Footy’s back at Jacana Reserve

L-R Yusuf Ozen (secretary) , Nabil Yassine (president) , Rohail Akhtar (Essendon community manager) , Tarik Yavuzcan (coaching coordinator)

Football will return to Jacana Reserve for the 2024 season with the introduction of Dallas Football Club.

The Essendon District Football League welcomed two new clubs. Merrifield Panthers and Dallas Football Clubs.

Dallas intends on fielding an under-8 and under-10 sides this season, operating out of Jacana which will assist in rebuilding a football presence at the venue.

Club president Nabil Yassine said they’re just happy to have football back in the area.

“In the changing demographic of the area we’ve been able to reach out to different communities and engage them through football,” he said.

“It’s been awesome to have a lot of people with languages other than English joining in with the love of footy. It was good to have our Auskick program run last year and we had some good responses from the community so we were really excited with the opportunity to restart up a club back at Jacana Reserve.”

Yassine said the goal for him and the club is to engage as many kids as they can to football, who may not have had the exposure to it otherwise.

“We’re quite positive with numbers, we’re looking at engaging through a few more of the primary schools in the area to engage a lot of those kids who are from different backgrounds that never really played football before,” he said.

“Our biggest aim is to try to provide the opportunity for those kids that have newly come to the country or haven’t had football exposed to them, and bring them to football and engage them in the wider community.

“Especially in the Broadmeadows area where it’s known for kids being disengaged with school, being a school teacher myself I can understand that that’s an issue that we’re trying to address with the support of council, AFL Victoria and the EDFL.”

Long term, Dallas wants to be an established team within the league, growing the junior program into a full fledged senior club but are determined to get the foundations right first and not rush the process.

“We’re focused on building the foundations at the club, bringing in some good people and putting the systems in place to keep it as a sustainable club for future years to come,” he said.

EDFL chief executive Andrew Johnson said he is thrilled to welcome Dallas into the league.

“Dallas FC evolved out of the Hume Crescent Auskick Centre which saw great success in its first year at Jacana Reserve and we’re excited to work with the club to increase that participation and help establish a seamless pathway into junior football in the EDFL.”

The club is currently seeking players, volunteers and sponsors that are keen to help bring back football to the Broadmeadows area.