No backing down


No backing down

DESPITE some shocking blows, Alberton Football Netball League is keen to kick off the 2017 season.
The league lost five teams, its major sponsor and its ball sponsor to the newly formed West Gippsland Football Netball League, but it has started from scratch and built itself back up.
Now disassociated with AFL Gippsland, the Alberton league is running the show and changing things up for its remaining seven clubs.
“We had to do something to make this league more viable. The loss upset a lot of people because the league has been around for 120 years,” Alberton league president Barry Stride said.
“To make our league sustainable, we decided we’d have to do things ourselves. We are turning it into a family oriented league with a few different things in the works.”
One of the plans is to introduce Friday night and Sunday matches as well as the usual Saturday matches to give more people the chance to come along and be involved.
The league will also be looking to hold youth girls football matches before the Seniors.
“There are no regulations to say the Reserves have to play before the Seniors, and this would give girls’ footy excellent exposure. We are keen to make it happen,” Mr Stride said.
The league has also welcomed back Lynn Whelan as its operations manager.
“Lynn is a very hands on, hard worker and when she resigned from AFL Gippsland we felt it would be great for the league to have her back on board,” Mr Stride said.
Mr Stride said the netball competition will also be strong this year.
“The netballers have backed the league as well and it looks their competition will be sensational. They will do the league proud,” he said.
Mr Stride said the review came as a shock to the clubs, but the outlook for the season is positive.
“Alberton was considered a pretty strong league. It was rated 22nd in Victoria at Interleague status and it was the only Gippsland league to win Interleague last year. It was a shock to lose five teams – four of which were top sides,” he said.
“But, we can either curl up in the corner or get up and doing something about it. It is a credit to the seven remaining teams that they are well and truly backing the league. All clubs have pitched in and have worked hard to ensure this league survived over the past six months. Their desire to keep the league going has been fantastic.
“It’s a shame people have been bad mouthing the league and these clubs, but at the end of the day the clubs haven’t lost too many players. It’s looking like it will still be a strong competition.
“Those who cast aspersions and say this will be a ‘minor league’ will be in for a shock.”
The Alberton League draw was finalised last Friday. The league will play with seven teams this season and will be looking for an eighth in 2018.

Back in the game: although the league review caused a stir, the seven remaining teams in the Alberton Football Netball League – including Fish Creek and Allies as pictured – are ready for the start of an exciting 2017 season.

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Posted by on Jan 24 2017. Filed under Sport. 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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