AFL Victoria has advised the Bendigo Football League it had not gone through the proper channels in regards to discussing a possible league change with Echuca Football Club.By Luke McManus
AFL Victoria has warned the Bendigo Football League to back away from its pursuit of Echuca Football Club.
The Riv learned this week AFL Victoria ‘‘advised’’ Bendigo officials they were in breach of AFL Victoria’s regulations after informal talks were held with Echuca president Brett Stevens about a possible transfer from the Goulburn Valley Football League.
‘‘We simply advised the BFNL they were not to enter discussions with the Echuca Football Club,’’ AFL Victoria deputy general manager Steven Reaper confirmed yesterday.
‘‘We were made aware of the issue by BFNL and made it clear to all involved there’s rules and regulations deliberately put in place.
‘‘Any contact with clubs by external leagues are to be made before July 31 and through procedures involving applying through correct channels, which the BFNL weren’t aware of.
‘‘The planning phase for the new season begins (immediately) and these rules are in place to provide officials enough time to lock everything in place.
‘‘BFNL didn’t follow the rules ... since then AFL Central Victoria commission provided them with appropriate advice and that’s where the issue was left.’’
Reaper said ‘‘cross-commission issues’’ were at the centre of the confusion, highlighting a potential hole in the new administration structure (implemented in November 2012), which saw the merging of the Victorian Country Football League and AFL Victoria.
While the official process regarding league-club interaction remained the same, minor issues still needed to be looked at, he said.
‘‘The process is still the same, but each commission has worked to a different time line,’’ Reaper said.
‘‘Different layers within those structures are still establishing themselves.
‘‘While Bendigo and Central Victoria are more advanced, we’re still in the middle of a process which will take 12 or 18 months to fully adapt to.
‘‘From 2014 onwards we’ll be further along.’’
AFL Central Victoria, the commission overseeing the BFNL, refused to comment about the matter specifically, stating the issue was ‘‘still unsettled’’.
‘‘We have a strong relationship with our leagues and we’re always looking at structures and strategies that will benefit all leagues and their clubs moving forward,’’ general manager Paul Hamilton said.
Stevens stressed the BFNL had not been in contact with the club since the initial phone call and any notion towards a possible transfer had been ‘‘nipped in the bud’’.
However, he has not ruled out future talks.
‘‘We haven’t discussed it further internally and we certainly haven’t spoken to the league since,’’ he said.
‘‘My understanding is it dissolved pretty quickly when it hit the papers.
‘‘AFL Victoria have told them it’s not the time to be even thinking about it.
‘‘We’ve got nothing to hide, all we have said is we will listen to what they have to say.
‘‘If they want to talk to us at a later date, we’re prepared to listen.’’
Stevens said ongoing concerns for the long-term stability of Kyneton Football Club, whose senior side failed to take the field in 2013, may be an underlying reason why the league was interested in luring a GVFL club across.
Both AFL Victoria and its Central Victoria commission emphatically insisted Kyneton is ‘‘on track’’.
Tatura’s Jennifer Hippisley will head up a state education advisory group after being elected as the chair of the Victorian Local Learning and Education Network Broker Network.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
A frequent visitor to northern Victoria, Care Connect's Graham Custance recently won a national award for his work supporting indigenous elders to achieve better health and wellbeing.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
A Korean company has a proposal with the NSW Government to built a $90 million ethanol plant in Deniliquin.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.