Gunners and City unite senior forces to new NCF entity

SOUTH Services Gunners and Grafton City soccer clubs will combine senior forces to form Grafton United Football Club.

The move is an attempt to pool players together to form a stronger senior club, with intentions to field a team in the North Coast Football's Men's Premier League competition in its first season.

It will see both junior clubs continue to exist with players from under-15 and up registering for Grafton United.

A 13-person working committee has been putting the wheels in motion.

"Our major goal is to create a top-level club for all juniors who play out of Rushforth Park to strive for, whilst keeping the junior clubs' identities," South Services Gunners Junior Soccer Club president Shanon Tough said.

"With over 350 juniors playing out of Rushy, it's only fair we try to offer top-level opportunities."

Tough said there was a general consensus among the working committee that those opportunities were spread too thin between the three senior clubs that currently play out of the venue.

Instead, it is estimated Grafton United will consist of eight teams in 2015, with premier league and reserve grade men and women, men's second and third grades and two under-15/16s.

"I am excited for our players to have this opportunity and for Rushforth Park to finally get some top-level men's football being played there on a weekly basis," Tough said.

Tough said the other club which uses Rushforth Park, Majos Mustangs, declined the offer to join Grafton United.

"Grafton United will be run by a committee comprised of junior club delegates and new senior club personnel so all decisions regarding Rushforth Park, its players, its members and its supporters are represented," Tough said.

"Grafton United will have a club development plan which the junior clubs will use to make the transition to seniors easier and so players are already trained in the formations and tactics United will use.

"The FFA national curriculum will be adopted and Grafton United will also offer the junior clubs free training programs such as elite training, all-ability skills acquisition, goalkeeper training, an annual camp, futsal, summer 6s, coach and manager training and volunteer training."

Expressions of interest are now being taken for committee members, coaches, players, volunteers and sponsors.

Grafton United's first AGM will be on Sunday, December 7, at South Ex-Services from 6.30pm.

"We encourage all players past and present who wish to be involved to turn up and voice their ideas," Tough said.

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