in both were guaranteed a break. He said there had been instances when volunteers involved in seniors had a bye, but they still had to be involved in the Sunday competition.

The draw has been developed to ensure grounds used on a Saturday are not used for juniors the following day. That means clubs will play away the day after their seniors play at home.

Farrow said with the junior competition having nine teams — one less than the senior competition — when a senior club was drawn to play Portland, its juniors had a bye. When senior sides played Hamilton Kangaroos, juniors played Hawks, a standalone Warrnambool-based junior club.

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