THE news last Wednesday that the five Alberton Football Netball Club’s applications to join the West Gippsland Football Netball League had been put on hold because of strong opposition from them has again seen another cruel blow to the future of football in South Gippsland.
That’s after being knocked back by the Ellinbank FNL the previous week.
Enough is enough!
In a statement given to The Mirror last week the AFL Commission stated:
“Over the course of the past three weeks AFL Gippsland (Interim Commissioners are AFL General Counsel, Andrew Dillon, AFL Head of Community Football Capability & Governance Steven Reaper and one other), has engaged with a series of stakeholders in the region, including face to face meetings with a number of clubs and Leagues. It has become apparent in these meetings that a suitable home still needs to be found for the Alberton FNL clubs for season 2020. AFL Gippsland views the situation with the Alberton FNL clubs as an issue for the Gippsland region which is not isolated to the Alberton FNL clubs as it has much broader implications for the region.
“AFL Gippsland believes the most positive solution sits with engaging with surrounding Leagues to be part of a regional solution as the current situation is not one where the Alberton clubs can be viewed in isolation as this is a challenge confronting the Gippsland region, not just the Alberton clubs. Given it is a broader Gippsland issue, AFL Gippsland believes to progress the situation it needs the surrounding Leagues and clubs to come together to be part of any solution.
“As such, the AFL Gippsland Commission invited the Ellinbank District Football League, Mid Gippsland Football League, North Gippsland Football and Netball League, Alberton Football Netball League and representatives from the WGFNC Advisory Group to come together to discuss the current situation at a meeting Monday night at Morwell.
“It is AFL Gippsland’s view that working with the Leagues, and by extension your clubs, to take a coordinated all of football approach to find the Alberton FNL clubs a home for 2020 is the best approach to progress the situation and to work through what is a challenge for the Gippsland region, one which has implications for all Leagues and clubs in the region.”
The situation that the remaining five AFNL clubs and Stony Creek, who have now decided to try and go their own way, find themselves in has been created by previous AFL Gippsland Commissioners who in their review some four years ago formed the WGFNL.
The demise of the DWWWW club did not help the situation, and when Korumburra FNL appealed to VFL Victoria and won to go to the WGFNL then the writing was on the wall.
All local clubs are run by volunteers and they are sick and tired of the incompetence that has gone on now for far too long.
A lot of good people will be lost to grass roots football because of the situation and it’s time clubs, leagues and administrators make decisions that is for the good of country football, and not themselves.
It will be a sad day if the remaining five Alberton clubs are split up and directed to neighbouring leagues.
The Mirror wasn’t expecting a solution at Monday night’s meeting as these get-togethers have been going on for years with no positive outcomes.AFNL President Barry Stride told The Mirror he was again bitterly disappointed with the latest decision and said someone needs to step up and make a decision that sees a future ahead for the Alberton Clubs