Play time

Local football and netball is finally here, with the Emmett's/Goldacres Night Series set to kick off from 6pm tomorrow.

Eight Central Murray and two Golden Rivers clubs will compete across two nights.

Football matches will run in 3 x 25 minute blocks, while netball will feature 2 x 13 minute halves tomorrow and 2 x 10 minute halves next Saturday.

Organising committee member Geoff Hickmott believes the series has gained traction in recent years due to what it offers clubs.

"Teams do not have to go through all the trouble of organising and worrying about things falling through," Hickmott said.

"We organise it all — the teams, the umpires, the timekeepers and we make sure it's on a playing surface coaches do not have to worry about players getting injured.

"We have so many great sports in town, but I think footy is the one that pulls together the general community from all areas.

"This event is a great opportunity for them to get together before the season starts. It's a great day of social interaction as well, regardless of the scoreboard."

The women will also be well represented this season, not only on the courts, but the footy field, too.

Women's co-ordinator Jess Merrett knows securing Bendigo Thunder to play is a major coup, but says there is plenty of room for other girls in the region to join in.

"I'm quite excited about the introduction of football to the women's fixture," Merrett said.

"Women and girls of any age to join in next week, too. We're training at 6.15pm next Tuesday, anyone is welcome to come along, even if you don't want to play on in the Women's Come & Try Game on Saturday."

"There will be an Auskick come and try and we're really lucky to have Bendigo Thunder coming down to play Kerang Women — so if anyone is interested in watching some good women's footy."

Entry is free, with the option of donating a gold coin to Motor Neurone Support Group tomorrow and Cruze 4 Awareness on April 7.

This is the fourth year non-for-profit organisations will be collecting at the gates and Hickmott is hoping for attendees to give generously.

"It's about giving back to the community and we're hoping to raise another $5000 for the day get to the magical number of $20,000 across the four years," he said.

Hickmott and the committee put a lot of time and effort into recruiting numbers each year, as they hope to continue the boom in participants.

"We start organising the event in October. We contacted about 39 clubs from across five or six different leagues and that's what were hoping for Night Series to develop into. Numerous teams competing across various nights," he said.

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