BENDIGO'S bid to join the Victorian Netball League has been unsuccessful, with Ballarat awarded the 10th and final licence to field teams in the elite competition.
Netball Victoria announced on Friday the newly formed Ballarat Sovereigns would replace Ballarat Pride, which was axed in April after a league review.
The Bendigo consortium that had been aiming to offer players and support staff a local pathway into the state's premier netball competition was very disappointed at the news.
Bid spokeswoman Melissa Ryan said they had received positive feedback from their interview last month and were told it was an extremely close call between Bendigo and Ballarat.
Ryan said the Bendigo group would continue working with Netball Victoria and maintaining links with supporting businesses so they could take advantage of future opportunities to become part of the VNL.
"This is definitely not the end for us," she said.
The Sovereigns will encompass all associations in the Central Highlands, AFL Goldfields and Ballarat region, as well as the Ballarat and Wendouree associations.