NO WAY would we put up with a seven-team competition next year!
That’s the ‘don’t argue’ response from the Tarwin Football Netball Club, as expressed by Co-president Anthony Hullick, at the prospect of Korumburra-Bena exiting the Alberton league next year with no replacement.
He wasn’t trying to rain on the Giants’ parade last Saturday but that’s effectively what his comments at the rally have done.
“It’s bad enough that they’re reducing us to an eight-team competition. That’s barely survival mode in our view. It’s the minimum we would be prepared to tolerate but seven, that’s totally unworkable. It’s not sustainable.
“It’s far better the way it is now.”
And he had some home truths for the AFL Gippsland restructure committee which came up with the restructure proposal.
“They haven’t touched North Gippsland, Mid Gippsland or the Gippsland League. They’ve basically used Alberton to save the Ellinbank League.
“They pulled it apart and then put it back together but the 14 teams hasn’t worked.
“Now they’ve split the Ellinbank league again and they’re using Alberton to fix the situation.
“The ideal number is 10 teams. Everyone wants that. We’d reluctantly support an eight-team competition but not seven, no way.
“It would be a disaster for football in South Gippsland if they went ahead with seven. Everyone would go looking elsewhere for their sport and not necessarily football or netball.”
Hullick said Tarwin was working hard to re-launch its junior teams but are unlikely to have Under 16s or Under 18s next year.
“We want to get the Under 10s going and look at Under 12s next year and build up into Under 14s and Saturday juniors after that.”
However, as hard line as Tarwin is about an eight-team league being the bare minimum, he says clubs need to be prepared to work together, for the good of the game.
“You’ve got to look to your own survival first but clubs also need to cooperate as well.
“What you need to remember is that all of our clubs are run by volunteers. You wouldn’t put a team on the ground without volunteers and you can’t make them do something they don’t want to do. I would all fall away very quickly if you do.