An Essendon District Netball League could be up and running as soon as next year, with the Essendon District Football League looking to expand its horizons.
The EDFL has asked its clubs if they are interested in joining a netball league to run alongside the existing football competition.
EDFL chief executive Marc Turri said the proposal, which had been toyed with in previous years, had been greeted positively.
“We’ve got a number of clubs who have netball clubs playing at centralised locations during the week,” he said.
“We threw it open to clubs to get expressions of interests and started to look at what venues are out there.”
At least one club, Jacana, has sought interest from prospective players on its Facebook page.
Turri said the EDFL would ideally like to set up the competition based on the combined country football and netball leagues, with both sports played on Saturdays.
Neighbouring Northern Football League runs a netball competition, but on Friday nights.
The biggest issue with setting up the competition is finding courts. Most EDFL grounds don’t have netball courts.
“We are very limited with grounds that have courts and would be reliant on schools or other nearby grounds,” Turri said.
“Hadfield has courts and a couple of clubs in Moreland are looking at courts.
“To start with, we’ll look at getting the competition up and go back to councils about getting courts.”
East Sunbury, which has a netball set-up, has asked for netball courts to be included in the redevelopment of John McMahon Reserve.
Turri said the EDFL competition would likely be an open-age affair, but that the league was open to looking at broader age groups.
Turri said that while the proposed netball competition might open up opportunities to attract new teams, the first focus was on making sure the existing clubs were sustainable.
“A number already have stepped up with netball sides,” he said.
“What we are looking at doing will complement what they are already doing.”