TWO emergency service workers are behind a push to create Port Fairy's own soccer outfit.
Leon Morton, a firefighter, and Woody Bucci, a paramedic, are calling for players to join their ranks as they eye a place in the South West Victoria Football Association.
The duo - both based in the idyllic seaside community - conceived the idea in a move they hope will strengthen the game's rising profile in the south-west.
"It's really early days for us but we're really keen on soccer and there's never been a team in Port Fairy," Morton told The Standard.
"A few of the guys from over here have played at Warrnambool Wolves over the years but we thought we'd create our own club.
I think there's a huge appetite for junior soccer in Port Fairy with the primary schools and we'd love to expand and have youth teams.- Leon Morton
"Wolves have been really supportive and enthusiastic and we wouldn't have been able to get it off the ground without their mentoring and advice."
Port Fairy - who will adopt the nickname 'Plovers' - will join the six-club association in 2021.
It will face off against Corangamite Lions, Deakin Dragons, Hamilton Raiders, Stawell Pioneers and both Warrnambool Rangers and Wolves in its maiden season.
Morton said the club planned to field a male team in its inaugural season but would look to expand to female and junior sides in the near future.
"We thought we'd just dip our toes in with a men's team first-up," he said.
"I think there's a huge appetite for junior soccer in Port Fairy with the primary schools and we'd love to expand and have youth teams.
"We'll look to have coaching workshops and a women's team in the future as well. We thought we'd start small and go from there."
Morton said he was passionate about the outdoors and being active and wanted to establish a club culture focused on participation and fun.
"We want to create a welcoming, fun, social club," he said.
"We'll be a club for all abilities and ages. It's just about getting people outdoors having a kick.
"People may be put off team sport as it can be quite competitive and footy and cricket are pretty strong down here.
"But we're really keen just to have a welcoming, fun and inclusive atmosphere."
Morton the club's first competitive outing would be in Warrnambool Wolves' twilight competition.
The seven-a-side fixtures begin on January 13 on Wednesday nights at Harris Street Reserve.
Visit www.portfairysoccerclub.com for more information or to contact club officials.
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