NRFL travel load too big for Swifts

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

The man­age­ment com­mit­tee of Mata­mata Swifts As­so­ci­a­tion Foot­ball Club has made the de­ci­sion to re­sign the club’s po­si­tion in the North­ern Re­gion Foot­ball League.

The club has ex­pe­ri­enced sev­eral ma­jor changes over the last cou­ple of months.

One of the out­comes of this is that the depth of the club’s se­nior men’s player base is now not what is re­quired to jus­tify the on-go­ing ex­pense of com­pet­ing in the NRFL.

‘‘ We have not taken this de­ci­sion lightly but it is clear this is the cor­rect course of ac­tion for our club,’’ said Swifts sec­re­tary, Julie Cloth­ier.

‘‘NRFL foot­ball is not a sus­tain­able propo­si­tion for our club for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.’’

The de­ci­sion to pull out of the NRFL was a con­sid­ered one.

‘‘We weighed up all the op­tions and we de­ter­mined this to be the best track for us to head down,’’ said Cloth­ier.

‘‘The de­ci­sion was made fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with key per­son­nel and play­ers within the lo­cal foot­ball com­mu­nity. It was im­por­tant they had a voice in this process.’’

Mata­mata is quick to praise the Auck­land Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion.

‘‘We’d like to thank the AFF for ac­cept­ing us into the NRFL back in 2010, and our lo­cal Fed­er­a­tion for sup­port­ing us. It’s a great com­pe­ti­tion and there is still some sad­ness that we can’t carry on,’’ said Cloth­ier.

The amount of travel in­volved in com­plet­ing an NRFL sea­son is the other main for this de­ci­sion.

‘‘It’s no se­cret we’ve lost a lot of play­ers from last year’s squad and that, along with sev­eral oth­ers be­ing un­able to com­mit to the amount of travel in­volved with NRFL foot­ball, makes it clear to us that the NRFL is now not a vi­able op­tion for ex­plained Cloth­ier.

‘‘The travel has been huge wear­ing fac­tor for us over the three years we’ve been in­volved in the NRFL and we won’t miss that.’’

The travel fac­tor means, iron­i­cally, the Swifts will likely field a stronger team in the lo­cal Waikato Bay of Plenty Fed­er­a­tion League than they would have been able to in the NRFL.

Mata­mata now looks for­ward to re­turn­ing to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Fed­er­a­tion League Di­vi­sion 1.

‘‘We’re ex­cited to be re­new­ing a num­ber of lo­cal ri­val­ries that have

the

club,’’ laid dor­mant for the three years we’ve been in the NRFL,’’ said Cloth­ier.

‘‘The Wai­BOP Fed League is a com­pet­i­tive com­pe­ti­tion with well or­gan­ised clubs, so our 1st team will still be play­ing some de­cent games. It’s im­por­tant we have that as part of our lo­cal foot­ball devel­op­ment process.’’

On a pos­i­tive note, the Swifts will now be able to in­vest more fo­cus, en­ergy and money in the devel­op­ment of youth within the com­mu­nity.

‘‘ That will now be­come even more im­por­tant to us,’’ said Cloth­ier.

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