The Manly Warringah Football Association would like to thank the 17 clubs and 18,422 players for the trust and unity that has remarkably seen a growth in player numbers for the 2020 season, despite the COVID-19 disruption.
When registrations closed today, the Manly Warringah Football Association had 18,422 registered winter players – up from 18,406 in 2019.
This spans all age groups; boys and girls, men and women from the 5-year-olds starting their football journey in the U6s through to a small number of players in their 70s who play Over 45s.
This registration growth has also been achieved despite a number of deregistrations from players who understandably did not want to continue playing due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.
It is a modest season of growth on the back of some steeper increases in recent years but in the current social climate it illustrates the health of the football on the Northern Beaches.
“This is a remarkable outcome and speaks volumes for the trust and unity that all 17 clubs, the players, volunteers and MWFA Board and staff have had in each other to approach the COVID-19 lockdown with a positive attitude,” said MWFA CEO David Mason.
“To have an increase in player numbers in 2020 is something we wouldn’t have imagined at all possible when we went into lockdown in mid-March, a time when we are usually processing registrations at a rapid rate.
“The entire football community pulled together, showed tremendous trust and unity and when we announced the season would resume our players voted with their feet and we have gone passed out 2019 player numbers.
“I want to pay a special tribute to the 17 Club Presidents and the hard-working volunteers at every club, as well as the MWFRA and Manly United, for the way they trusted our belief that we would work hard to salvage a season because football at grassroots level is important to our community.
“People of all ages register to play grassroots football because they use it as a way of connecting, exercising, spending time with friends and feeling as though they are part of a community and we fought hard to preserve that for our players.
“Everyone has embraced our plan to schedule as many games as possible to get maximum games out of the time frames we have been given to play the season
“We said all along that 2020 was going to be different and it is, but this has shown all of us that the one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that we have a very special football community on the Northern Beaches.”