By Mick Jensen
Mid Canterbury’s top football team will play at its highest ever level this season, and some high quality games are expected to be played in Ashburton Domain.
The senior men’s team won the Division 1 title in 2019, backing up the previous season’s success in Division 2.
This season they will play in the Canterbury Championship League, the second highest tier of regional amateur football, with games kicking-off from late March.
Last year’s successful team was a mix of experience and some young players, but Mid Canterbury Football development officer Darren Cavill is keen to see more young talent stepping on to the pitch.
He said he’d love to see six to eight players under the age of 22 out there and given a chance, as opposed to the two or three who played regularly last season.
“You can’t underestimate experience, but in terms of youth development, the senior team is the level to aspire to.”
He said although the team had won the Division 1 title, Mid Canterbury Football had still needed to apply and then meet criteria to make the step up the footballing ladder.
The criteria included having a clear path for youth development, supplying a referee and two linesmen at home games and a number of other requirements.
The senior team could expect a tough first up campaign, he said, with the pace, skill level and fitness of the opposition a sizeable step up.
This season senior player and striker Luke Martin will take on player/coach duties, with Cavill confirmed as both the senior reserve team and women’s rep team coach.
The reserve team will primarily feature players under the age of 20, alongside some older players and will play in its own league on Saturdays at 12.30pm, ahead of senior team matches which kick off at 2.30pm.
for prospective senior, senior reserve and also Division 4 team players will be held at Argyle Park on January 30 at 6.30pm.
Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to the trial and registration will be followed by matches.
Cavill says he hopes to see 45 or more players turn out for what is shaping up to be an exciting new season and “hopefully the best ever for Mid Canterbury football.”
His full time football development role also sees him promote and support the game in schools and through the Fun Kicks and First Kicks tournaments, which will once again kick off in Term 2.