The Sydney Hills Football Association held a launch day for its clubs and members at Fred Caterson Reserve on Saturday, November 28.
The Sydney Hills Football Association held a launch day on Saturday in Castle Hill ahead of its first season in 2016.
Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne attended the launch at Fred Caterson Reserve along with Castle Hill MP Ray Williams, SHFA president Craig Gough, and members from participating clubs.
The SHFA has 11 affiliated clubs for the 2016 season, including four new clubs — Kellyville United FC, Maroota FC, North West FC, and the Rouse Hill Rangers FC.
Existing clubs that have joined the association include Baulkham Hills FC, Castle Hill RSL Rockets, Castle Hill United FC, Hills Grammar, Hills Knights FC, North Rocks Soccer Club and Norwest Soccer FC.
North West FC covers the whole Hills region, and will be based at Hills Sports High School in Seven Hills.
President Kurt Johnson said the idea for a new SHFA club that covered the general Hills area was his “brainchild”.
“I really wanted to join the Hills association and I saw there was a need for new clubs being a new association and I decided to start a club,” he said.
Johnson, who has played football for 20 years, said the Hills had been “crying out for years” for a localised competition. “I wanted to do my part to help,” he said.
North West FC will have two Men’s Premier League teams entering the competition next year, with plans to expand after that.
Meanwhile, Castle Hill RSL Rockets vice president Bikram Sarna said he was “quite passionate” about moving to SHFA from the Granville and Districts Football Association.
Sarna said while there were many reasons for the move, one of the issues was the long distances parents and players travelled to play games in the Granville association.
“I believe the junior side of the club is the backbone of the club, and that’s the side of the club that suffered more because people were travelling more,” he said.
“I thought strongly that if we don’t join (the SHFA), we will lose members to other clubs that did join.”
Sarna said a majority of the club’s members supported moving to the Hills.
“We did online surveys and there was about an 80 per cent response to towards the Hills,” he said.
SHFA president Craig Cough said there was “still time for players to jump on board” and join the association.
“Registrations open on December 1, so any club or player that wants to come on board still has the opportunity to do so and be a part of something special,” he said.
The four new clubs are looking for sponsorship opportunities. If you can assist, visit the club’s websites.