Gunnedah Touch Football Association’s junior representatives are preparing to compete at the 2024 NSW Junior State Cup this weekend.

Six Gunnedah teams across four age groups – under 10, 12, 16, 18 – will travel to Dubbo for the event.

Junior touch co-ordinator Will Dowe said the team contingent is one-up on last year and will be the first time Gunnedah has been represented in the under 10 age group.

“It is exciting to have a young squad competing,” he said.

To prepare the youngsters for this week’s competition, the Gunnedah association recently held an affiliate day or club training day at Donnelly Playing Fields.

Skills and drills were in sharp focus as players refined their technique ahead of the state cup.

Gunnedah will be up against some of best teams in its northern conference in Dubbo as well as big metropolitan clubs from Sydney.

Dowe said although Gunnedah’s player base continues to grow, the country club is still dwarfed by those in the city where hundreds more players are involved.

“Our club might have about 240 players – the Manly club alone has 240 teams,” he said.

Despite the strong opposition, the Gunnedah association is pushing ahead to encourage more junior players to join its ranks.

“We are building up the level of touch football in town,” he said.

Also building is the number and knowledge of its touch officials with several players recently undertaking the refereeing course.

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