Parkes launches 40 years of footy

AFL Central West (AFLCW) successfully launched its 40th year of AFL football in the Central West region, as Parkes hosted a pre-season gala day on Sunday for both its men’s and women’s senior competitions.

The day gave players a chance to get a solid pre-season hit out, ahead of the launch of round 1 on May 1, while also providing one of the league’s smaller clubs a significant boost. For Parkes Panthers President, Jarryd Harrison, hosting the event was a success for both the club and the local community.

“It’s awesome, it’s good for the club and the town, and there’s around 200 people here today which is great to see,” Harrison said.

“It’s a good day for a cracking game of footy for both the men’s and the women’s competition.”

Five clubs participated in the event, with Bathurst Bushrangers, Bathurst Giants, Dubbo Demons, Orange Tigers, and Parkes Panthers all playing several shortened games throughout the day.


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The Parkes Panthers were fantastic hosts for the carnival. Credit: Parkes Champion Post


While scores weren’t recorded, it gave the clubs an option to participate in practice matches before the start of the season, which has historically been a challenge due to facilities being used by other sports.

For AFLCW Competition & Development Coordinator, Casey White, the day was a huge success for the league.

“It was a really exciting day for AFL football in the Central West, White said.

“It was great to see the teams coming along, playing some great footy, and there are a lot of talented footballers this year”.

“Parkes were a great host, they put in a lot of effort leading into the day, to ensure the experience for all clubs was as positive as possible”.

White also wanted to express the help of volunteers that enhanced the experience for everyone at the ground, with Dubbo Juniors AFL club providing several volunteers for the day.

They were timekeeping, collecting footballs, and ensuring that the day ran smoothly,” White said.

The day also gave the umpires and players a chance to get adjusted to several new rules which are being implemented this season.

For League Umpire Coach, Mick Brown, the new rules changes will have a positive effect on the games.

“The new rules should help speed the game up, which should be good,” Brown said.

With its success, there is support for scheduling the pre-season carnival again next season and expanding the format, with clubs expressing interest in hosting in 2022.


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