Football clubs get on with the job

THE poor job climate is having an impacting on football clubs, according to Latrobe Valley football team coaches.

Moe senior coach Jason Macfarlane said when jobs go, clubs struggle to attract players from other areas.

“It was first noticeable in the early 90s with the privatisation of the State Electricity Commission,” Macfarlane said.

“When the jobs were cut, clubs could no longer assure players they could find work, and it has quite an impact on the footy clubs.”

With the threat of job cuts looming large in the Latrobe Valley, Macfarlane believed the standard of football in the area could be affected in years to come.

“If you compare our situation with the Murray Goulburn area it’s quite different – it has warm weather and there’s quite a bit of work around, like there used to be here, so they can attract the better players,” Macfarlane said.

Traralgon senior coach Josh Jennings agreed with Macfarlane, using his own experience as an example.

“I’ve just come back from six years in Canberra and for the whole time I was never out of work,” Jennings said.

Jennings, who works as a crane driver, said it was harder to get players to the Valley than it was 15 years ago.

Leongatha Football Club president Mal Mackie said his club was experiencing similar problems.

“I think a lot of clubs have the same problem – we used to be able to get players a job easily, but over the last 12 to 15 years this has dropped off,” Mackie said.

Leongatha has started the 2012 season in stunning form, but according to Mackie, most of the new recruits live in Melbourne.

“Most of our new players travel from Melbourne, including the coach, Will Thursfield,” Mackie said.

“It’s just harder now to get them to come down here permanently.”