The Western Region Football League has announced its competition structure for the 2018 season, with an expanded second division and two additional clubs the highlights.
No team was relegated from the top division, with the same 10 teams from 2017 to contest for the 2018 title, while division two will expand to an eight-team division.
Parkside, which earned promotion with its division 3 premiership this year, and Point Cook has been added to the second division as part of the expansion, with Point Cook joining the league’s senior ranks for the first time after crossing from the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA).
Point Cook has fielded junior sides in the league for many years, but decided at a special general meeting mid-season to transfer its senior sides to the WRFL as well for 2018 and beyond.
Despite claiming the 2017 division 2 flag comprehensively, West Footscray will remain in the second tier.
Glen Orden returns as a senior entity in 2018, after sitting out this season and concentrating on juniors, and will play in an eight-team division 3.
The WRFL said it hoped the new structures would provide a more balanced competition, and hoped to return to its traditional promotion and relegation system for future seasons.
“The 2018 divisional structures seek to re-establish balance and consolidate the respective divisions, whilst providing clubs with their optimum environment for sustainability,” the league said.
“In determining the divisional make-up, consideration was given to the feedback and requests from all clubs as well as analysis on a number of fronts.
“The league will re-examine the consolidated competition structures in 2018 with the view to returning to a standardised promotion and relegation ahead of the 2019 season.”
The structure announcement comes as the November transfer window opened last week, with several players already moving clubs before starting pre-season.
Paul Cutajar-Milosev has requested a move back to Braybrook (from Albion), after kicking 24 goals from 14 division 1 games this season, while Braybrook has also secured Nicholas Gregson from Tasmanian club Turners Beach, where he kicked 68 majors in 2017.
Three-time Braybrook best and fairest winner Nathan Calleja has also re-signed with the club.
Transfers are open throughout November, and will re-open again on February 1.