A Goulburn Valley Football League under-16 age group and the adjustment of Kyabram District Football Netball League’s thirds age group from under-18 to under-17 are two of the 27 recommendations to come out of AFL Goulburn Murray’s draft Junior Football Future Directions project.
There’s been a significant amount of planning put in to the project, which began in June.
Aside from Benalla, all GVL clubs currently have under-16 teams playing in other junior leagues, so the introduction of a GVL under-16 competition would reduce the Seymour DJFNL under-16 competition to six teams.
The KDFNL change to under-17s will bring them into line with other district leagues in the region, assisting recruiting from junior teams playing on Sundays as well as facilitating the development of one-point players as per the AFL Victoria Community Club Sustainability Program.
The under-17 age group will also put in place the aspirational target of KDFNL clubs establishing an under-14 competition into the future.
It is widely acknowledged that having to constantly recruit 15 to 18 year olds is the most difficult age group, so targeting the introduction of a younger age group would achieve greater sustainability outcomes.
While it is recognised that an under-14 competition is not feasible for the league at the moment, it is recommended for KDFNL clubs to start alliances and as a future target to assist clubs in recruiting junior players, parents and volunteers into the club at a younger level.
Another recommendation from the project was that the Seymour DJFNL outsource their governance to the commission.
The full Preliminary Report has been circulated to all clubs and the presentation given at the club forums is available at www.goulburnmurray afl.com.au
A window is now open for clubs to provide written submissions and feedback on any or all of the 27 recommendations by December 8, before the Steering Committee meets to asses that feedback and determine the next steps.