Reigning Warrnambool and District league premier Nirranda is set to train 50 per cent of season 2023 at Deakin University's football facility as a means to further support its large contingent of Warrnambool-based senior and junior players.
The Blues, who won both senior and reserves football and A grade netball premierships this year, will hold one session a week at the university oval when pre-season kicks off in the New Year, as well as two practice matches prior to the home-and-away season.
During the season the club is planning on training Tuesday nights in Warrnambool while also playing two home matches - either in April or May - out of the facility.
The club also recently announced premiership coach Brayden Harkness would step down from the role, with assistant coach Nick Couch to take the reins in 2023.
Club president Damien Lee said the move made a lot sense for the club moving forward and for the sustainability of local football in the region.
The main reason we're doing it and looking outside the square is a big portion of our seniors and reserves come from the Warrnambool area.- Damien Lee
"The main reason we're doing it and looking outside the square is that a big portion of our seniors and reserves come from Warrnambool or the Warrnambool area," he told The Standard.
"They've got to travel at least two times a week to Nirranda, so we can do our pre-season at Deakin to help them out.
"We don't start until probably the 12th or 14th of January as a club, so we'll do our entire pre-season there."
Lee said the main objective was for retention of players - both from a junior and senior perspective - and to ensure the club could support them as best it could.
"All our juniors go to Nullaware Primary School to grade six and the busses all go into Warrnambool so on a Tuesday night we can get them dropped back and get dropped off there at the roundabout and train there," he said.
"The other thing is, we've got a lot of connections with Warrnambool to Nirranda, parents working and that and we can't get them there. We've got a small bus, so I'll turn that bus around and on Tuesday night anyone from Nirranda can go.
"We want to attract juniors and to attract reserves or senior players. It's more attractive for recruiting for us moving forward too.
"You can sit there and do nothing, or you can try and do something outside the square and that's what we're doing.
"We're just trying something different and we'll see how it goes."
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