THE Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football-Netball League will remain a 14 club competition next season, but will welcome Clunes in 2019.
The 2019 move of Clunes from the Central Highlands league to the MCDFNL was among the final recommendations handed down on Thursday in the AFL Goldfields Senior Competition Review.
The initial recommendations in August proposed Trentham and Lexton be included in a newly-formed Goldfields District league in 2019 and that Carisbrook join a stripped back Central Highlands competition from 18 to 12 clubs.
RELATED – 2018 MCDFNL FIXTURE
However, the final recommendations state Carisbrook, Lexton and Trentham all be granted their request to remain in the MCDFNL, while the Central Highlands league will next year stay as an 18-club single division competition.
But it will be the last for Clunes, which was a founding member of the league in 1979, following the recommendation that it be accepted into the MCDFNL in 2019.
The recommendations also acknowledge the crowding of clubs within the Maryborough area.
“The review has noted that there is general acceptance by all MCDFNL clubs that there are too many clubs within the immediate vicinity of Maryborough – noting there are seven clubs within 30km of Maryborough,” the report said.
“It is accepted that the demise or merger of clubs is considered inevitable. AFL Goldfields and the MCDFNL will work closely with all clubs into the future to present and facilitate merger packages as and when required.”