Junior football in Central Otago ushered in a new era at the weekend.
The first combined Cromwell-Alexandra junior representative football team was selected after trials on Sunday.
Previously, age group rep turns were selected from across Central and Southern Lakes clubs but that was ended after NZ Football put the emphasis on clubs, rather than regional teams.
As a result, Queenstown and Wanaka enter age group tournaments under their own steam with large player bases.
Given the respective sizes of Cromwell and Alexandra, Football South granted those clubs the opportunity to combine.
The first under-13 combined team Sunday trials.
The 14-member squad will train twice per week, play practice games against other clubs and enter the Otago-Southland tournament in Dunedin during the Term 3 school holidays.
Central coach Jarred Andrew said the trial was encouraging.
“The challenge now is to mould the selected players into a cohesive team unit capable of competing against and beating the bigger clubs from Dunedin, Invercargill and the Lakes.
“There’s a good level of skill and positivity in the squad, so if we put the effort in, then we can definitely succeed.”
The under-13 Central Otago squad is:
Callum Redgrave, Cooper Lerew, Archie Bruce, Nic Pieterse, Hamish Attfield, William Miller (all Alexandra), Ben Griffiths, Harlym and Luca Wilson, Sam Fluksa, James White, Kadin Greaves, Reece Turnbull and Theo Laws (all Cromwell).