by Warragul & Drouin Gazette
Final recommendations from this year’s review into Gippsland football, predominantly the Alberton League and junior levels, are expected to be handed down in late August. AFL Gippsland chairman John Schelling said a draft report was currently being prepared by the review committee for presentation to the Gippsland Commission by the end of this month.
The seven-club Alberton competition has been a major concern since a previous review was implemented last season. Also under consideration will be an application by Tooradin, currently in the South East Football Netball league, to join the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition that formed with 10 clubs last year. Another South East club, Pakenham, also made inquiries about joining West Gippsland but Mr Schelling said he understood the club was now turning its attention to the Yarra Valley league. Other South East clubs are also considering moves to suburban competitions Southern and Eastern leagues.
However, the most testing challenge for the review committee is junior football, especially the retention of players at Under 16 and Under 18 levels and structures of competitions. Mr Schelling said while most clubs supported having four football games each weekend – two junior, reserves and seniors – there were pockets where low populations made it extremely difficult. He said discussions with clubs and leagues had raised queries whether the current Under 16 and Under 18 age categories were the best age group options.