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Restructure hits hurdle

December 14, 2023 8:30 pm in by

AFL Barwon’s proposed restructure of local football and netball appears to have hit choppy waters following a meeting of GFNL clubs earlier this week.

Presidents and other club officials met on Tuesday night to discuss the model put forward earlier this month, with a vote finding only one club currently favouring the planned shakeup.

South Barwon is the lone backer of the concept in its current form, with St Mary’s and St Joseph’s undecided.

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That leaves nine clubs yet to see a benefit in change that AFL Barwon hopes to bring into effect in 2025.

In a statement provided to K rock Football, Joeys said, “St Joseph’s Football and Netball Club have remained open-minded about a competition re-structure and supportive of aspirational change if resulting in a strengthened, fairer competition, that maximises participation across football and netball. In assessing the finer details, we see the success of such a significant change contingent, however, on local support.”

The GFNL clubs also used the meeting to direct league president Peter Kelly – a former Football Geelong chair and AFL Barwon commissioner – to be the liaison with the governing body.

Ocean Grove has been the lone Bellarine League club to support the concept, with Barwon Heads questioning its benefit to them.

Speculation around the BFNL is that support for any change is minimal.

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AFL Barwon will continue to consult with clubs on either side of Christmas, with a deadline of Round 1 of the BFNL set for a decision on whether the restructure takes place.

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