A number of local AFL clubs are at risk of folding unless more players register for the coming season.
The Gosford Tigers was the latest club to issue a plea to new and existing players to return to AFL in 2022 and will hold a last-ditch tryouts event on March 24 to boost numbers.
The Club’s 51-year history as the Central Coast’s longest-standing AFL Club is under threat as it struggles to hit the numbers required.
After two challenging COVID-impacted seasons, Gosford Tigers President, Brad McKaig, said the club had reached a difficult juncture.
“To be honest, none of us thought we would be in this position,” McKaig said.
“We believed we were just off to a slow start this season based on a series of challenging events, but we always had faith that our locals would eventually get involved and get registered, but unfortunately they haven’t.
“At this stage, it isn’t looking good and we are facing a truly sad decision unless we can muster up enough support from those that can play for us.”
McKaig said a demographic shift on the Coast over the past two to three years may mean there are plenty of willing and able new players who just haven’t yet thought about joining the Tigers.
“We have experienced a population influx the past two years,” he said.
“Community sport is such a fantastic way to meet others so we are calling upon all new Coasties as well as those who have been here for years and anyone that maybe sitting on the fence – come join us and save our club.”
The club will hold a family friendly barbecue and free tryouts at Adcock Park on March 24 from 6pm.
The fate of the club will be decided on March 25.
The Niagara Park-Ourimbah Dockers have also put out a call for more junior players to register for the 2022 AFL season.
The Dockers have a final registration day at the Lisarow Sporting Precinct (The Ridgeway) at 4-6pm on Tuesday 29 March for boys and girls aged 8-17 and have put out a call to the local community to get behind the club.
Terry Collins and Ross Barry