By Jackson Russell
Broadford Football Netball Club will decide tonight whether to move to a proposed off-shoot of Kyabram District Football League.
A special general meeting has been called for 6.30pm tonight, Tuesday, with representation from the club and both the Riddell District Football Netball League and Kyabram league.
President Bonnie Cavanagh said the potential move was about creating a stronger pathway for the club’s juniors.
“Something that’s been important for us as a club and our strategic focus has been our development with our juniors,” she said.
“We’ve seen over the years the pathway has been kind of cut between the under 16s coming up into an under 19.5 competition.
“We’ve struggled to get players that are up to that standard of playing against men potentially.”
Cavanagh said the proposed league would have under 15s and under 17s playing below reserves and seniors.
“Coming from the Heathcote league, we had the under 17 competition and it was very strong,” she said.
“We had players coming in and it was a nice pathway so once you hit 18, you come up to the seniors of the reserves.
“Right now, we don’t have an under 19s team, we’re struggling to get players, they’re leaving to play in a comp where it’s under 17 or under 18 and we’re just not retaining due to that.”
Cavanagh said the club was also keen to move to a country-based competition, which would allow the club to compete on the same playing field rather than having to play against clubs on Melbourne’s urban fringe.
While a potential move has been mooted for years, the club was only approached to join the new league in the past few weeks.
An AFL Goulburn Murray spokesman said it was very early days for the possible new competition and they were still not sure what a new league would look like or if it would be running in 2020.
Cavanagh said the club wanted to be open and transparent about its future.
“The meeting on Tuesday is to make sure this league is in the best interests of our members and see how it could potentially look if we joined,” she said.
“We’re a club that’s struggling in various aspects so we need to have a bit of a refresh and change it up but I want to make sure the club is sustainable.
“We started in 1890, we don’t want it to stop and if we’re not providing a pathway for our juniors, what are we doing?”