Thinking back on the U12s

BY – JACKSON CLARK

After recently helping out with some coaching of a local U12s Darwin Juniors side, it made me reminisce of the times when I was running around on those modified grounds.

I played juniors for a side called the Sanderson Swans between the ages of seven and 11. Our team was made up of three different primary schools around the northern suburbs of Darwin and training was always close to home. I reckon I would have played over 100 games for the Swans because ever since the age of seven I always played two games on the one day, filling in for the under 12s after my game in the under 10s. Looking back on it, I was probably more of a nuisance in my first year playing with the older boys. I was the smallest and youngest on the team but I would just try to chase the ball around and hopefully get on the end of a couple of goals.

Playing with the Swans was probably one of the most enjoyable times for me in regards to playing football. The game plans were simple and every Saturday afternoon I would get to run around and have a kick with my best mates on random grounds around Darwin. What is better than that? I remember playing with plenty of enthusiasm and yet for some reason I don’t think I was ever particularly tired after a long day of football. I loved it so much that I would have played a game every day if it was an option.

                                                   Me (middle), with mates Joey and JJ.

I remember in my final year of under 12s when I was the self-appointed captain of a really good side. We went through the season without a loss and no one got near us on the field. That was until we came up against the Crows in the grand final. For some reason we were not switched on and they came out and beat us easily. It did not matter that we had won the last three or so grand finals, I was so upset with the loss that I cried after the match. I don’t even think they got a trophy or medals or anything like that but I was just so competitive and the game meant so much to me. That loss was my last ever game for the Swans so while it was disappointing (yes, I am actually still a little disappointed), I look back on those times very fondly.

Playing junior footy is something that all young kids interested in the game should have a go at!

Twitter – @JClark182

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

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