It will be a bigger and better Melton Centrals Football Netball Club next season, with Centrals’ three football and netball clubs joining forces.

The Centrals’ football and netball club, the women’s football club and the junior football and netball club will play under the banner of the Melton Centrals Sporting Club from next season.

New club president Paul Sinclair said the timing was right for a merger as they moved to a new home at Arnolds Creek.

“A new facility and a new mindset – it’s part of streamlining everything and focusing on development,” Sinclair said.

“There’s the opportunity to expand the club and make it more inclusive and try to increase participation.

“The club will have a real focus on youth and development.”

Sinclair said there had been no negative reactions to the proposal.

“It was 100 per cent positive and nobody disagreed, with everyone voting in favour,” he said.

“There have already been many inquiries from people outside the club who want to get involved as players, members and sponsors.”

The club will have one governing body, with two board members from each of the existing clubs. There will also be an independent board member and a non-voting operations manager.

The club has also brought on board former Footscray Football Club finance manager Stephen Smith as a consultant to oversee the club’s formation,

“It’s like a small business,” Sinclair said. “It streamlines the board and there will be a subcommittee for each of the existing clubs.

“Budgets and funding will all come from the one pool. It’s good to have someone like Stephen, with all the success he’s had with financing and budgeting at sports clubs.”

Sinclair said there would be a massive focus on bringing on young players.

Recently released figures show only eight per cent of males between five and 39 who live in the Melton area play any form of Australian Rules football.

“We will concentrate on Auskick and Net Set Go and we’ll have a youth girls’ team for the first time,” he said.

“If we can develop participation at this level we’re hoping it will flow through to the other teams.”

The development has already brought positive results for Centrals, with several re-signings and a couple of new players putting pen to paper.