Sport

Leagues on the same page

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February 12, 2018

A meeting to discuss the direction of football in Victoria attracted a large crowd yesterday as concerned leagues took the opportunity to voice their opinions.

More than 50 people, representing about 15 football and netball leagues as well as some umpiring fraternities, descended upon the Bungaree Football Netball Club in response to a call out from Geelong and District Football League president Neville Whitley.

Picola District Football Netball League operations manager Shane Railton said the message from the meeting was clear surrounding AFL Victoria’s regional administration centres.

‘‘Everyone has got similar concerns about the (RACs),’’ he said.

‘‘Most importantly no-one wants to be bound to go there — there were many leagues like us who don’t want to go ... and a number of leagues who got up and flatly refused to (do so).’’

AFL Victoria’s directive is to have all leagues administrated in a RAC from next year, but Railton feels the organisation cannot ignore the growing number of leagues unhappy with the situation.

‘‘They (AFL Victoria) would be silly to dismiss the meeting given the amount of people that were there and the consistency of the message,’’ he said.

‘‘Some leagues feel they are getting bullied and they don’t like that.

‘‘The outcome was that a sub-committee was somewhat formed and the AFL will be invited to meet with the sub-committee, and I’d think they’d be silly not to.’’

Despite the start of the football season looming large on the horizon, Railton does not feel the discussions will cause any disruptions.

‘‘I don’t imagine it will drag on for too long,’’ he said.

‘‘What the meeting has done is stopped their (AFL Victoria’s) ‘you’re the only league not complying’ mentality.

‘‘It would be pretty hard for them to say that now after so many leagues turned up.’’

But although the main agenda was discussing concerns about administration, Railton said his league could benefit from other discussions had at the meeting.

‘‘There were lots of open discussions as much as anything,’’ he said.

‘‘It was also about meeting other people from other leagues, and we had discussions on completely random stuff like game-day magazines and interleague.

‘‘So yes, it was obviously about that big topic, but there were plenty of other topics discussed between leagues.’’

Murray Football Netball League was also represented at the meeting, which went for about four hours as every organisation received the opportunity to have its say.

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