Visitors enjoy region

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A stiff breeze and general winter chill did not deter families and players on the final day of the Victorian Junior Soccer Country Championships in Shepparton.

The stakes were high as teams from across the state played finals, vying for the top prize.

The event, which started on Saturday, brought sport as well as economic benefit to the city through accommodation, food and leisure activities.

Visitors had positive feedback, praising the high-quality soccer facilities and outstanding accommodation on offer.

Mildura’s David Lia said it was his first time back (to town) in 25 years and he would come back every year for the facilities.

‘‘I’ve never seen anything like these,’’ Mr Lia said.

Bendigo resident Charlie Cungeen came to watch his grandson and really enjoyed his accommodation and the weekend away in Shepparton.

‘‘I stayed at the Sherbourne and it was great,’’ Mr Cungeen said.

James Weir, 14, was visiting from Geelong with his family to watch his younger brother play and take pictures of the matches.

‘‘This is my first time in Shepparton and I’ve had a lot of fun,’’

‘‘It’s really good, but really cold,’’ he said.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said it was great so see young football players and their families visit the region.

‘‘The championships are expected to see around 3000 visitors and add well over $1million to our local economy, providing a strong boost to our local businesses during a traditionally quiet time of the year,’’ Cr O’Keeffe said.

Junior soccer report in today’s sport, section, more pictures in Wednesday’s edition of The News.