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OLD PARADIANS GAIN FROM JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT

The Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club is now reaping the rewards of its investment in the game at junior level, with Marcus Nolan, a recent under 19s graduate, awarded the club’s Best and Fairest for the 2016 season.

Marcus is one of six players from the club’s under 19 grade now playing at senior level. He is pictured at the bottom left with fellow under 19 turned senior players (clockwise) Sean Money, Darcy Cotter and Ben Ferraro.

“This is a terrific outcome for Marcus and we congratulate him on winning this prestigious award,” OPAAFC President Mike Jolley said. “As a club we are really proud of our graduates who are showing they have the right skills and attitude to make a real difference when they get the opportunity to play at the senior level.”

Mike highlighted the outstanding work of Ian Fairley, the club’s under 19s Coach of the past four seasons, together with his assistants and the hard-working committee. Central to this activity has been the strong affiliation the club now enjoys with its junior club Parade St Damians and the highly-successful Junior Development Academy program established in 2016.

“We have done a lot of work to ensure we provide a great environment for our younger players to grow and develop their skills and to ensure they have a strong pathway into senior football,” Mike said.

The football club now provides one of the best playing and social facilities in suburban football and is proud to be amongst the oldest and most successful clubs in the Victorian Amateur Football Association. It prides itself on providing a family-based environment in which parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children’s sporting career.

The OPAAFC is extending an invitation to any player wanting to join the club’s under 19 or senior grade teams in 2017. Pre-season training is scheduled to begin in mid-November 2016 and additional information can be obtained from club Secretary Damian Hannam on Mobile 0447 635 198 or email damian.hannam@amadeus.com