THE Bendigo Football Netball League will continue to prosper despite Kyneton’s ongoing issues, according to league chairman Paul Byrne.
Speaking at last night’s season launch, Byrne admitted Kyneton’s inability to field a senior side in 2013 was a major concern.
However, the response to Kyneton’s crisis from the league and its clubs has Byrne confident the league will come out of it stronger.
“In the pre-season we’ve had a lot of challenges that you’d rather not deal with,’’ Byrne said.
“But I congratulate the clubs on the way they’ve approached the situation.
“It was really refreshing to see the way the clubs bound together and we’ve been able to give Kyneton a lifeline.
“I’m pretty optimistic that Kyneton will get up and about in 2014.”
The BFNL season started on Good Friday with Golden Square defeating Kangaroo Flat in front of a huge crowd at MyJet Oval.
Byrne said the response from the public was a great sign for the BFNL.
“Good Friday was a great success for the league on and off the field,’’ he said.
“Everyone probably thought Kangaroo Flat would struggle against Golden Square, but to Flat’s credit they gave the reigning premiers a real scare.
“The crowd was fantastic. That’s what we want. We want people to have a great day at the Bendigo footy and get them coming back.
“We’ve had Good Friday games in Bendigo footy for the best part of a decade. They’ve been a success for our clubs.
“The metropolitan media was dominated at the weekend by talk of the AFL having a Good Friday game. An AFL Good Friday game in the twilight timeslot wouldn’t affect us.
“In fact, I think it would help us. People could go to our game and be home in time to watch the AFL game on TV.”
The remainder of round one will be played this weekend, with Maryborough at home to Castlemaine on Saturday afternoon, South Bendigo to tackle Strathfieldsaye under lights at the QEO on Saturday night and Sandhurst to play Eaglehawk at the QEO on Sunday afternoon.
Kyneton hosts Gisborne in reserves and under-18 football and three netball grades on Saturday.
“I think we’re in for a great year,’’ Byrne said.
“I’m a firm believer that our best 40 players are as good as the best 40 players of any other league in country Victoria.”