THE revised Outer East Football Netball, OEFN, division two football fixture was released Wednesday to accommodate the new Broadford-Yea partnership footbal teams.
The two teams agreed on a partnership for the remainder of the 2022 season to solve player shortages issues.
Broadford and Yea’s partnership on the football field will commence from round five, on Saturday.
With a combined total of about 60 players, the clubs will be able to field teams in the seniors and reserves each week.
OEFN confirmed in a statement on Tuesday the side will be known as Broadford-Yea in the seniors and Yea-Broadford in the reserves.
Both clubs’ jumpers will be worn during the season, as each club will host games on their respective home grounds.
OEFN chief executive Aaron Bailey said every step was taken to help the clubs to field teams at full capacity in 2022.
“The league has met regularly with Broadford and Yea since February. The option to combine was investigated pre-season, however the desire from both clubs was to exhaust every avenue to field full squads, a position supported by the league,” he said.
“With both clubs playing in round one and Yea with the bye following the Easter break, round four was the targeted period to make a decision for 2022.
“I would like to thank all division two clubs for their cooperation through this process. We have been in constant dialogue with all presidents over the past three months, and everyone has been strong in their support of the process that has been taken.
“The impact of COVID-19 for many clubs has been significant and it has been extremely pleasing to see the manner in which our clubs have supported each other through the process. Significant support will be put in place to ensure both clubs return in full capacity in 2023.”
The netball divisions are not affected by the partnership, with Yea netball remaining as graded. The football will be aligned to Broadford’s netball team, with clubs to play Yea netball in bye rounds.
A request by all division two clubs was for football and netball to remain together for both home and away, which has been achieved.
The season has been shortened from 21 rounds to 18, with finals to be played when rounds 19, 20 and 21 were originally scheduled.
All clubs, both senior sand reserves, will play 15 home and away matches and have three byes. Each club will meet other clubs three times.
Yarra Junction’s round two match against Yea will be seen as the first of three fixtures against Broadford-Yea and will be recorded as a win, with goals and votes to stand.
Broadford-Yea’s fixture is round five v Warburton Millgrove; round six, bye; round seven v Powelltown; round eight v Kinglake; round nine v Alexandra; round 10 v Powelltown; round 11 v Warburton Millgrove; round 12 v Yarra Junction; round 13, bye; round 14 v Kinglake; round 15 v Yarra Junction; round 16 v Alexandra; round 17 v Warburton Millgrove; and round 18 v Powelltown.
The semi-finals will be played on Sunday, August 21, preliminary final on Sunday, August 28 and grand final on Sunday, September 4.
Broadford and Yea netballers met at Harley Hammond Reserve with the Kangaroos claiming an impressive clean sweep.
Led by Caitlin Hinrichsen with 26 goals, A Grade claimed a 46-17 win against the Tigers.
In B Grade, the Kangaroos fought a tough contest to win 40-35, while in C Grade, it was Broadford’s game from the get-go, leading the way to an eventual 30-10 win.
Broadford and Yea footballers had a bye at the weekend in round four to allow for the sides to come together before their first game as a partnership this weekend.
The footballers and coaching panel combined for an intra-club match at Harley Hammond Reserve while the netball teams played.
Broadford club president Bonnie Cavanagh said it was a great day all round for the footballers from both teams.
“It was a fantastic day, with all enjoying the hitout and getting to know each other as we continue to prepare for our first match together against Warburton,” she said.
“We are just very happy we could support the Yea Football Netball Club and give their footballers a home for the remainder of the year.
“It was all extremely positive and gives us that extra bit of depth, as well as some extra hands around the club which is an added bonus.”