By Nick Creely
South East Football Netball League chairman Ryan Ford has officially resigned from the AFL South East Commission, paving the way for a transition into his new role on the commission for AFL Outer East in 2019.
Ford resigned, effective immediately, after two years in the AFL South East Commission on 18 November, citing the wind up of SEFNL as the reason he has decided his role was no longer “tenable”, and will continue his work with the seven clubs (Beaconsfield, Berwick, Cranbourne, Doveton, Narre Warren, Officer and Pakenham) in the transitional period ahead of the new season.
“Let me say for me it has been an absolute pleasure to have been the elected SEFNL representative on the AFL South East Commission and working with clubs for the past two seasons,” he said.
“It has been an incredibly difficult time as we worked through reviews and processes to achieve a positive outcome for SEFNL clubs to participate in a competitive divisional structure.
“Although we have not achieved what we originally thought was the best option for clubs, we have worked together to get a preferred outcome in the respective new leagues rather than stay in a standalone eight-team competition that was universally not being favoured by the clubs, nor was it a sustainable and competitive competition.
“Despite the difficult times, I have always appreciated the open and honest dialogue and communication with the clubs during this period. Working individually with football and netball clubs as well as with the interleague program has been a wonderful experience for me and I hope that will continue.
“I’d like to also offer on behalf of SEFNL, the best wishes for Tooradin Football Netball Club for their venture into West Gippsland Football Competition in 2019.”
Ford added that its exciting times for football in the region, and believes that the transition into AFL Outer East is the best possible outcome for the clubs, and can’t wait to continue supporting the seven clubs in their next venture.
“I’m genuinely excited for the SEFNL clubs in what the future holds for both football and netball and extremely proud of the part I’ve played in the merged project with AFL Yarra Ranges,” he said.
“After as much as a decade of our clubs wanting and needing divisional football it’s finally here for season 2019 and beyond.
“The commission and staff at AFL Yarra Ranges are a wonderful group of people and I’d like to offer a particular thank you to Aaron Bailey, the region general manager and to Tony Mitchell, the commission chairman for their engagement, time and commitment to make this happen.
“There have been many hours of meetings, emails and phone calls to deliver this for all of the AFL Outer East clubs and equally the support from the SEFNL board and the AFL South East commission has been integral to this venture”
The AFL South East Commission and staff will now meet with the SEFNL board and SEFNL club representatives on Tuesday 11 December for a Special General Meeting (SGM), so that the SEFNL can pass a resolution seeking cancellation of its incorporation, and so Consumer Affairs can be advised by completing the “Application for cancellation of the incorporation” document. The 2018 Annual Report and Financial Report will also be provided to the clubs on or before the meeting date.