The format of the Riddell District Football Netball League is set to stay the same for now, after a review into football and netball leagues in the region.
AFL Goldfields last week presented clubs its findings of the review of senior football and netball for the four competitions it oversees.
In the draft recommendations, AFL Goldfields recommended that the RDFNL stay with it’s 12 team format for 2018.
It also recommended a further review of the RDFNL senior competition in 2021 to revisit whether the league should expand into two divisions.
Throughout the review several clubs, mostly those in the bottom part of the competition, said they felt their future in the league was in doubt if a two-tier competition wasn’t started.
A two-tier competition would likely include clubs from the Ballarat Football Netball League.
The BFNL’s eastern clubs, Sunbury Lions, Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Melton South and Darley, expressed a strong desire to stay in the BFNL and there was little support for that competition to go to two divisions.
Gisborne, which plays in the Bendigo Football Netball League, said it would be interested in joining an RDFNL division 1 competition if the BFNL eastern clubs were to rejoin the RDFNL.
The Bulldogs though were not interested in joining the BFNL.
AFL Goldfields also recommended talks with Rupertswood Football Netball Club about a possible affiliation in the BFNL in the short to medium term.
Sharks president Brad Pietromonaco said this was the first the club had heard of the recommendations and they had no plans to move to any other league.
He said the club was in favour of the two division competition.
The draft recommendations stated it was important for AFL Goldfields and the RDFNL to continue to consider options for moving to a two-tier competition.
AFL Goldfields expects junior clubs Eynesbury and Gisborne Giants to likely field senior teams in the future, making it important to have an entry level competition for them to start in.
On the netball side, AFL Goldfields has recommended that a player points system be introduced across all four of its leagues to address the rising cost of player payments.
The findings of all four leagues found clubs were in favour of this.
Other draft recommendations included:
•Sebastopol transfers from the BFNL to the Central Highlands Football Netball League;
•Additional divisions for netball in the BFNL;
•Lobby AFL Victoria for a reduction of player points and salary cap for the Western Region and Essendon District football leagues below their premier grades; and
•A new competition to be formed in 2019 involving teams from CHFL and Maryborough and Castlemaine Football Netball League.
The draft recommendations have been put out to clubs for feedback. A final report will be released later this year.