IN JUST seven short years the Buninyong Soccer Club has gone from being a satellite group of Vic Park Soccer Club members to a fully-fledged operation.
2016 has seen the Redbacks enter their first senior side, taking to the pitch for the first time in the Ballarat District Soccer Association’s men’s division two on April 3.
Club president Sue Mroczkowski said the Redbacks’ unofficial formation in 2009 spurred from the frustration of a group of parents from the Buninyong area who had to travel to various Ballarat clubs to allow their children to play.
“It’s a growing family town and we thought we should be able to get enough kids (to form a club), and we started with around 30 kids,” Mroczkowski said. “We always hoped that they would grow through the age groups but I didn’t for a minute think we would get to having a seniors side.”
After three rounds the newly-formed senior outfit remains undefeated, putting on a strong performance to run home 5-3 in their most recent encounter with Ballarat Red a fortnight ago.
BDSA president Herman Bogers said it was pleasing to see the clubs continued growth.
“They had two under-17’s sides in 2015 and a lot of them were top age players who had to go somewhere,” Bogers said. “They’ve started really well which is really important to give them the confidence to keep going.”
The club now boast over 90 players across seven sides ranging from under-8’s through to the senior squad. Around half of the club’s seniors have risen through the recently established junior ranks.
Senior coach Jim Parini said the club had received significant interest from prospective senior players since taking to the pitch earlier this year.
“The club’s growing and this was the natural progression,” Parini said. “We found after our first game we had people at the fence showing interest with people looking for a club and that’s really promising.”
The club do not currently have a permanent home, and have been training and playing home games at Morshead Park.
While the club have in the past utilised the old soccer pitch behind the Buninyong tennis courts, plans are underway to redevelop the Royal Park football oval to create a hub for soccer in Buninyong. Development plans were recently given the green light by the club and the community gardens group, who would share the newly-developed space, and are now awaiting funding from the City of Ballarat Council.
The senior side will take on Ballarat North United this Sunday with the aim of maintaining their undefeated start to 2016.
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