Mur­ray League mas­ter­plan

Southern Riverina news - - EYE ON EQUINE -

Mur­ray Foot­ball League’s mas­ter­plan for a sec­ond divi­sion is con­tin­u­ing to take shape, with Kyabram Dis­trict Foot­ball Net­ball League clubs Murchi­son-Toolamba and Dookie United sig­nalling an in­ten­tion to make the jump for next sea­son.

But league op­er­a­tions man­ager Dale Nor­man con­ceded the ac­qui­si­tion of an­other team to com­plete a new six-team com­pe­ti­tion was un­likely for next year, with a 17-team league the more re­al­is­tic al­ter­na­tive.

A po­ten­tial fix­ture could have clubs from the sec­ond tier play­ing matches against the top tier, with the 12-team ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion to play a top-six fi­nals, with the five-team dis­trict com­pe­ti­tion hav­ing fi­nals for its top four.

At a meet­ing last week club del­e­gates met with the board to dis­cuss the fu­ture of the league, Nor­man’s over­ar­ch­ing plan the ad­di­tion of a dis­trict com­pe­ti­tion his league would run.

‘‘There’s still a fair bit to play out be­fore we can con­firm any­thing, but on Mon­day night we out­lined to the ex­ist­ing Mur­ray League clubs what has been hap­pen­ing the last four to five months,’’ Nor­man said.

‘‘In terms of those clubs new to the Mur­ray Foot­ball League, we’ve been try­ing to form a dis­trict com­pe­ti­tion that would be ad­min­is­tered by the MFL. That’s in­tended to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of the clubs, max­imise par­tic­i­pa­tion and com­pet­i­tive­ness across all grades.’’

Still man­u­fac­tur­ing a fix­ture that would cater to all par­ties’ needs, Nor­man said the join­ing KDFNL clubs should still form part of the MFL should it not get the num­bers for a sec­ond tier.

‘‘That’s some­thing we’ve been throw­ing around and noth­ing is set in stone,’’ he said.

‘‘Their pref­er­ence would to just be in a dis­trict-type com­pe­ti­tion. But in say­ing that, if the op­por­tu­nity is there where those sides play each other twice and the ma­jor league clubs maybe once, we’ll look at that.’’

Dookie United and Murchi­son-Toolamba join as can­di­dates for the sec­ond league, but Nor­man said the ar­rival of more clubs was un­likely.

‘‘Prob­a­bly not for next year; we’ve had dis­cus­sions with clubs and the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain what we’re do­ing, and at this stage they have in­di­cated they are stay­ing where they are,’’ he said.

‘‘Hope­fully from 2020 on­wards there is a struc­ture in place where clubs are able to join,’’ he said.

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