AFL Goldfields decides against creating new league

Plans for a new Goldfields District Football Netball league have been scrapped after AFL Goldfields released the final report of its lengthy Senior Competition Review.
AFL Goldfields chairman Paul Armstrong, general regional manager Rod Ward, Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League president Steve Broad and Riddell District Football Netball League vice president Garry Stevens handed down the key findings at Saxon House in Ballarat last Thursday.

Controversial plans for a new Goldfields league have been ditched after AFL Goldfields announced there will be no major structural changes to any leagues for season 2018.

The decision is one of more than 40 recommendations in the final report of the Senior Competition Review, conducted over the past 12 months across the MCDFNL, Central Highlands, Ballarat and Riddell District.

Earlier this year the commission sought feedback from clubs on splitting the MCDFNL and Central Highlands Football League to create a new Goldfields District Football Netball league, based on either competitiveness or location.

The reviews findings, handed down at a press conference in Ballarat last Thursday, found there was not satisfactory evidence that a split would “ensure the sustainability of vulnerable clubs”.

Despite speculation in recent media reports that it would go ahead, AFL Goldfields chairman Paul Armstrong said the decision against creating a new Goldfields league was not a “back flip”.

The MCDFNL remains largely unaffected by the findings, however a major outcome of the review is that the Clunes Football Netball Club has been “granted their request” to leave the CHFL and join the MCDFNL in 2019.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, December 12.

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