A chance to mingle

Yarra Ranges young gun Patrick Bruzzese (left) and Brad Scalzo get acquainted on Saturday.

By Nick Creely

With some terrific games of football and netball being played out on the pristine Holm Park Reserve last Saturday, it was a grand opportunity for the SEFNL and AFL Yarra Ranges fans and clubs to interact in the heat of interleague battle.

While the Yarra Ranges side went down fighting in the main game of the day, lost in the Under 19’s but picked up a senior netball victory, AFL Yarra Ranges region general manager Aaron Bailey was full of praise with how the day unfolded, further reaffirming just why the two competitions are the right fit for divisional football in 2018.

“It was a terrific day at a fantastic facility, and a really good game of footy actually – at the right time (in the game), the SEFNL boys were cleaner when it mattered, but it was a really competitive, fantastic game of footy,” he said

“There was enough there for everyone to see, it was a really competitive game – for a lot of periods we were really good, and it’s probably shown that the gap is not much, and it probably highlights what we’ve said all along, come next year it’s going to be a really good competition.

“I think it was good for the Yarra Ranges and for the clubs to come along and see what the SEFNL is about, and it’s good for a lot of people from the SEFNL to see what the Yarra Ranges is about.

“It was a good opportunity for everyone to interact, and often we underestimate that we’re all pretty similar in footy.”

With a decision looming from all eight SEFNL clubs about whether they will accept the proposal to join with the Yarra Ranges to create AFL Greater East in a landmark move that could create one of the top competitions in the state, Bailey said they will support the clubs in the process but hope to have a decision soon so they can get some of the finer details sorted and bring it to the current clubs.

“Most clubs have gone to an SGM, or expected to call an SGM, so we think we’ll have a fair indication by the middle of June – our aim is to get the indications from the clubs, start the process, even with the clubs that are still deciding, and aim to have the structure by early August,” he said.

As it stands, the Gazette understands there is still as much as three SEFNL clubs undecided on their future.

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