Oliver resigns as president of Bendigo Football Netball League

Update:

Outgoing Bendigo Football Netball League general manager Steven Oliver has taken a new position with the Bendigo Golf Club.

Oliver's appointment as general manager of the facility was announced this afternoon.

He resigned as general manager of the Bendigo Football Netball League last night.

Oliver, who had run the football operations of the league for more than five years, will today be unveiled as the new general manager of another sporting organisation in central Victoria.

“I genuinely enjoy working with the BFNL board, the clubs and football people, but it’s time for me to start a new challenge,’’ Oliver said last night. 

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“I have the chance to use the skills I’ve got to develop another organisation and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“It was a difficult decision... but it’s one I’ve been thinking about for some time.”

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Oliver ruled out running for the seat of Bendigo in the federal election.

The National Party member polled the second highest votes in the Bendigo West seat in the 2010 state election, but has no immediate plans to have a second crack at politics.

“I’m flattered to be considered for those roles, but federal politics is not the right time and place for me,’’ Oliver said.

“I’m a firm believer you have to be in the right time and place to tackle federal politics and it doesn’t fit for me.”

Oliver will remain with the BFNL until late May and will oversee the league’s inter-league campaign.

BFNL chairman Paul Byrne said Oliver’s contribution to football in the region shouldn’t be understated.

“He’s been superb... we think the world of him,’’ Byrne said last night.

“For the past five-and-a-half years he has put everything into the BFNL,” Byrne said.

“You think of the contribution he made on the field as a player with Castlemaine and now the contribution he’s made off the field... it’s amazing.

“His contribution as general manager should be ranked alongside people like (long-time BFL secretary) Kevin McNaughton and (former BFL chairman) Bill Bonney. 

“There will be people out there who will think Steven is jumping ship, but that’s not the case. 

“The bottom line is we could have lost him six months ago,” Byrne said.“He will be missed.”

Oliver said he was proud of what he had achieved in his role as BFNL general manager. 

“The league has come a long way thanks to the board’s desire to embrace new things,’’ he  said.

“The introduction of Strathfieldsaye to the league was an enormous positive ... and the relationship between clubs, I hope, is as good as it’s ever been.”

With Kyneton, Castlemaine and Maryborough all going through difficult periods, Oliver said the timing of his decision was unfortunate. 

“I’m confident the league is in a better place now to assist these clubs moving forward,’’ he said.

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