ONE of Golden Point’s favourite sons of the past decade says he is disappointed and angry about the club’s shock departure from the Ballarat Junior Football Netball League.
Former Western Bulldogs player and three time Robert Allan Medallist Andrew Hooper said he felt that he was without a club in Ballarat after the Dragons went into recess for the 2013 season.
Hooper, who will play his first match in the SANFL with Glenelg on Good Friday against South Adelaide, said he would have helped out in any way he could if he was still in Ballarat as a coach or in some other way but that was impossible this year.
“I am very disappointed and angry in a way,” Hooper said yesterday.
“I have no home club in Ballarat anymore.
“I don’t know all the details at the moment. But (Golden Point president) Patrick White and a few other people have put a lot of work into the club to make it
work, it just wasn’t enough.
“Junior football clubs survive on the basis of parents helping out and they couldn’t do that.”
Hooper said the BFNL’s decision that clubs needed to field senior and reserves sides in each age group had helped to bring the Dragons undone.
He said it was disappointing that a club that is more than 100 years old would not have an on-field presence this year.
“It is the longest serving junior club to fold, and a lot of people will be very disappointed,” he said.
“To be a past player, and my two brothers who went through there as well, it is very sad. What killed us was putting extra teams in, reserves in each group. There are more kids playing now but other clubs have struggled for a couple of years so maybe it was too soon.”
Hooper said he found out about Point’s plight through Facebook.
Despite his disappointment, he encouraged the now clubless juniors to continue playing football.
“Mount Clear or Sebas or whoever needs the numbers,” he said.
“You want to see every kid getting a fair game where they can. Even if that means going out to the Central Highlands, it wouldn’t hurt. Ultimately kids just want to play footy.”
Hooper will play against Port Adelaide tonight in Glenelg’s final trial match.
He said Glenelg coach Chris Massie had said tonight’s team represented the SANFL Tigers’ likely line-up for round one.