Sport

A league of their own

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February 22, 2017

After a positive response from the football community, the inaugural Women’s League for northern Victoria is a confirmed starter for 2017.

Eight clubs have registered their interest in entering a team with a number of other clubs having discussions to determine their way forward.

The eight clubs provisionally accepted into the competition are: Benalla Saints, Bendigo Thunder, Echuca, Kerang, Kyneton, Mooroopna, Northern Bendigo and Shepparton.

AFL Goulburn Murray Region general manager Martin Gleeson is excited by the response received.

‘‘The feedback and enthusiasm coming from clubs has been fantastic about the concept and the introduction of the competition,’’ Gleeson said.

‘‘The plan was to create a sustainable league locally so that women did not have to travel to Melbourne every second week to play and to grow immediately from two teams last year to eight has exceeded our initial expectations.

‘‘The accepted clubs have been requested to provide a preliminary player list by March 1 to confirm their place in the league for this season and after that the competition will be finalised and a fixture prepared.’’

AFL Central Victoria Football development manager Tony McNamara credits progressive thinking as a key catalyst to the competition’s immediate acceptance.

‘‘Eight teams at this point is a great outcome and further demonstrates the massive growth in opportunities for women to play football,’’ McNamara said.

‘‘No doubt the success of the AFLW has greatly helped and along with our Women’s League coming to life the number of youth girls players is also growing.’’

●Meanwhile, the Goulburn Valley Football League and netball leagues have voted to join forces.

The previously two governing bodies will now be under the one governance model, voted for in two separate special general meetings held at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE last week.

In the GVNL meeting, club delegates voted in favour of the GVNL amalgamating with the GVFL under the one banner.

In the GVFL meeting held after the GVNL meeting, clubs also voted in favour of amalgamating with the GVNL including the acceptance of current GVNL member clubs, life members and the history of the Goulburn Valley’s premier netball competition.

The new entity will be called the Goulburn Valley League, with a presentation also provided on the night to both sets of delegates on preliminary concepts for a new league logo.

The nine-member board structure will be in place until the 2018 Annual General Meeting when the seven-member structure will be returned.

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