Yarram members support NGFNL move

NEARLY 90 per cent of Yarram Football-Netball Club members voted in favour of a move to the North Gippsland Football-Netball League.

It came as Boisdale-Briagolong Football-Netball Club prepares to meet with East Gippsland FNL about a possible transfer.

The Bombers were approached by the EGFNL about a meeting about a transfer, two years after it last discussed the issue.

Bombers president Steve Kardinaal said members would vote on the transfer after meeting with the EGFNL, but admitted they were happy in the NGFNL.

“We’re meeting out of courtesy, (the EGFNL) has gone through AFL Victoria Country,” he said.

“At this stage it doesn’t look like (the move) will go ahead.”

On Sunday about 87 per cent of Yarram members support the move from the Alberton FNL. More than the 75 per cent required to progress the issue.

The majority of members supported the move two years ago, but not enough to progress.

The club will now prepare a presentation to NGFNL clubs, who will vote on accepting the Demons for next season. The presentation and vote is likely to take place in August.

The move needs the support of at least seven of the 10 clubs.

The proposal would then need to pass through the Alberton league and AFL Victoria by October 31 for it to become reality.

Among reasons behind a move were less travel and an better ability to attract and retain players from the Latrobe Valley.

Yarram’s senior team is currently in fifth place on the AFNL ladder out of 13 teams.

The Demons’ reserves and thirds football sides and all their netball sides, apart from the under 15s, are currently outside their respective top sixes.

NGFNL general manager said the league would continue discussions with the Demons about facilities and how they would enter the league.

While AFNL has four football grades, the NGFNL only has three, with no fourths. It is likely Yarram will field its fourths in the Sale and District Junior Football Association.

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

Bayley said the league would provide information about the positive and negative aspects of Yarram joining the competition.

If Yarram comes into the NGFNL, some Boisdale-Briagolong players and supporters would travel around 100 kilometres to games in Yarram.

Should the Bombers join the EGFNL, the longest trip would be to Orbost, more than 150km away.

Bayley said travel was unlikely to be a major issue with NGFNL clubs voting on Yarram.

“We’re a pretty compact league compared to other leagues in country Victoria,” he said.

Should Boisdale-Briagolong remain, the Yarram’s move into the NGFNL could also see it return to having 11 clubs and the need for each club to have two byes a season, as was the case before Stratford left for the EGFNL last season.

To accommodate the byes, the season will be extended from 18 to 20 rounds and begin earlier.

Bayley said NGFNL clubs were “pretty progressive” and would look at the proposal with an open-mind. He said nine of the 10 clubs voted in favour of Woodside entering the league six years ago.

The addition of Yarram would add another rivalry to the league, with the possibility of matches against Woodside on Easter Sunday mooted.

Yarram last week held discussions with local rival Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside about the Demons’ transfer.

The future of the Alberton league has been the topic of much discussion in recent months.

Toora and District has called on clubs at the eastern end of the league, including Yarram, to push for changes to combat the strength of clubs in the higher populated western end, such as Kilcunda-Bass, Phillip Island and Korumburra-Bena.

Moving the five western end clubs into the Ellinbank and District league, which will adopt a two division structure next year, has been suggested.