GETTING STARTED: The Darling Downs Demons have hit the training track ready for a big 2017 Masters season.
GETTING STARTED: The Darling Downs Demons have hit the training track ready for a big 2017 Masters season. Keagan Elder

Demons Masters get their campaign under way

Australian Football: AFL Darling Downs will continue to expand in 2017 with the inclusion of a Demons 'Masters' side to compete in the SEQ competition this year.

The Darling Downs Demons officially kick-started their campaign last week at the University of Southern Queensland AFL Oval in Toowoomba.

Masters is an opportunity for players 35 years and over to enjoy the game of Australian Football in a safe, supportive, family-oriented and fun environment.

Commencing in 1980, the sport is governed by AFL Masters and its eight member State Associations, and is now contested by more than 200 teams across Australia.

AFLM has a national standardised set of modified rules designed to reduce the risks of injury, and has the benefit of being acknowledged and supported by the AFL and the Australian Sports Commission.

The Darling Downs Demons will train once a week, from 6.00pm every Thursday evening.

AFL Queensland regional manager, Jeff Neumann said it would be fantastic to have the masters back on board and congratulated the hard work of volunteers in helping get the over-35 side off the ground.

"We already offer pathways for junior, youth and senior footballers and to now have the masters, (it) really does complete our pathway locally,” Neumann said.

"The key driver behind the masters Nick Barker has done a fantastic job along with his band of volunteers.

"This is a really exciting opportunity for those footballers who thought their careers may be finished - they (now) have an opportunity to continue to play the game they love for a few more years.”

There is already plenty of hype with RAMS Home Loans coming on board to partner with the region's only over-35s team.

"To have RAMS Home Loans come on board and support the return of the Demons in 2017 (is fantastic),” Neumann said.

The Demons are training in preparation for their first game against Ipswich on Saturday, April 22, and all players regardless of age and skill level are invited to attend. For sign-on and membership details, phone team manager Kelli Bolton on 0411030989 or coach Matt Howarth on 0431995406.

Sign on and membership will be available at training also.

Although training is recommended it is not compulsory, as Masters footy offers an unlimited bench on match day, with an emphasis on participation.