Time for clubs to provide feedback
After six months of discussions and four club forums this week AFL Goulburn Murray has released draft recommendations from its Junior Football Future Directions project.
Highlighting the 27 recommendations is the addition of a GVL Under-16 age group to play on Saturday and the adjustment of KDFNL thirds age group from Under-18 to Under17.
Except for Benalla Saints, all GVL clubs currently have Under-16 teams playing in other junior Leagues, so the introduction of a GVL Under16 competition would reduce the Shepparton DJFL Under16 competition to six teams as well as reducing the Seymour DJFNL Under-16 competition to also six teams.
After a significant amount of planning the project started early June with the release of a club survey which was sent to all clubs in the region.
Overall, 69 per cent of clubs completed the survey with the Goulburn Campaspe JFL (90 per cent return rate) being the most responsive and the PDFNL (47 per cent return rate) the least responsive.
Four Project Teams were established to achieve the Project’s aim ‘‘to examine the structure and format of junior football in the Goulburn Murray region and design and recommend a model for the future’’ with each of the Project Teams containing a representative from each League.
The Project Teams were then provided with some Key Focus Areas to help guide their discussions in Governance, Age Groups, Club Pathways and Rules.
Recommendations coming from the Project Team meetings were then compiled by the Steering Committee and endorsed by the Commission before being presented to clubs at forums held in Echuca, Seymour, Shepparton and Cobram.
The KDFNL change to Under-17s will bring them into line with other District Leagues, assist recruiting from junior teams playing on Sundays as well as facilitating the development of 1 point players as per the AFL Victoria Community Club Sustainability Program.
The Under-17 age group will also put in place the aspirational target of KDFNL clubs establishing a Under-14 competition into the future.
It is widely acknowledged that having to constantly recruit 15 to 18 year olds is the most difficult age group so targeting the introduction of a younger age group would achieve greater sustainability outcomes.
The full Preliminary Report has been circulated to all clubs and the presentation given at the Club Forums is available via www.goulburnmurrayafl.com. au
A window is now open for clubs to provide written submissions and feedback on any or all of the 27 recommendations by Friday, December 8, before the Steering Committee meet to asses that feedback and determine the next steps.