Meander Valley Gazette

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Spartans hard to beat

SportJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | David Claridge

THE SOUTHERN Raiders U16 Spartans are the tip of the spear in NTJSA Div 2 league this year, with many strong performances leaving them clear on top of the ladder with eight wins and one draw in late July.

A founding club of the NTJSA back in 1986, the Southern Raiders have continued to field teams and be competitive.

Club President, Allister Cutler, shared how proud he is that the club is all-inclusive and has a strong mix of boys and girls amongst its 11 teams.

“There have been some kids playing with illnesses that can only come on for five minutes before needing to stop,” he said.

“We try and encourage all girl’s teams, there is currently one in the junior team in the competition, we’ve had a senior’s team in previous years.

“The club is currently working on helping its players beyond junior soccer through a pathway program.

“One of the main things we have on the go is trying to work through a process whereby once kids get to the age of 16 they can’t play junior soccer anymore. So the kids that want to go on and play more senior soccer can have a pathway to Launceston City,” said Mr Cutler.

Currently with around 130 kids spanning over 11 teams, the club is hoping to continue building from its junior ranks.

“We are one of the smaller clubs. We’re working hard on keeping our numbers to stay relevant. Big clubs are getting bigger and smaller clubs can slowly disappear,” he said.

Photo | Mike Moores