The short-term future of the Kyneton Football Netball Club hangs in the balance after a crisis meeting with the Bendigo Football Netball League on Monday night.
Facing a senior football player shortage, the Tigers have been given until clearances open on February 1 to get together a competitive squad which will satisfy the BFNL board.
If Kyneton is unable to meet the required standard of the BFNL, it might not field senior or reserves football teams next season.
“There’s still, without doubt, significant challenges in front of them regarding senior football player numbers,” BFNL chief executive Steven Oliver said.
“It’s a concern to them and it’s a concern to the league, but they’re doing everything they can to achieve a full complement of teams.
“Clearances open February 1, they’ve been frantically ringing every player on their list and they’ll continue to do that.
“They’ll continue to talk to their possible recruits and come the end of January they’ll get back to the league with a position on where they’re at with their player numbers.
“Our hope and the hope of the Kyneton Football Club is that they’ll get a list of 25 senior players – of senior quality – that can take the field this year. It might still be that they lose every game, but they’ve got to reach a standard with that player list that’s acceptable to them firstly and acceptable to the league.
“If that doesn’t happen we’ll have to look at what alternatives are available and how that fits in with the club, the community and the competition.
“We’ll have those discussions late January, early February and we’ll go from there, but certainly the next two weeks are crucial in their short-term future.”
New Kyneton president Cello Matricadi, who took over from Anthony O’Connor recently, said the club is “on the borderline” for senior footballer numbers, but faces a battle to satisfy the league by next Friday.
“It’s a battle and a big challenge, we’re working hard at the moment and we’ve been working hard for the last three weeks,” Matricardi said.
“We’re on the borderline, we’re not out of it. We’ve just got to get a few more down there.”
Matricadi, who said money wasn’t a reason for the player shortage, declined to speculate about what might happen if Kyneton isn’t able to meet the BFNL’s requirements.
“Our main goal is to get competitive teams on the park. When it gets closer to making a decision we’ll decide what is the next step,” he said.
Kyneton has good numbers at under-18 level and below, and should be able to fill its four netball teams.