Echuca Football Club is not happy with the propsed 2013 Goulburn Valley Football League draw.By Zach Hubber
Echuca Football Club is set to lose its Easter Saturday home match next season after the Goulburn Valley Football League released its fixture for 2013.
The Murray Bombers will instead travel to Rochester for the round one clash, much to the displeasure of Echuca president Glenn Roberts.
‘‘It seems ridiculous that the league would take away something that promotes the sport and their league in a competitive area where the Murray league and other outlying leagues compete,’’ Roberts said.
In another change to previous years, the league will be divided into three geographical zones, allowing four clubs to play each other in the first and last three rounds of the season.
This means Echuca will play Rochester, Tatura and Kyabram in rounds one, two, three, 16, 17 and 18 next season and beyond.
Roberts said the changes suited the clubs which backed the idea and disadvantaged the others.
‘‘It’s flawed,’’ he said.
‘‘It takes out something good about not being able to predict who you play every time.
‘‘From Echuca’s position we think the GV board should be responsible for deciding (the fixture), not the clubs.’’
The other zones comprise Shepparton, Shepparton Swans, Shepparton United and Mooroopna in one pool and Euroa, Seymour, Benalla and Mansfield in another.
The Murray Bombers will also face United, Mooroopna, Seymour and Benalla twice next season, meaning they will face six of the top-seven sides twice, whereas last season’s grand finalist Seymour will play just two of the top-seven teams twice.
GVFL general manager Keith Wellman said the loss of Echuca’s home game during Easter was an unfortunate result of the draw.
‘‘Obviously we’ve had a lot of flack from Echuca because they’ve traditionally had the Easter game,’’ he said.
‘‘I understand it’s a very valuable game at Easter time and the crowd there is massive, but delegates came up with the idea (of the new draw concept) and it was passed.’’
Mansfield also lost its Easter match and Kyabram will not play a home game until round three — a night game against Echuca.
It is believed Euroa president Scott Watson floated the adopted draw, which was narrowly passed by club delegates over the proposed one by the league.
While alterations can still be made to the fixture, Wellman said it was unlikely a change would be made except for the possibility of some round one matches being moved to Easter Monday, like Tatura v Kyabram.
Roberts said the league’s board should be responsible for constructing the draw and not the clubs.
‘‘At the end of the day the board should put in the draw that best suits GV football,’’ he said.
And in another win for Seymour, the club will reclaim its traditional Anzac Day match against Euroa after being stripped of the day this year.
Shepparton District Junior Football League has again adjusted its under-14 structure with the clubs informed of the change late last week.
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