While AFL Gippsland decided in its final draft recommendations report announced at an afternoon meeting last Friday, September 21 the struggling Alberton league would merge with the Mid Gippsland Football League in one competition next season but not all are in favour of this change.
Mid Gippsland that currently consists of 10 football and netball clubs voted 10-0 to not merge with the Alberton league and will appeal the final draft decision handed down by AFL Gippsland. The league has until this Friday to appeal to AFL Victoria if they decide to challenge the merger.
The AFL Gippsland Region Commission released the report, with a recommendation for all current Alberton Football Netball League and nine of the 10 Mid Gippsland Football League and Netball Association clubs to participate in one competition next season.
Following feedback to the draft recommendations report tabled last month, member clubs will have the opportunity to determine the governance and administration structure moving forward. The commission deemed structural change necessary following Alberton clubs expressing grave concerns about their viability in the current six-team competition.
AFL Gippsland Region general manager Ben Joske said the commission had a responsibility to ensure every person in Gippsland had the opportunity to engage with a stable, vibrant and viable club.
“The AFL Gippsland Commission is firmly of the view that for football to flourish in the region it requires a whole-of-region approach,” Joske said.
“The future of the six remaining Alberton clubs is dependent on a willingness for the Gippsland football community to embrace change and work together.”