Finals hopes for U17s

The footy season is winding up with the last games of the draw on this Saturday.

The top five on the ladder progress to the semi finals. While the seniors and the reserves will be bowing out after this weekend, the under 17s will be fighting it out to move on to the semis.

“If we lose, we need the Wagga Tigers to lose as well and then we’d go through to the finals,” said under 17s coach Jamie Grintell.

It’s been an intense year for the under 17s, who have managed to stay in the top five on the ladder despite immense pressure.

“The under 17s have been going very well. We’ve been lacking numbers, we’ve had under 15s who’ve had to play up.  Hopefully we can recruit a few players for next year.”

With the Junior Eagles presenting a massive front – there are roughly 30 kids in each age group, according to Eagles club president Mark Savage – it’s a ripe opportunity to not only fill the gaps in the under 17s, but increase the confidence of the younger players.

Plenty of under 17s players have in turn stepped up into the reserves and the seniors sides, which has drawn attention from around the district at the commitment and drive of the youngsters. One Saturday an under 17s player, Will Roffe, played three games of football in one day.

“We’ve done extremely well. We’ve played with 16 most games. We’ve had a lot of injuries; broken arms, broken fingers. It’s been a battle just to get a side up every week,” Mr Grintell said.

“Hopefully we get into the finals. Most of the boys have come up through Auskick, and there aren’t many finals opportunities for them because of numbers. It’d be good for them if they can play in the finals, even if they don’t get too far into them, and hopefully we can get a win on the weekend,” Mr Grintell said.

“And if we can’t, then hopefully the Wagga Tigers lose.”

Having had a difficult year, the seniors are looking to put the season behind them.

“Little bit relieved it’s over. We’re just looking to finish the year on a positive note,” said seniors coach and captain Jarrod Lane.

“We’ve had some good results and some bad results, and now we’re just hoping to finish up in a positive way.”

The Eagles will be playing their second home game in two weeks on the weekend. The under 17s will play from 10am, the reserves will play at 12pm and the seniors will play at 2pm.

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