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Byron Shire
January 20, 2022

Re-booted academy for elite footballers looking forward to a big year

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First Byron Shire Council meeting postponed

Byron Shire Council’s first meeting of newly minted councillors was to take place today, 20 January, however, the storm of COVID-19 that is taking place across the country led to it being postponed.

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Elite footballers in action for the Northern Rivers Football Academy. Photo supplied.

Ross Kendall

The Northern Rivers Football Academy is fielding more teams this year and is set to go from strength to strength according to senior coach Gavin Whitney.

The future of the academy came under threat last year while operating as the Liverpool Football Academy under licence to Southern Cross University. The SSC had to close the program suddenly owing to financial constraints brought on by the onset of COVID-19.

‘But a pretty concerted effort form a lot of people,’ including local football clubs, managed ‘… to get the program operational again’, Gavin said.

‘There was a great set-up in place; it would have been a tragedy to throw it away. There was a real team effort to get it back.

And so it is the NRFA finds itself in a great position to offer even more teams and players a go at the elite level in 2021.

The NRFA is running more teams than ever before, including U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 boys teams, as well as U14 and U16 girls teams.

‘I think we are in better shape this year, under the new set-up we have more scope to try new things,’ Gavin said.

All the plans and the dates for the 2021 season have been made, and Gavin is confident the border-bubble will let his teams participate in the Gold Coast competitions.


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