Tocumwal Football and Netball Club has started the process of becoming a Picola and District Football League member.By Hannah Nichols
A decision by way of a members’ vote last Wednesday night will see one of the Murray Football League’s founding members apply for a clearance from the league.
Of the 260 votes received at the Bloods’ meeting, 234 (90 per cent) were for the move and 26 were against. There were two informal votes.
The club now needs to gain a clearance from the MFL, which Bloods president Robert Bourke says will not be an issue.
‘‘The process now is to apply to be cleared from the Murray League, which I don’t think will be a problem,’’ Bourke said.
‘‘After that we will write an application to the Picola League (asking to be accepted).
‘‘On September 30, (the Picola league) will have a delegates meeting which we will attend.
‘‘At the meeting we will provide the delegates with a presentation and then it will be up to the delegates to decide.’’
If for some reason the 16 Picola League delegates vote against the move, Mr Bourke said there were other options, including an appeals process with AFL Victoria.
Last Wednesday’s vote was the second attempt the club has made to begin a move to the Picola League, with the Bloods expected to contest the competition’s north-west division.
At the first meeting the club failed to get the required 75 per cent majority to push ahead with the league transfer, but this time the decision was overwhelmingly in favour of the switch.
‘‘We counted 70 attendees (at the meeting), which was down from the 160 of the first meeting,’’ Bourke said.
‘‘This was pretty much expected though.
‘‘We had (Murray league officials) Dale Norman and Jack Hawkins attend and both were there for support.
‘‘We opened up the floor and eight or so people spoke and put their thoughts across.
‘‘It was a lot more low key than the last meeting.’’
Tocumwal officials have expressed the club’s struggling position in the Murray league in recent times and have long thought a move to the PDFL would rejuvenate the club.
Although he will not continue on as president next year because of work and family reasons, Bourke said the swap was felt to be a necessity.
‘‘(The decision) has been a culmination of on field results, particularly the juniors,’’ he said.
‘‘We are trying to ensure a competitive and joyful environment.’’
But Bourke admitted the league swap ‘‘was not a magic solution’’.
‘‘There is a lot of work to do to ensure we go into the future in a sustainable position,’’ he said.
The embattled Bloods have won just nine senior matches in the past three seasons and are winless in three of four football grades – seniors, under 17s and under 14s – this year.
Its reserves team has won two games.
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