Clubs, councils and businesses meet to discuss the future of the sport in the region, amid dwindling ranks of recruits.ROB HENSON May 14, 2014 3:27am
The future of football is being discussed among club officials, council staff and business people in the Cobram Barooga region, amid a ‘crisis’ in player numbers, especially teenagers.
Murray Football League general manager Dale Norman said the Cobram Barooga area was in ‘‘crisis’’ in terms of recruitment.
‘‘Look it is a major problem, the Cobram Barooga area, it is getting to the point where, not exaggerating, it is in crisis,’’ Mr Norman said.
‘‘In the 50
The talks are believed to have taken place after January when this notice was placed in the Courier: ‘‘The Barooga and Cobram football clubs, in conjunction with representatives from the Berrigan and Moira shires, are jointly conducting a strategic review of the health and sustainability of local football going forward, including future sporting facilities and their location.’’
Mr Norman encouraged AFL Victoria and the AFL Goulburn Murray Commission to search within schools.
‘‘Do surveys, see who’s playing football, who’s playing other sports — we don’t want to begrudge them at all — who’s got to work on Saturdays, and who’s doing nothing. Look at those (students) and get them out playing football.’’
One scenario that reportedly emerged at meetings is a merged Cobram Barooga club, potentially with a shift to the stronger Goulburn Valley league in future years.
It would be only the second merger in the Murray Football League since 1936, when Cobram and Barooga partnered. The merger lasted one season.
But Cobram Football Netball Club president Chris Ryan said a merger between Cobram and Barooga was ‘‘not being proposed at all’’.
‘‘We’re just looking at the future of footy, what needs to be done, what the future path might be,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s just been informal talks among interested people.’’
Mr Ryan confirmed Yarroweyah had joined the strategic discussions.
‘‘There were a couple of meetings, a couple of scenarios laid out, one of them involved Yarroweyah.’’
Mr Ryan said research about the state of sporting clubs in country Victoria was discussed and presented at meetings.
‘‘People talking and sharing ideas, looking at where the region is, in terms of numbers, costs, and availability of players.’’
Yarroweyah Football Netball Club president Craig Opray said there had been ‘‘only preliminary discussions’’, but that an announcement could be made in coming weeks.
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