kbnetballTHE Alberton Football Netball League has been reduced to a seven-club competition after the Korumburra-Bena Giants won their appeal to join the West Gippsland competition next season.

According to an announcement this afternoon, “an AFL Victoria Appeals Panel has decided to uphold the appeal of the Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club (KBFNC) to play in the newly created West Gippsland Football Netball Competition in 2017”.

“Having considered all evidence provided, the Appeal Panel believes that the long term sustainable future of KBFNC is in the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition and not the Alberton Football Netball League as outlined in the AFL Gippsland – Senior Football Review.

“The Appeal Panel is satisfied the Alberton Football Netball League can be a strong and vibrant competition in its own right similar to that of other such like competitions across the state.”

AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper applauded the process undertaken by AFL Gippsland and the thorough and consultative approach in their review of footballing structures in the region.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the work AFL Gippsland and in particularly Travis Switzer and Brian Quigley have done with its Senior Football Review,” he said.

“AFL Victoria has been delighted with the outstanding progress AFL Gippsland has made to football in the region since it was established, and we will continue to fully support AFL Gippsland in its efforts to drive the strategic direction of football in the region in the future.”

AFL Gippsland not happy

AFL Gippsland is not happy with the outcome and has released the following statement, regarding the result of an appeal against the Gippsland Senior Football Leagues Review final recommendations:

“AFL Gippsland wishes to express disappointment in the AFL Victoria decision to overturn a key aspect of AFL Gippsland’s Senior Leagues Review Recommendations and uphold Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club’s appeal to participate in the newly-formed West Gippsland Football Netball Competition.

“AFL Gippsland devoted a significant amount of time and energy collecting and analysing relevant data and consulting with clubs and leagues to determine the final recommendations.

“We believe the review process was conducted thoroughly and in the best interests of football in Gippsland.

“AFL Gippsland acknowledges the appeal decision is final and will move forward with the remaining Alberton Football Netball League clubs to ensure they are part of a thriving and sustainable competition into the future.

“AFL Gippsland will make no further comment regarding the matter.”

Giants hail “exciting” news

Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club is, however, delighted with the decision.

They sent this message to sponsors and business partners

“Just wanted to let you know the exciting news that we have won our appeal to play in the West Gippsland Football Netball League with our traditional and new rivals.  Fortunately we did not have to take the appeal to a court of arbitration as AFL Vic overturned the decision by AFL Gippsland after debating our submission for the last month.  At this point in time I don’t have any more information to provide, however I assume more will come to hand over the coming week.

“We have just been notified now, so you can expect to see social media go hot over the next couple of days and we wanted to let you know first!  We want to keep all social media and print media positive with a strong focus on 2017!

“Thank you to all that wrote letters of support to go with our submission and to the phone calls and messages we have received.

“Hope to see you at the home game tomorrow to celebrate! ”

New-look Gippsland leagues

Here is how the senior leagues across Gippsland will look in 2017:

West Gippsland Football Netball Competition (10 teams): Bunyip, Cora Lynn, Dalyston, Garfield, Inverloch-Kongwak, Kilcunda-Bass, Kooweerup, Korumburra-Bena, Nar Nar Goon, Phillip Island.

EDFL and EDNA (10): Buln Buln, Catani, Ellinbank, Lang Lang, Longwarry, Neerim Neerim South, Nilma Darnum, Nyora, Poowong, Warragul Industrials.

Alberton (7): DWWWW, Fish Creek, Foster, Meeniyan Dumbalk United, Stony Creek, Tarwin, Toora.

Gippsland League (10): Bairnsdale, Drouin, Leongatha, Maffra, Moe, Morwell, Sale, Traralgon, Warragul, Wonthaggi.

North Gippsland (10): Churchill, Cowwarr, Glengarry, Gormandale, Heyfield, Rosedale, Sale City, Traralgon Tyers United, Woodside, Yarram.

Mid Gippsland (10): Boolarra, Hill End, Mirboo North, Morwell East, Newborough, Thorpdale, Trafalgar, Yallourn Yallourn North, Yarragon, Yinnar.