Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Payne to guide interleague campaign

Damian Payne has taken on the role of Picola District Football League south-east's interleague coach.

MATTHEW GALEA March 5, 2014 4:10am

Damian Payne will coach the Picola District Football League south-east interleague team this season.

Tungamah’s Damian Payne will lead the Picola District Football League south-east interleague side into a new frontier this year.

Following the league’s decision to pull out of the AFL Victoria Country Championships, the league has pushed on with plans to participate in a more localised competition following a proposal from AFL North East Border Commission.

The end result has been the creation of a new localised interleague competition, in which PDFL south-east and north-west will take on Hume Football League and Riverina Football League at Tocumwal.

PDFL president Shane Railton said the localised competition would help attract more players.

‘‘There’s less travel and I think the rivalry between the local leagues will attract more players as well,’’ Railton said.

‘‘With Tocumwal joining the league we have access to a fantastic facility, so we might as well take advantage of that.

‘‘In the old championships, we would tend not to have venues cemented or even who we’re playing until later in the year, whereas now we’re set and ready to go and can start organising training.’’

PDFL south-east will play Riverina, while PDFL north-west will take on Hume.

The day will also incorporate under-17 football and netball, with the girls to play in a round-robin style tournament.

Payne has been announced as the south-east interleague coach, while Josh Bode will continue in his role as north-west coach.

Payne said he was looking to help rebuild the league’s reputation after last year’s 69-point loss to Maryborough-Castlemaine.

‘‘I only found out on Sunday, so we haven’t had much time to do anything at all just yet,’’ Payne said.

‘‘We just hope that the league and the clubs get right behind it and that the players also want to help rebuild the reputation of the league.’’

Georgie Bruce, who picked up the 2012 Picola District Netball League A-grade medal, will coach the netball side.

Railton also said every official inside the fence at PDFL matches would have be identified this season, after the motion was passed at a recent board meeting.

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