IT was decided at a meeting of all Alberton Football Netball League clubs last Thursday that it’s every club for themselves as the AFNL looks dead in the water after last week’s AFL Gippsland’s League and Competitions Review Final Recommendations Report.
With AFL Victoria’s Appeal Panel upholding an appeal against the merger with Mid Gippsland, it has been decided that the six clubs in the AFNL would no longer stick together and play as a six team competition in 2019.
Clubs had until today (Wednesday, October 31) to apply to go into neighbouring leagues for next season.
As The Mirror went to press on Tuesday, it appears that Fish Creek and Foster have applied to go to West Gippsland, Tarwin are still open to all options and will decide after a meeting last night (Tuesday), and Stony Creek and MDU applied to go into Mid Gippsland. Toora were still undecided as to their league of choice.
There is no guarantee that all, or any, teams will be granted their applications. The other leagues have 21 days to respond to the applications.
The Mirror believes that this could draw out for a long time yet with the uncertainty to continue up until Christmas at least.
There has been discussions held behind the scenes with the Ellinbank League, but it appears that the local clubs are not keen on that option, but it could end up being the best of what is available.
If some clubs can’t find a new home, then apparently AFL Gippsland will find somewhere for them to play in 2019.
That seems funny when AFL Gippsland has been unable to fix the problem it created when they did their first review and formed the new West Gippsland League.
The demise of the Alberton Football Netball League after 127 years is a disgrace that should never have happened.
It’s time AFL Victoria took control and fixed the situation before the league folds.