Goulburn Valley League legend Paul Newman is deeply concerned about the state of the competition.
The Kyabram coach has led his side to the past two premierships— unbeaten in both seasons — but said the points cap had dramatically affected how competitive other sides could be against his Bombers.
‘‘More dramatically in the last couple of years everyone is aware that the standard has probably been on the decline,’’ Newman said.
‘‘For us the points system has worked in our favour, we were fortunate (that it was implemented) at the right time.
‘‘When it was introduced we were strong and had a good mix of local talent and our recruits had been there for two or three years, so I think at the minute at our worst game we carry maybe 28 points, so it’s not an issue for us.
‘‘But there are clubs that are in a completely different scenario to what we’re in.’’
The points cap for GVL clubs this year is 40, with Shepparton Swans the only exception with an additional four allowed.
Kyabram has been one of the clubs least affected by the system implemented in 2016, but Newman has looked beyond his own team to how the GVL is regarded among leagues in Victoria.
‘‘If I put my Kyabram hat on the points system is great, but as a previous GV representative and all that sort of stuff I’ve always taken great pride in the standard of our competition,’’ he said.
‘‘It wasn’t so long ago we were rated the number one competition in country Victoria, it’s been a pretty sharp fall from grace over the last few years, I don’t know what the solution is, but I’d love nothing more than to see the standard increase.
‘‘It’s fantastic for us because we’ve been winning premierships, but, again, I go back to taking pride in our competition and taking pride in the standard.’’
The previous decade before the introduction of the points system there were eight different clubs crowned premiers, but since its introduction Kyabram has not lost a game and saluted on grand final day twice.
Shepparton Swans took out the premiership in 2014, but have been decimated with long-term footballers leaving and the club unable to replenish with players of the same standard.
‘‘That’s the perfect example with Mooroopna and even the Shepp Swans on the weekend that these clubs that are struggling and are just about at max capacity with their points, where do they go?,’’ Newman said.
‘‘I’ve always been a big believer too it’s the club’s prerogative if they want to stay competitive for a couple of years and have a crack, like a business plan you would call it.
‘‘Obviously the idea of it is to have local footballers stay local and play local and remain loyal in that aspect, but you only need one bad year to lose half a dozen locals and all of a sudden you’re in trouble.’’
Newman said the GVL’s salary cap of $180000 also made recruiting difficult with more money on offer from metropolitan clubs.
To watch the full interview with Kyabram coach and former GVL interleague captain Paul Newman click here.