Gloucester Soccer Club is a popular choice this season

John Hughes out on the field with the division four players on Saturday April 6. Photo supplied
John Hughes out on the field with the division four players on Saturday April 6. Photo supplied

Gloucester Soccer Club seems to be running the sport of choice this winter season.

According to club president John Hughes, registration numbers were at 217 when trials were held at the end of March and as the regular season got underway, they've continued to grow.

The club runs a Gloucester competition for players aged five to 18 years across four divisions, as well representative teams that play in the Football Mid North Coast competition.

Division four, for the club's youngest players from ages five to seven years, is where John spends most of his time. Last year there were 36 players in division four and at this year's trails, 32 came out to play. By the time they got to the first game on Saturday April 6, there were more than 50 eager players.

The pitch for this division is a fair bit smaller than the others, only measuring 30 by 20 metres. It's run under the Aldi Miniroos banner which focuses on making new friends and developing social skills, values of teamwork, cooperation, fair play, and respect for others; developing a child's ability to make quick decisions and improve reaction time and keeping healthy by getting active.

For John, it's all about is all about having fun.

"That age groups is there to specifically have a good time," John said. "The first year they will stand there and watch the ball go by, and the second year they will be kicking it."

On the same Saturday which marked the start of the regular season, 16 Miniroos went to the Newcastle Jets game and got to play their own match during halftime.

The growth in the club is not only seen in the Saturday competition but in the representative division with Gloucester fronting three teams, men's, 16s and 13s.

Soccer's popularity in Gloucester could come down to a number of things. It could be the fact that the club is highly organised, running a very clean competition, or it could be the fact that the NSW Active Kids Voucher covers the cost of the season, meaning parents aren't out of pocket.

Either way, it's clear the club is going from strength to strength.

"It's a great experience to come here on a Saturday morning to see all the players and cars parked all around field. It shows how far we've come in the last 40 some odd years."

Another feather in the club's cap was also awarded on Saturday April 6, with the club receiving national accreditation from Football Federation Australia.

"Without the support of local businesses and tradespeople our progress wouldn't be as quick."