League playing its role

DECLINING junior registrations is one issue AFL Central Murray's review into football will consider.

Announced last week, AFL Central Murray – which encompasses the Central Murray Football Netball League and the Golden Rivers Football League - will spend the next 12 months completing a review, with a declining number of players and volunteers a key concern.

A working party will soon be formed to look at the health of both competitions, with the review to look at the structures of governance and junior competitions, viability of leagues and clubs, equalisation measures and what other leagues across Victoria are doing to address these issues.

Both the Central Murray Football Netball League and Golden Rivers Football League have clubs that are struggling to field teams in each league's top junior level.

Balranald is not fielding a team in the CMFNL's Colts competition in 2017, whilst the GRFL's under 17.5 competition is using a different fixture to the main draw after Moulamein, Quambatook and Wakool were unable to field sides.

"Golden Rivers has been proactive in dealing with the issue of playing numbers, running an alternate draw for the under 17.5 competition to ensure players get the maximum number of games. This shows that we are trying to do something," Golden Rivers Football League chairman Daryl Billing said.

Meanwhile, over governance could be another issue the review could focus on.

Speaking to 3SH last week, CMFNL chairman, John Brookshaw raised concerns that too many people are involved in running the sport locally.

AFL Central Murray consists of five commissioners, an operations manager and assistant manager, with the CMFNL boasting an eight-member board and seven people overseeing the GRFL.

During the interview, Brookshaw outlined his belief that the two leagues could combine to be one entity and managed by a single body.

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