K rock Football

Whitley to meet with AFL Vic

GDFL president Neville Whitley. Picture: (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GDFL president Neville Whitley says a meeting with AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper early next week will be used to set an agenda for future talks on concerns surrounding the restructure of the administration of football across the state.

Whitley, who convened a meeting of more than 50 people from leagues and clubs representing a cross-section of Victorian competitions at Bungaree on February 11, had refused to meet one-on-one with Reaper.

“He has now agreed to meet with two of our people on Monday and we’ll form the agenda to move forward to a full meeting as soon as possible,” Whitley said.

Whitley, who has been president of the GDFL since the mid-1980s, is keen for some flexibility around affiliation to regional administration centres.

“Because it’s one-size-fits-all, which is not right,” he said.

“All we’re asking for is a few changes in the affiliation agreement, (and) the direction they do when they impose them, and everything will be OK.

“We don’t want to win all the battles, but there’s a few issues that concern the clubs and the leagues.”

The talks with AFL Victoria come nearly three months after Whitley penned a letter to every community league in Victoria with his concerns, including the push for each competition to come under the operation of a regional administration centre.

In it he wrote he had been “requested, supported and encouraged to advise that there are some leagues throughout Vic & metro football that are not in support of the tactics and procedures of AFL Vic”.

“Some feel they are forcing well-organised leagues to restructure and join regional administration centres.

“This could be perceived as our way or the highway to the stage of being coercion”.

That claim was angrily rejected by Reaper on The Weekly Times website on December 8.

“I think you’re dealing with a handful of recalcitrants hanging onto a power base, not acting in the best interests of football but acting in the best interests of what their competition might look like rather than football as a whole sport,” Reaper said.

Twitter: @tom_king79

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