Capital Area Minor Football Association
Junior Football (Ages 18-22)
Football New Brunswick has proposed the creation of a Martime Junior Football League with teams from Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Charlottetown.
Capital Area Minor Football supports the concept of a Junior League. Because the league will play in the autumn, all teams participating will need to have their own equipment. Startup costs, for equipment alone, will be around $25,000. The team would probably have an annual operating budget of $15,000. The time frame for organizing to raise that amount of money is at least one year.
It is realistic for us to field a team from this area. Considering the student populations at UNB and STU, as well as other players available in the area, finding sufficient players should not be a problem. That would likely be the easy part. Finding people to fundraise, organize and coach will be the hard part.
A junior football program would be the most cost effective way to provide a place to play for our high school graduates. University teams have annual budgets of about $150,000. Because they compete for national championships, large numbers of players must be brought in from outside the region in order to be competitive. A junior program could be run for a fraction of the cost. It might also be wise not to compete for national championships in order to keep costs down and to ensure that the vast majority of the players are from this region.
The long term possibilities of junior football as a mechanism for the eventual revival of university football are also quite intriguing. The longtime junior powerhouse Regina Rams became the University of Regina Rams in 1999 and made it all the way to the Vanier Cup in 2000. A new junior team, the Prairie Thunder, was established in Regina in 2000 in order to replace the Rams. Establishing a junior program in Fredericton will not necessarily lead to the revival of football at UNB and/or STU. However, as the Regina example demonstrates, it is a lot easier to start a university team on top of an existing successful junior program than it is to establish one from scratch.
Further information on the proposed Maritime Junior Football League can be found on the Football New Brunswick Junior Football Webpage.