Stawell finished runners-up at the Wimmera-Mallee under-12 football carnival on Sunday.
Thirteen clubs from across the region were represented in the carnival at Coughlin Park before the Demons defeated Stawell in a close-run grand final.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee development manager Jason Muldoon said it was a fantastic day.
“We had close to 300 kids running around,” he said.
“The weather was perfect and the ground was in great condition.”
For many players its was a first opportunity to represent their clubs against players of the same age, size and development.
“A lot of the kids have to play under-14 football for their clubs,” Muldoon said.
“To see them enjoy playing against other players of their own age is pleasing.”
The teams were split into two groups to play games of 12-minute halves in a round-robin format before the two top teams progressed to the grand final at the end of the day.
Harrow-Balmoral, Noroadjuha-Quantong, Horsham, Horsham Saints Red, Ararat, Rupanyup and Dimboola played in group A.
Stawell, Horsham Saints Black, Nhill, Kalkee, Edenhope-Apsley and Pimipinio were in group B.
Players from the Stawell 13 and Under Football Association teams combined to take on the best in the Wimmera.
Stawell looked to be the form side of the day.
They had a 13-6 lead in the grand final against Horsham, and led up until the final minutes before Horsham were able to kick ahead and win 24-19.
Hamish Smith was recognised as Stawell’s player of the day.
“The boys and girls played with intensity on the ground but it was all in the right spirit,” Muldoon said.
“There was lots of smiles and laughter on and off the ground all through the day.
“It’s not about winning at this stage; it’s about players putting on their club jumpers and hopefully start a long football journey.
“It’s not just about creating the next AFL players but also players at a community club level.”
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