The club considers this a retrograde step and has decided:
*That in 2013 20-year-old players at North Beach will be selected on merit in senior teams.
*17-19-year-old players will take precedence for colts selection in 2013. Some top age players, who are still developing physically, will be selected to play colts.
*That the club will retain two colts teams in the WA Amateur Football League in 2013, with many of the higher aged players, who are eligible for colts, playing in one of the five senior grades.
Club president David Cassidy said North Beach had always taken a big picture attitude with regards to the development of younger players and believes this initiative will be of long-term benefit to the club.
“We will essentially progress along the same lines as we would have, had there not been a lift in the age cut-off,” Cassidy said. “We expect an influx of junior players from around the district in 2013, as we do every year, and we will accommodate all of those players.
“At the same time, most of the players who would ordinarily have played in the colts for the last time in 2012, are ready to make the progression to senior football. There may well be some exceptions, but the majority are ready to graduate.
“We will monitor the situation in-season and as always will act in the best interests of all players.”
New senior coach David Hynes, meanwhile, is preparing for an earlier start to pre-season training with a 3km time trial on January 15 and is also flagging a few new initiatives around the summer program.