Dear Players, Parents and Supporters,

And so the season marches on. It started with the threats of drought and bushfires, then morphed into this horrible coronavirus, and if we hadn’t had our enthusiasm tested enough it hit us on the weekend with some horrific winds and freezing temperatures.

It has certainly tested everybody’s enthusiasm, patience and spirit.

However, having said that, I am incredibly pleased to see how well all our teams are performing.

Our Youth teams are having their best year ever. By my calculation across the 4 teams we are ranked in 4th place over 12 clubs. As great as that situation is, we must keep on working hard and developing our skills and abilities.

Our 3 SAP age groups played at Cooks Square on Sunday against our local rivals from Weston and had some very convincing wins. We look forward to these boys progressing into NPL in 2022 and onwards, as U13’s and showing their abilities on the competitive stage.

The Under 12’s Development team who are playing in Inter-district A grade, are currently sitting just inside the semi-final qualification zone. That team under some enthusiastic coach and parent support have taken great strides forward during this disjointed season.

The adventures of our seniors are well documented through various media outlets. Sunday’s game against Magic was 2nd vs 3rd, and what a hard fought, physical game it was. 90 minutes of nail-biting anxiety, with neither side giving in, ending with a Nil all result.

COVID-19 Impacts

Recent changes to State Health Dept parameters for sport have meant that NORTH COAST FOOTBALL will not be able to participate in the current NPL Youth competition. You would be aware that Maitland were scheduled to visit Coffs Harbour on the October Long Weekend. With no further information received, we assume that for Maitland that round will not be played.

This Sunday’s Youth Round

This Sunday we have Lake Macquarie visit Cooks Square for Youth competition. The COVID protocols that will be in place will be confirmed later in the week, however although this is such a serious subject, we do try to navigate a workable path through the circumstances.

We are obliged to restrict parent attendance to only one per player. Two weeks ago we requested you remain in your cars during the game. That request won’t be pressed as hard this time, as local infection fears have reduced, but we request that you do not gather in groups, as social distancing still needs to apply. Wearing of face masks would be appreciated.

A good option is to park your cars outside the ground on “Covid Hill” behind the canteen block, where you are free from any restrictions the club needs to apply.

WOMEN’S Football at Maitland Football.

This week sees the announcement that Maitland Football will enter teams in 2021 under the Women’s WPL competition.

This has been in development for many months and involves the transition of the Thornton Redbacks WPL licence over to Maitland Football in 2021.

This means that in 2021 we will have women competing at Cooks Square Park as Magpies in both Senior and Youth age groups.

As a part of this transition, earlier in the year it was agreed to schedule one of Thornton’s home game rounds at Cooks Square. That game occurs this Saturday. Thornton will play against Mid North Coast in Under 15s, Under 17s, Reserves and 1st Grade.

I invite all who are available to visit Cooks Square on Saturday to greet the ladies and welcome them to the club for next year, and certainly to watch the games.

The women will be having a training night at Cooks Square tonight and Maitland Executives will have the opportunity to provide to them the strategies and objectives that we have for women’s football. This announcement will then go public from Wednesday morning via various news outlets, particularly The Maitland Mercury.

We will have several local politicians visiting on Saturday and will have a few speeches and photos at around 1.35pm during the half time break in Reserve Grade.

The introduction of women’s football into the Maitland Football Club will bring many benefits to all. It increases our community awareness, our corporate support and appropriately continues the growth of our Magpie Family.

The team structure for 2021 will see growth on this year to include a 1st Grade, Reserve, U17s, U15s and U13s. Also 2021 will see the transition of SAP girls from association based to club based. At this stage its unconfirmed whether 2021 will see 3 SAP age groups or just the one as a start.

The women players will benefit from all the resources, facilities and coaching programs that are provided to our male players.

The achievements of Thornton women’s teams over the years have not been outstanding, so we are very excited at being able to make a real difference in driving support for the women’s game in this greater region, particularly with Australia hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023 .

In the NPL, our Seniors play on Sunday at Adamstown and Youth have games on Sunday at Cooks Square, while our SAP teams play on Saturday morning at Speers Point

Thanks to all for your hard work and support.

Maitland FC