Lockyer Valley Demons are thinking outside the square
AUSTRALIAN RULES: The Lockyer Valley Demons will not play in the AFL Darling Downs competition this year but they are hoping a locally run Aussie rules program will revitalise the club.
Club president Donna Bowers said the establishment of an inclusive AFL 9s program this month would allow the club to regain support from the community and rebuild for 2019.
"Basically over the last two-and-a-half years, I think some fairly ordinary things have taken place for the club to put them in a financially bad position,” Bowers said.
"The decision was made to take a step back, look at maybe diversifying into something that's more appealing to the general public... with the intention of raising the funds to clear out all the debts, build up the club base again and then be able to run back in (to the AFL Darling Downs) for 2019.”
The initial eight-week competition is open to anybody over the age of 14. Four to six teams are sought for the pilot program, which will kick-off with a come and try event on Monday, April 23.
The official competition games will begin the following Monday.
"Because this is all in the early stages, we're going to start at the ground level,” Bowers said.
"It's great in the respect that it's something that anyone can have a go at, it's not restricted by height or size.
"There is no contact so it's a great type of game that everyone, the family, can get involved in - mum and dad right down to the 14-year-olds can all play in the one team.
"AFL 9s is, I guess, your alternative, your AFL fix for people rather than having to go and play touch... give it a go because a lot of people who said (touch isn't for them) are now absolutely addicted to playing touch football.”
The Demons' lack of involvement in the AFL Darling Downs competition for 2018 has not affected their new three-year partnership with the Advanced Breast Cancer Group.
It has seen them change from their traditional black and red strip to guernseys incorporating the group's corporate colours.
The Demons will also look to start an AFLX program, a seven-a-side version of the game played on a rectangular field, and run AFL AusKick for juniors.
For more information call Tony Bowers on 0458665876.