Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe joined AFL Goulburn Murray Region General Manager Jamie Macri and V/Line Executive General Manager Network Planning and Integration Jonathan McKeown at Monash Park Shepparton today to officially launch the state’s premier junior regional carnival which will take place from September 23-26.
Held annually, the V/Line Cup carnival brings together the most talented male and female regional footballers to go head-to-head against the top performers in their age group.
More than 100 past V/Line Cup participants have gone on to play professional AFL, becoming household names at the elite level including Essendon’s Dyson Heppell, Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom and Melbourne’s Lily Mithen.
Currently in its 16th year as the official naming rights partner of the carnival, V/Line has contributed extensively in providing the opportunity for young players to challenge themselves against the best in their age group across regional Victoria.
In 2019, the V/Line Cup has grown to include 14 Under-15 Boys and eight Under-15 Girls teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe said the region was excited to be hosting the elite junior AFL event.
“Hosting this event is a massive coup and continues our region’s tradition of hosting high profile AFL events with our partners AFL Victoria and AFL Goulburn Murray,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“It also provides a great opportunity for our local clubs to be involved with some of the key aspects of the event such as catering, bringing funds to their clubs, which ultimately could be utilised to be invested back into upgrades and development within our community”.
“We welcome all the junior athletes, their families, friends and supporters to our region and wish them all the best throughout the competition.”
Head of AFL Victoria Rick Bell said the V/Line Cup was one of the biggest events on the regional football calendar and AFL Victoria was pleased to welcome back another year of the hugely successful carnival.
“The V/Line Cup provides the next generation of aspiring footballers an opportunity to learn, develop and showcase their incredible talent against peers from across the state.
“For many competing at the championships, the V/Line Cup will be a steppingstone to the Under 18 NAB League competitions. The V/Line Cup also provides an important development pathway for young umpires, with umpires selected from the V/Line Umpiring Academy.
“AFL Victoria thanks V/Line for their partnership and involvement in this event for the past 16 years, and the Greater Shepparton City Council, as our host City, for their outstanding support and devotion to make the V/Line Cup possible,” Mr. Bell said.
V/Line CEO James Pinder said V/Line was thrilled to be supporting young people across the regions.
“We’re excited to be holding this year’s V/Line Cup event in Shepparton after four successful years in the Latrobe Valley region,” Mr Pinder said.
“The V/Line Cup not only provides young players with a pathway to the AFL but teaches them leadership and teamwork to make them great ambassadors for their community.
“At V/Line we’re all about being involved in the communities we serve and sponsoring the V/Line Cup is just another extension of that.”