CORA Lynn and Inverloch-Kongwak will contest the first ever West Gippsland Football Netball Competition match.
The two-time reigning Ellinbank and District Football League premier will host last year’s Alberton Football Netball League grand finalist in an historic battle between two heavyweights from opposite ends of the newly-formed competition.
The senior football and A Grade netball matches will be played under lights on Saturday, March 25 in a matchup brought forward from round 11 as a standalone fixture to open the season.
The official round one follows on Saturday, April 1, with Cora Lynn hosting Nar Nar Goon, Korumburra-Bena playing Inverloch-Kongwak under lights at Korumburra, Koo Wee Rup hosting Kilcunda-Bass, Dalyston hosting Phillip Island and Bunyip hosting Garfield.
Round two will be a split round, with Nar Nar Goon hosting Bunyip and Garfield hosting Korumburra-Bena on Saturday April 8.
Inverloch will host Cora Lynn on Easter Saturday, while Dalyston will clash with Kilcunda-Bass at Dalyston and Phillip Island will play Koo Wee Rup at Cowes.
The new competition, which was formed following last year’s AFL Gippsland-led senior leagues review, was officially launched on Saturday.
Along with the fixture, the new competition logo was revealed, while prominent livestock and real estate company Alex Scott and Staff was unveiled as naming rights sponsor for the next three years.
AFL Gippsland region general manager Travis Switzer said the competition was coming together in leaps and bounds.
“As the competition’s governing bodies, we and Netball Victoria have already met with the member clubs five times and the majority feeling in the room has been of excitement and anticipation,” he said.
“There is obviously a lot to work in setting up a new competition, but the enthusiasm with which the clubs have embraced the change has been very encouraging.
“We had plenty of feedback on the image of the new league and it was felt that adopting red and gold as the colours was a nice way to acknowledge the past and embrace the bright future of a modern football and netball competition.
“That we have also managed to secure a naming rights sponsor so quickly has been a major boost and we sincerely thank the directors at Alex Scott and Staff for supporting us in this exciting new venture.”
AFL Gippsland has appointed former Latrobe City events and international relations coordinator Jason Membrey as senior league operations coordinator and he will oversee the administration of the WGFNC.
A committee of management has also been formed to assist AFL Gippsland and Netball Victoria in the administration of the competition.
Latrobe Health Services chief risk officer Kylie Debono, Korumburra osteopath Mat Holmes, Warragul Greyhounds general manager Adrian Scott, retired police officer Col Rielly and Gippsland business manager Tony Moxey make up the maiden five-person advisory committee.
All possess extensive backgrounds in the Gippsland football and netball community and bring a wealth of experience and a range of skills to the table.
Celebrating 130 years of business as a privately owned company in 2016, Alex Scott and Staff chief executive Paul Dunlop and the company directors had little hesitation throwing their support behind the new competition.
“Our company is celebrating 130 years of doing business this year and we are proud to have had a long association with all of our local football netball clubs,” company director Greg Price said.
“We are delighted to be the major sponsor for the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition and look forward to the 2017 season and beyond.
“Our 12-office network throughout South Gippsland has clients associated with all of the clubs in the new competition and we believe it is extremely important to support the local people who support us, especially those clubs that provide the opportunity for young people to participate in sporting activities.”
West Gippsland Football Netball Competition has been slotted in at 25th on the AFL Victoria rankings and will make its Worksafe Community Championship debut away against Riddell and District Football Netball League in 2017.
Clubs have also indicated an intention to enter representative teams in the Netball Victoria Association Championships.
The new competition has launched its social media presence via Facebook, with a new website set to be launched early next year.
West Gippsland ready for its first season