Goulburn's soccer players don't have much longer to wait before they can take to the fields for the 2020 season.
After a long COVID-19 layoff, the Southern Tablelands Football Association has released the draw for the first round and confirmed the starting date for its competitions: July 18.
Both the Miniroos and the competition grades will get underway on the same day, with each set to run for 11 and 12 rounds respectively.
The Miniroos will wrap up on September 26, while the competition grades will play their last round on October 10, before three weeks of finals.
Competition administrator, Jason Broadbent, said despite a larger drop in registrations than expected, he was extremely pleased to get the season underway at all.
"The early team numbers that we got, we didn't lose many teams compared to last year," Broadbent said. "Now that everyone's had some time and a date set, we've had a second wind and ... we are down a few numbers in every grade, but that's to be expected with what's going on.
"In terms of games and stuff, we've still got plenty of football. The benefit is we can spread the games around to Crookwell, Gunning, and Marulan a bit more.
"We're pretty happy, even if we only had four teams across every age group we'd have been happy to have people playing. Seeing those kids running around with smiles on their faces is the reason we volunteers do what we do."
There are a number of changes from the 2019 competition, the most prominent of which have taken place in the Colts division.
This year, the competition will combine with the Southern Highlands, meaning teams from Moss Vale and Hill Top will take part.
Similarly, where they were previously exclusive to players under the age of 18, each team will now allow five players over the age of 30.
Meanwhile, the other major change has taken place in the All Age Men's division, which welcomes back a second Crookwell team.
"Crookwell are celebrating their 50-year anniversary this year, so it's a bit rough that COVID happened and ruined a lot of their plans," Broadbent said.
"Their second team will be made up of a lot of older players returning and some talented young players."
Broadbent said the saving grace for the STFA was the Cookbundoon playing fields, of which it has exclusive use.
"Cookbundoon's a lifesaver to be honest, the fact that we don't share with other sports," he said.
"The Hill Tops home ground in the Colts, they share with cricket. So we'll have to work something out when they play home games once the cricket season starts.
"Whereas Cookbundoon, we could play on that all year round if we wanted."
The STFA round one draw is viewable on the association's website. For further details about the season, please visit the STFA Facebook page.
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