Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Samaria Suns rejected from move to Picola league

Samaria Suns' application to move into the Picola and District Football Netball League has been denied.

MONIQUE FREER August 13, 2014 3:17am

The application by Samaria Suns Sports Club to move into the Picola and District Football Netball League has been rejected.

The decision is the last in a series of blows for the club — a merge of Tatong and Swanpool Football Netball Clubs — after it was left with no on-field representation following a review of the Ovens and King Football Netball League in 2013.

The 10-person PDFNL board voted to reject Samaria Suns’ application on Monday night, and president Shane Railton said the decision was largely influenced by the club being a new entity and concerns about it securing sufficient players.

‘‘Although it was considered a make-up of two clubs — Tatong and Swanpool — they actually had to build a new club,’’ he said.

‘‘I personally believe that it may have been looked upon differently — whether that means in or out I can’t speculate — but I believe it may have been looked upon more favourably had it been 12 months ago, just on the basis that there was faith in playing numbers.’’

Tatong’s and Swanpool’s football netball clubs’ troubles began in September last year when they were given an ultimatum from AFL North East Border Commission to merge into one Benalla district club with Goorambat Football Netball Club, or opt out of the competition.

The Tatong and Swanpool clubs rejected the three-club merge and attempted to make a joint formal application late last year to play in the Picola and District Football League in 2014.

However negotiations with the league were unable to proceed because they were after the July 31, 2013 deadline for such discussions, and a request for extension from AFL Victoria Country was denied.

The two clubs merged and rebranded as Samaria Suns this year and made a formal application to move into the PDFL for the 2015 playing season.

‘‘Originally it was Picola League that expressed an interest in including a club from this region so it is disappointing they cannot see past the situation of forced recess Tatong Football Netball Club and Swanpool Football Netball Club are in,’’ former Tatong FNC president and Samaria Suns spokesperson Felicity Munro said.

‘‘It makes the events of 2013 even more bitter when, had AFL Vic permitted us to apply, the outcome would have most likely been favourable.

For full story see this week’s Ensign.

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