By Russell Bennett
The Ellinbank and District Football League will retain its 10-club structure in 2018 after Alberton Football Netball League club Fish Creek had its proposal to join unanimously rejected.
The EDFL held a general meeting featuring its clubs on Wednesday of last week, during which Fish Creek’s proposal to join the league was knocked back 9-0, with one club not present to lodge its vote.
The future of the Alberton league is up in the air with Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside (DWWWW) – nicknamed The Allies – facing an uncertain future of its own.
The Allies faced a series of crisis meetings throughout the season, and if it was deemed they could not forge ahead in 2018, that would leave the Alberton league with just six remaining clubs – Fish Creek, Toora, Stony Creek, Tarwin, Foster, and Meeniyan Dumbalk United (MDU).
Following the 2017 season – in which Fish Creek won its second successive senior premiership – the Kangaroos, along with Stony Creek, applied to join the Mid Gippsland League.
That competition’s clubs voted against the move, with the Ellinbank clubs ultimately following suit with Fish Creek’s proposal to join the EDFL.
The EDFL’s operations manager Ken Moore said, in his opinion, Fish Creek couldn’t win the league’s clubs over unless they could really sell themselves.
“They had to win the clubs over, not the board,” he said.
“At the last meeting between the clubs they all pretty much said they weren’t interested (in bringing in clubs from the Alberton League) – it’s too far.”
Moore said there had been some suggestion that if the Alberton league was to ultimately disband, two of its clubs could be destined for Ellinbank, two for Mid Gippsland, and another two for North Gippsland.
“What happens in 2019 now is anyone’s guess,” Moore said.
“But I’d suggest there’ll be a major change (in Gippsland footy).
“Their competition (Alberton) can’t keep going with seven clubs, no Under 16s and an Under 18s with only four or five clubs.
“They desperately need more clubs if they’re to survive long-term.”
The Allies were one of the six clubs in the Alberton Under 18s this year, but only fielded sides in two games.