After a successful season in senior competition, newly promoted local community club Waverley Wanderers- AEK is turning its attention to developing its junior programs.

Not only will the club be introducing U-16 girls and U-16 boys teams next season, it will also be running a Miniroos program for the first time in its 40 year history, beginning this Monday and extending over summer into early next year.

Club spokesperson Paul Aravanis, who has been with the club through thick and thin, told Neos Kosmos it has been a challenge for the Waverley Wanderers to have juniors.

“You’ve got Kingston City on one side, you’ve got Oakleigh on the other; you’ve also got smaller community clubs like Glen Waverley and Mazenod Victory which have a pretty strong junior base as well. The City of Monash is chockers [sic] full of teams and everyone’s fighting for the same kids and there’s not enough venues going round,” he said.

But this will all change next season.

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The inception of the U-16s girls team is largely due to the efforts of new club member Nicky Tziafas.

“She’s really good for the club,” Aravanis said. “We’re going to try and fill teams in each age group, which I know will be hard, but if we can get three to four teams up and running next season, that will be great.”

The Miniroos program is aimed at five to 11 year olds, and aims to provide an experience and an environment that promotes ongoing participation in football and a lifelong love of the game.

“For us, it’s to get the kids involved, to get them happy participating in the sport, to love the ball more than anything,” Aravanis said of the program.

“For us as a committee, it’s an opportunity to meet and greet parents and try to get them on board. A lot of Miniroos programs begin (like Auskick in Aussie Rules football) and its trying to get the kids there, and that’s how the smaller teams start for each club. Getting them on board the Miniroos program and keeping them happy.”

For further enquiries, please contact Paul Aravanis 0438 220 090.

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