Yarram to vote on NGFNL move

YARRAM Football-Netball Club’s move to the North Gippsland Football-Netball League is back on the agenda.

Club representatives met league board members on Monday night to discuss a transfer from the Alberton Football-Netball League.

Demons members will vote on the change of league on July 14.

While the majority of members supported the move when the issue was raised two years ago, it was not enough to progress it.

Under AFL Victoria rules, discussions between a club and a league about a move can not take place for two years.

If a significant majority of members vote in favour of it next month, the Demons will make a presentation to NGFNL club representatives, most likely in August.

At least seven NGFNL clubs would need to support accepting Yarram into the league, while the change would require the final approval of AFL Victoria.

The transfer would need to be confirmed by October 31.

NGFNL general manager Gordon Bayley said the Monday night’s meeting, initiated by Yarram, was about sharing information.

“We’re always open to discussion,” he said.

The addition of Yarram would see the NGFNL return to having 11 clubs and the need for byes, which it had before Stratford left for the East Gippsland league last season.

“There are advantages and disadvantages. Some clubs don’t mind having two byes,” Bayley said.

“While it does make the season a couple of games longer, we’ve been there before.”

As it had two years ago, Yarram has cited the long travel distance to some games, as far west as Phillip Island and Bass, and not being able to attract and retain players from the Latrobe Valley as factors in moving to the NGFNL.

“North Gippsland clubs are little closer and many people do business in the Traralgon area now,” Bayley said.

“There is more of a natural alignment nowadays.”

If it was to change leagues, Yarram would need to realign its teams.

While Alberton has four football grades, the NGFNL only has three, with no fourths. Yarram may need to field that team in the Sale and District Junior Football Association, along with other NGFNL clubs.

Both North Gippsland and Alberton have six netball grades, but the former has four senior grades, the latter only three.

The NGFNL has under 17 and 15 grades, while Alberton has under 17s, 15s and 13s.