Welcome to the Bendigo Advertiser Football and Netball Guide 2021, in readiness for this exciting new season.
It's a similar feeling to when we were children - the week leading up to Christmas was pure excitement, maybe a few nerves, and counting down the sleeps until the big day.
The present is not a toy or a bike - it's the return of community footy and netball.
After the entire 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, central Victorian players, coaches, supporters, officials and volunteers couldn't wait for the opening bounce and/or whistle of their respective leagues.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and 2020 did prove what a major role community sport plays in many of our lives.
It's taken a mountain of work from league administrators and club officials to get footy and netball in central Victoria back on deck in 2021.
For that passion and determination, we say thank-you. Without volunteers clubs couldn't survive. Congratulations to the hundreds of people across the region who have signed up as volunteers for their respective clubs.
You are the lifeblood of community sport and your efforts shouldn't be understated. On the field and court, across all our leagues, we look forward to what shapes as the most even competitions in years. To guide you through the return of footy and netball, this is our club-by-club preview of the 2021 season.
As you read the previews, be mindful that the information was compiled in early March and some clubs could have added or lost more players by the time the magazine was published.
The most exciting storyline to come out of the previews - the quality and quantity of young talent entering senior ranks in footy and netball.
It's an exciting time for everyone involved. Good luck to all the players, clubs and umpires participating in 2021.
It's going to be a cracking season.
- Bendigo Addy Sport