Records tumble as over five thousand players register to play football on the North Coast

Sawtell FC have 553 registered players so far in a bumper year for the club.


OVER five thousand players registered to play football on the North Coast as participation records tumbled across football clubs in the region.

Registrations increased by 40% compared to 2020 resulting in the North Coast recording the highest annual growth in Northern New South Wales.

This year also surpassed the 2019 pre-COVID registrations, resulting in a full recovery plus an additional growth of 7% from the COVID impacted season.

Sawtell FC registered 553 players across all age groups and the numbers are still on the rise as Club President, Simon Portus, explained to News Of The Area.

“We are delighted the regos are so strong, we have 553 registered players so far and they are still going to be open for a while, so it’s going to be a bumper year for sure.

“It’s also particularly encouraging that our focus on building the number of girls and women in our club is being reflected in rego numbers.

“Our dedicated female change rooms are currently being built and we have really strong female participation across our junior age groups with two teams in both the under 12s and under 14s girls age groups and great senior women numbers that are only going to grow as more under 16 girls move up.

“In 2022 we are aiming to have both first and second division women’s teams,” said Simon.

Coffs United broke a 53 year record, achieving their highest number of registrations in history which included a surge in female numbers as club president, Jodi Wood explained.

“Total numbers to date are 441, this is a 23% increase on 2020 numbers and 11% increase on 2019, pre-Covid.

“The biggest year we have ever had and I am having to turn players away daily as we are full in every competitive junior team.

“It is also our biggest year for female registrations with a 21% increase in registrations from 2020 and a 9% increase in 2019.

“Coffs United are still accepting registrations in our under 6’s and under 7s as well as both senior women and men’s teams, all other teams are full,” said Jodi.

Numbers are on the rise at Boambee FC where female participation is a driving force behind the growth as club president, Fiona Clancy explained.

“Boambee’s overall registrations are up 10% on 2020, our biggest percentage increase is our females with them making up 20% of our.overall registrations.

“77 registered females in a small club such as ours is a testament to the club’s continued support of females in football, we are already planning for the upcoming ‘Female Football Week’ next month,” said Fiona.

General Manager for North Coast Football, Andrew Woodward applauded the efforts of the volunteers through the pandemic.

“With the global pandemic in 2020, our registration numbers were down by 10 per cent, I thought we could get half of that back this year.

“To get all of it back so quickly and add a few hundred more than what we had in 2019 is a tribute to the hard work of the clubs.

“Club volunteers worked long and tirelessly in 2020 making football happen, their hard work has been rewarded and that’s why we have over five thousand registrations, which is fantastic.

“We’ve seen many people switch to football from other sports, we’ve also seen new arrivals from Sydney, Melbourne and beyond as people escape the big cities after the worst of the pandemic.

“This year we’ve got more players, more teams, around 315 and a new club, BDC Barracudas.

“Football is heading in the right direction,” concluded Andrew.




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