Tocumwal members on Wednesday night voted for the Bloods to move from Murray Football League to Picola District.By Hannah Driscoll
Tocumwal Football Netball Club members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a move to Picola District Football Netball League on Wednesday night.
Ninety per cent (234) of the votes received were in favour of the Murray Football Netball League club joining PDFNL, compared to 26 votes against and two informal votes.
It was the second time the Bloods’ members had gone to the ballot box on the issue after a vote on July 17 failed to reach the 75 per cent majority required for a move to proceed.
Of the 223 votes received then, 152 were for the move (68 per cent) and 71 were against, with a further 14 informal votes received.
A week later the club announced it would have a second vote.
Tocumwal president Bob Bourke said it was acknowledged the move was not going to fix the issue and there was still work to do to ensure the club’s long-term future was sustainable.
Bourke said the committee reiterated on Wednesday night some among them wished to stay in the Murray league, but would support the club regardless.
‘‘We’ve acknowledged all the way through, and again last night, we appreciated there’s still people who are going to be upset and it’s going to be very hard,’’ Bourke said.
‘‘But we just have to ensure we now give it everything we can to ensure the move is both justified and fruitful.’’
Bourke said the committee was looking at the playing list for next year and was speaking to a combination of candidates from inside and outside the club to take over from coach Shane Gorman.
The club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for August 28, when committee positions will be decided.
Tocumwal must apply to be cleared from MFNL, requiring 75 per cent of club delegates’ votes to pass, and then lodge a formal application with PDFNL, where it hopes to join the north-west division.
PDFNL president Shane Railton hoped to have a meeting about the week of the AFL grand final where Tocumwal would make a presentation to the board and possibly club representatives.
He hoped to have a proposal in relation to the league entering the administration of the AFL Goulburn Murray commission at that same meeting.
‘‘Naturally the views of the clubs will be considered, but ultimately at the end of the day the constitution states the board makes the decision,’’ Railton said.
MFL general manager Dale Norman, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, said the league would be sad for the club to leave because it was a valuable member.
‘‘Unfortunately, it’s just the realities. They have to try something different,’’ Norman said.
‘‘From a league’s point of view, I still think we’re a very healthy league with 12 clubs.’’
Norman said the league would talk to the clubs before deciding where grand finals beyond this year would be.
The Murray league delegates’ meeting on Monday night, which Bourke attended, foreshadowed Tocumwal’s departure and it was put to them next season would be a 12-team competition played over 21 weeks.
Norman hoped to release a draft draw to the clubs in October and it would be ratified at December’s meeting.
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