THE Loddon Valley Football League has taken a tougher stance on inter-league this year to ensure there’s no repeat of last year’s selection dramas.
Last year’s LVFL coach, Corey Gregg, spent the day before the league’s clash with the Horsham District Football League still trying to find players to fill the side.
From the side that had been announced on the Thursday night, the LVFL’s preparations were thrown into chaos the following day when six players withdrew.
The LVFL was beaten by 30 points, despite having the same amount of scoring shots as Horsham District.
Having dropped to No.23 in the AFL Victoria Country rankings after last year’s loss, the LVFL travels to Bungaree on Saturday to take on Central Highlands - a mammoth league featuring 18 clubs.
“We met with the clubs earlier and discussed the situation of last year and said it couldn’t happen again,” LVFL president Colleen Rogers said on Wednesday.
“Our clubs were to inform all their senior players, both football and netball, at the start of the year that they were all deemed to be available for inter-league.
“We made it clear there would be sanctions (suspensions) if players didn’t have reasonable explanations as to why they wouldn’t be available this weekend.
“And the procedures in which we went about our communication for this weekend has been more streamlined.”
Rogers said the league had been pleased with the response from all clubs to this year’s inter-league campaign, with the senior football side to be co-coached by Gregg and Damien Featherby.
“It has worked really well this year and everybody has co-operated,” Rogers said.
“It looks like we’re going to have a very strong team to go over and battle against Central Highlands.”
The LVFL will have its final inter-league training session at Marong on Thursday night, where the team will be announced.
Meanwhile, the Heathcote District Football League has announced Mount Pleasant defender Tim Hill will be its captain this weekend.
Hill is a former Bendigo Football League inter-league defender who is in his first season in the HDFL.
The HDFL plays the Horsham District league at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.
Heathcote District is ranked at No.19.