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Fundy minor football registration opens - Aug. 08, 2014

Chris Roberts
St. Stephen
The deadline for early-bird registration for the Fundy Minor Football Association is Aug. 15, and president Bruce Watts expects, and urges, parents to sign their children up before then.
“We’ve got quite a few,” he said of current registered players on Tuesday afternoon. “Usually it’s a little slow in the summer until mid-to-late August when people start getting back from vacations.”
Registration ranges from $45 for tyke to $150 for bantam and peewee-aged players. There’s a $20 discount on registration for signing up prior to Aug. 15.
Watts said that, most importantly, this year is about ensuring teams have enough players to keep kids from playing on both the offence and defensive teams.
“We’re looking to fill out some of the teams. There are usually six or seven in each age group and we’d like to see a few more players out on each team to create a little more depth,” he explained.
Last year, St. Stephen had a bantam and peewee team, both of which won league championships. During the regular season, the peewee team finished 5-1, while the bantam team went 6-0.
Still, Watts is hoping for greater registration numbers in Charlotte County.
“St. Stephen, for example, had somewhere around 20-24 kids in terms of numbers, and when you play 12-man football that’s not a lot.”
The association, which is entering its 47th year of operation, has teams in Saint John, Sussex, Simonds, Lancaster, KV, Hampton and St. Stephen.
All divisions are open to both boys and girls, except for the junior girls division, which is for girls born between 1997-2000. The division gives girls a chance to continue playing after bantam, and had three teams last season, none located in St. Stephen.
Enrollment increased by about four per cent last year, said Watts. While some parents remain skeptical about placing their child in contact football, the cost to register and play is affordable, which has made it an attractive sport, particularly during the August-October break between soccer and hockey.
“It’s a relatively short but intense season,” Watts said.
The equipment for each player, unlike many other sports, is provided.
“The only thing a player needs on his own is the cleats.
“The combination of care of the equipment and getting help from local businesses has allowed us to keep our cost down.”
Though early bird registration ends on Aug. 15, registration will be ongoing until early September. With the association covering a relatively large region, parents can sign-up their children online at fundyminorfootball.com.