K rock Football

GFL welcomes restructure halt

GFL chairman Peter Kelly says club presidents he has spoken with are “pleased” with AFL Barwon’s decision to halt the restructure of local football.

AFL Barwon last night announced it was delaying the planned shake-up, which would have seen two GFL clubs delegated to the Bellarine league.

“The GFL clubs have firstly got to acknowledge that everything that’s been presented to the AFL Barwon Commission, through the process we’ve been going through over the last two months has been taken onboard,” Kelly, a former chair of Football Geelong, said.

“And as part of the decision that they’ve come to, the restructuring program is going to be postponed for the foreseeable future.

“And we appreciate that, and we give them the acknowledgement that they deserve, because it could have gone two ways, and it’s gone the way good administration should go.


Kelly says AFL Barwon’s decision to sit down with each club and just not those threatened with relegation is a welcome one.

“Once they do the review, they’ll be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of clubs,” he said.

“GFL, for instance, if it stays at 12 (teams) there may be eight of the current clubs still there and four (will) swap over.

“There’s a lot to digest, and we’ve got an open mind on everything that’s being proposed.

“Then when it’s all finalised and they want to make a presentation on their thoughts, then we’ll have a look at it then.

“But, I’m confident that right throughout the whole process that the clubs are going to be an integral part of everything that’s going to happen.”

However, Kelly says the GDFL’s recent signing of an affiliation agreement in which it retains administrative autonomy may be a stumbling block in the short-term.

“That’s a three-year arrangement, so the District League have got their autonomy until 2021,” he said.

“And I know the Bellarine’s still adamant that until such time that AFL Barwon governs and administers all of the competitions, that there’s going to be that question mark as to whether it’s going to happen or not.

Twitter: @tom_king79