Footy fiasco


Footy fiasco

A MID Gippsland Football Netball League offer may deliver the Alberton Football Netball League a lifeline – but only to four of its clubs.
Since the formation of the West Gippsland league in 2017 – which stripped Alberton of five of its teams – the league has been at a loss as to what its future might hold.
Set to carry on playing with six teams in 2019, clubs are beginning to plan what they will do moving forward into 2020.
Mid Gippsland Football Netball League has suggested it will offer up to four teams a spot in its league, following the loss of Yarragon Football Netball Club to the Ellinbank league.
Last year, AFL Gippsland and AFL Victoria discussed the possibility of merging the Mid Gippsland and Alberton leagues, which was rejected by Mid Gippsland.
For Mid Gippsland, the possibility of welcoming six extra teams into its league was felt to be too much, as it would mean competing in a 16 club league.
Following the Yarragon loss, Mid Gippsland and AFL Gippsland met recently to revisit the league restructure.
Ideally, Mid Gippsland would like to welcome enough teams to create an even 10 or 12 club competition, but is considering offering a place to extra teams.
League president Rob Popplestone said the opportunity to join Mid Gippsland was open to any club from any league.

“We are open to all clubs within reasonable proximity. If teams like Churchill or TTU were interested, we’d certainly consider them,” he said.
For Alberton, Tarwin, Stony Creek, MDU and Toora were flagged as the most likely candidates to be offered a position in Mid Gippsland.
However, Mr Popplestone said Fish Creek and Foster were not excluded.
“We got the feeling these four teams would be most likely to join us but we would certainly consider Foster and Fish Creek,” he said.
“Ideally we would like an even competition with no byes. Perhaps an amalgamation of two teams from Alberton could be up for discussion. It’s just another option and we are open to suggestions.”
When asked why these discussions were taking place now, Mr Popplestone said the league would rather make plans moving forward early, rather than towards the end of the 2019 season.
“We want to look after the clubs as best we can and get an early feeling about what our clubs want. Ideally we would be looking for teams with netballers, because the netballers and footballers at our clubs are aligned,” he said.
“I haven’t heard any definitive ‘nos’ to welcoming at least one club in yet, but it’s a careful decision we have to make so it does not come at a detriment to any clubs.”
Alberton Football Netball League president Barry Stride said he had not been informed of Mid Gippsland’s intentions.
Mr Stride said the Alberton league hadn’t had discussions with AFL Gippsland since December, but a meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, February 27.
Stony Creek president Mark Le Page said the club would be keeping all options open before making an informed decision.
Mr Le Page said Stony Creek is yet to have a formal discussion with AFL Gippsland, so will continue to gather information to find the best fit for the club heading into 2020.
Fish Creek president Jason Harding said ideally, he would like to see the six Alberton clubs continue to play together into the future in some format.
“Our focus for the 2019 season is on what’s best for our football and netball players to ensure the strength of the club moving forward. We will work hard to ensure a solution that best suits our club, which ideally would be playing against the other five teams in a strong, vibrant league,” he said.
When asked whether all six Alberton teams could possibly be considered in 2020, Mr Popplestone said it was unlikely due to the travel component involved.
For now, the Mid Gippsland board will be focusing on what it can do in 2020.
“We will put together a framework for all applicants. This will give an idea of our expectations,” he said.
Mr Popplestone said he was expecting to know more by March 13.

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Posted by on Feb 26 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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