The biggest smiles were on the smallest faces at Casey Fields on Sunday as the South East Juniors (SEJ) season kicked off with a hugely successful Melbourne Football Club Little Demons Day.
The day has become one of the highlights on the football calendar for SEJ under 8s, 9s and 10s, who come together on the main VFL ground to have some fun and start building friendships that will last a lifetime.
Eight grounds were cordoned off for the morning session, which began at 9 am, with 21 clubs producing 49 participating teams in the under 8s and 9s.
There were several highlights in the morning session, with the young footballers thrilled with visits from Melbourne Football Club AFLW players, while the newest club on the block, the Cardinia Tigers Junior Football Club, played its first game in any form of competition.
The under 10s took to the field for the afternoon fixtures with the ground reconfigured to accommodate six games at a time. Melbourne AFL players were in attendance and kept the kids entertained by conducting some hugely popular handball competitions
AFL South East Region General Manager John Anderson said it was great to see so many young families in attendance.
“We had terrible weather last year, but it was a beautiful day this time around and the footballers and families created a great carnival atmosphere at the club marquees,” Anderson said.
“It was all about having fun and creating a great platform for the season, and we achieved that with nearly 5000 people attending across the morning and afternoon sessions. I would like to thank the Melbourne Football Club for its support and our Events Manager Sam Downie for her great job in making the day run smoothly.”
The first bounce of the season also took place for boys and girls from under 11s to 16s on Sunday, with all teams having two weekends to reset before the SEJ reignites across all age groups.
Fixtures for the combined Frankston and Districts Junior Football League (FDJFL) and SEJ top-age competition will be released shortly, with games also to commence on the weekend of Sunday, April 28.