Radical plan proposes major restructure of football in central Victoria

Football in the Central Goldfields is set to undergo drastic changes following shock recommendations stemming from AFL Goldfields’ senior review.

A new football league comprising of sides from the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League and the Central Highlands Football Netball League is one of the key recommendations to be presented to clubs.

Under the proposed shakeup, existing MCDFNL clubs Lexton and Trentham would join forces with CHFNL clubs Creswick, Clunes Carngham-Linton, Rokewood-Corindhap, Learmonth, Newlyn, Skipton and Smythesdale to form the Goldfields District Football Netball League.

AFL Goldfields general manager Rod Ward said the proposal comes after extensive consultation between the governing body and clubs and is, in part, about ensuring local clubs continue to exist.

“This review was done to ensure the longevity of clubs and that’s one of the things the recommendations are trying to ensure,” Ward said.

“There’s no doubt at all that if we continue with the structure the way it is, then we’ll lose clubs,” he said.

The proposed league is slated to begin in 2019, however Ward says if the appetite exists, there’s the possibility of the competition commencing in 2018.

“There was a strong appetite among clubs for the concept and I’ve invited representatives from those clubs involved to a meeting on August 29 to discuss it further,” he said

In a further shake-up to the MCDFNL, the review also concluded that there are too many clubs within the immediate vicinity of Maryborough.

As such, the review recommended that the Carisbrook Football Netball Club consider a transfer to the Central Highlands Football Netball League in the short-medium term.

While nothing has been finalised, Carisbrook Football Netball Club president Troy Driscoll said the club will consider what is best for all its sides and its future before making a decision.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Friday, August 18

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