Grasshoppers to host juniors, women's football

The Merimbula Grasshoppers, pictured in a grand final against Eden, will host juniors and women's fixtures starting Sunday.
The Merimbula Grasshoppers, pictured in a grand final against Eden, will host juniors and women's fixtures starting Sunday.

The Merimbula Grasshoppers have banded together to salvage a junior football season.

The club has welcomed teams from across the FSC Association to take part in a six-week six-a-side junior draw that had planned to start on Sunday.

And the club will also celebrate Australia and New Zealand's successful World Cup bid with the 'Covid Cup' women's round robin to run fortnightly.

Around 300 kids will be retained for a modified 2020 season with Grasshoppers committee member Hugh Jesina saying it was critical to provide some normality and sport for junior players.

"Teams from pretty much every club have got involved and there are about six or seven teams per age group with the competition for the under 8s through to the under 16s," Mr Jesina said.

Mr Jesina said around 100 juniors were registered at Merimbula alone and the committee pushed to ensure some play for the kids.

"Our president Steven Judd put in a massive effort to get it all through Football NSW and the regulations," he said.

Mr Jesina said that weekend sport was pivotal for providing a sense of normality following bushfires and COVID-19 lockdowns, but it was also a social and community outlet for many.

"It's a beautiful sport and it's great to see it back happening," he said. "Our mentality was that we had to do something for the kids."

The club hopes to welcome spectators in future, but following revised guidelines is limited to one parent or caregiver per child.

All the kids are asked to arrive ready to play with their kit and boots on as well as their own drink bottle, while the club has sanitiser and cleaning stations to ensure their safety.

The planned launch was washed out, but the Grasshoppers are eager to see round one go ahead this Sunday, with the Covid Cup women's draw to run in conjunction.

"So both start this weekend in Merimbula and the Cup is a full field 11 v 11 competition running every fortnight for at least four rounds with potential to extend it," Mr Jesina said. Eden, Merimbula, Wolumla and Tathra will contest the Cup.