Korumburra-Bena wins appeal to go west

KORUMBURRA-Bena Football Netball Club has won an appeal to play in the new West Gippsland Football Netball Competition in 2017.

An AFL Victoria Appeals Panel upheld the club’s appeal, after it was designated a place in the Alberton Football Netball League as part of the AFL Gippsland Senior Football Leagues Review.

The appeal panel believed the long-term sustainable future of KBFNC was in the West Gippsland Football Netball competition.

As a result Alberton will be left with just seven clubs to contest the league.

However, the appeal panel said it was satisfied Alberton could be “a strong and vibrant competition in its own right similar to that of other such like competitions across the state”.

AFL Victoria chief Steven Reaper applauded the process undertaken by AFL Gippsland and the thorough and consultative approach in its review of footballing structures in the region.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the work AFL Gippsland, and in particular Travis Switzer and Brian Quigley, have done with its Senior Football Review,” he said.

“AFL Victoria has been delighted with the outstanding progress AFL Gippsland has made to football in the region since it was established, and we will continue to fully support AFL Gippsland in its efforts to drive the strategic direction of football in the region in the future.”

AFL Gippsland released a statement to “express disappointment in the AFL Victoria decision to overturn a key aspect of AFL Gippsland’s Senior Leagues Review Recommendations”.

“AFL Gippsland devoted a significant amount of time and energy collecting and analysing relevant data and consulting with clubs and leagues to determine the final recommendations,” the statement read.

“We believe the review process was conducted thoroughly and in the best interests of football in Gippsland.

“AFL Gippsland acknowledges the appeal decision is final and will move forward with the remaining Alberton Football Netball League clubs to ensure they are part of a thriving and sustainable competition into the future.”

Korumburra-Bena was originally slated for a move to West Gippsland in the draft recommendations, but was replaced by Inverloch-Kongwak in the final report.