North Gippsland clubs fear the impact Yarram may have on smaller clubs like Woodside. Pictured is Woodside player Bradley Jamieson.RELATED COVERAGE:Magpies swoop Bombers
North Gippsland Football Netball League’s member clubs have reached an impasse over Yarram Football Club’s bid to join the fold next season.
The clubs were split five to five in an unofficial vote to accept the Alberton Football League club as an 11th entity in 2014.
The Demons are seeking permission to leave the Alberton league in favour of North Gippsland, but would need a majority approval at both ends, including seven NGFNL club votes in favour, to make the switch.
NGFNL president Gordon Bayley had originally anticipated a favourable response, but said the clubs offered sound reasoning for their trepidation.
Among the chief concerns were the re-introduction of a bye, subsequent extension of the season to 20 rounds, and the potential struggle for resources between Yarram and nearby North Gippsland club Woodside, particularly in the juniors.
“(I’m) not altogether surprised when the clubs gave a few reasons. They’ve been through the 11-team scenario up until last year… so one of the issues was the draw that creates byes in funny spots and the length of the season,” Bayley said.
“Yarram is a pretty big town, it’s not a small community that is applying to come in to us so there’s a bit of a concern about the effect on some of our smaller clubs.
“I guess that’s the democratic process that our clubs have the right to… our constitution demands a majority and a reasonable majority.”
Clubs had been issued a document by the NGFNL outlining the proposal prior to the meeting, where Yarram stated its case for inclusion before internal discussions took place.
Yarram has yet to formally abscond from the Alberton league and submit its application to the NGFNL.
Bayley said the league would meet with Yarram imminently to offer specific feedback about the issues raised and “give them an idea which clubs voted where”.
Australian Football League Victoria has final veto rights on any movements between leagues.
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