Bor­den’s exit sparks fears

Great Southern Herald - - Sport - Tim Ed­munds

The pres­i­dent of the Ongerup Foot­ball Association says he has grave con­cerns for the longterm vi­a­bil­ity of the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter Bor­den Foot­ball Club con­firmed they would be placed in re­cess for the 2017 sea­son due to a crit­i­cal player short­age.

Bor­den, who have strug­gled on the field in re­cent sea­sons win­ning only five games in three sea­sons, in­clud­ing a win­less 2016, con­firmed last month they would sit out the up­com­ing sea­son, which starts on April 22.

The Magpies’ ex­o­dus from the com­pe­ti­tion leaves the OFA with only five clubs.

OFA pres­i­dent Kim Par­sons said while the sit­u­a­tion of los­ing an­other club from the com­pe­ti­tion was “very dis­ap­point­ing”, the association had ac­knowl­edged its sus­tain­abil­ity was an on­go­ing is­sue which needed ad­dress­ing.

The long-term pres­i­dent said the association was look­ing to at­tract clubs to their league.

“We are look­ing all around in neigh­bour­ing leagues; we cer­tainly don’t have our heads in the sand,” he said.

“We are look­ing in all direc­tions to keep long-term vi­a­bil­ity, it’s not go­ing to be left to rot.

“We had a nine-club com­pe­ti­tion for years but it’s pop­u­la­tion based and an era we are in.”

Bor­den pres­i­dent Ja­son Stone said the club would re­assess its po­si­tion be­fore next sea­son and a lack of num­bers and qual­ity foot­ballers were the main rea­sons be­hind the club’s de­ci­sion to sit out the sea­son.

“We have re­lied on trav­el­ling and paid play­ers for a num­ber of years,” Stone said.

“In the end, we just had the bare min­i­mum.

“We could have con­tin­ued maybe for an­other sea­son but we wouldn’t have been flash.

“We will try but you have to have the in­ter­est.”

Three of the club’s Al­bany­based play­ers Corey Byrne, Sam Bad­de­ley-Holmes and Arana O’Byrne will all play in the Great South­ern Foot­ball League this sea­son.

Bor­den will not fea­ture in any of the fix­tures of the Ongerup Association Sport in 2017, which also in­cludes hockey and net­ball.

All fix­tures through­out the sea­son against Bor­den will now be treated as a bye for op­pos­ing clubs.

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