Gresford Vacy Football Club is leading the way

For Martins Creek teenager Mia Smith, spending Christmas day in bed due to glandular fever was rough - but not as rough as not being able to lace up her boots and play soccer this season.

The year 8 Maitland High School student was not content to just sit on the sidelines at home games so she offered to help in her Gresford Vacy Football Club's canteen.

"Everyone helped me and supported me and I couldn't play this season, but still wanted to be involved," she said.

Mia's offer was the impetus for the club to put the coffee machine they had introduced last year to better use, with volunteers previously "winging it".

"We got enough compliments last season about having 'real coffee', not pods or instant coffee, so the club paid for me and Mia to do a barista course to make sure that good coffee gets served every Saturday morning," said committee member Myf Doyle.

With early morning games during the chilly season, the club normally sells 75 cups of coffee each Saturday. The profits go back into the club which helps reduce player fees.

But the coffee is not the only drawcard to the canteen which is earning a reputation with visitors for its menu which has a distinct emphasis on "healthy".

"We get some really nice comments," said committee member Elisa Fitzpatrick.

"You can still get a pie and a coke if that's what you want, but if you want a wholemeal roll with some baby spinach and relish to give it a bit of a healthier kick, then you have that option as well.

"We've put in some healthier soft drinks for the kids and preservative free lollies."

The canteen committee were motivated by seeing children come to canteen with a $5 note and buying lollies instead of lunch.

"We got motivated with having younger kids ourselves," said Elisa.

"We will still offer lollies, because that's fun, but let's find better lollies. We also have home baking such as cookies and banana bread."

Since the switch to a healthy canteen, profits "have gone through the roof".

"Its also helped with volunteers, we find we've got more people that want to be involved," said committee member Summer Norton.

The club is also focused on recycling - their drink bottles, soft plastics and coffee cups are all collected after each game and taken top a recycling station.

You can check out a gallery of the little junior football players here.