Clunes to be welcomed into MCDFNL if appeal is unsuccessful

Clunes' Callum Newton

Clunes' Callum Newton

MARYBOROUGH Castlemaine District Football Netball League president Stephen Broad says Clunes will be welcomed into its league in 2019, if the Magpies’ appeal fails.

Following an extensive look into football around the region, AFL Goldfields handed down a recommendation that will see Clunes transferred out of the Central Highlands competition and into the MCDFNL, one of a number of recommendations.

The decision came as a surprise to both parties, Clunes president Brendan Sheehan voicing his surprise  on Tuesday, as Clunes appeals the recommendation.

Broad admits it is not an ideal circumstance to have a club potentially entering a league it does not want to be a part of, but he said the Magpies would be welcomed into the league – if that ends up being the case.

“If they want to come our way...we’d investigate everything and make it possible to happen if they wanted to do it,” Broad said.

“It was a bit of surprise to us.

“(But) I’m sure we’d make it work.

“But if they don’t want to do it and be part of our league, they’ll end up where they end up.”

Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League first spoke with Clunes regarding the issue three years ago, discussing the possibility of transferring leagues for the longevity of the club.

The MCDFNL has not made contact with Clunes since the recommendation was handed down earlier this month, preferring to let the dust settle on what will actually pan out and then move forward.

Broad believes Clunes would go from a bottom half CHFL club to a top half club in the MCDFNL – something that should appeal to the Magpies.

Broad stressed his league was all about ensuring clubs stay alive – in whatever competition that may be.

“That’s what we’re all about – surviving, and sustainable clubs.

“We’re hoping that going forward no football club has to pull the pin, especially an old club like Clunes, we’d help them wherever possible.”

Bringing Clunes into the competition would make the MCDFNL a 15-team senior competition, meaning alterations to the fixture would have to be explored.

Condensing the split round into one and playing on the Queen’s Birthday weekend being possible avenues to accommodate a bye.

But Broad felt overall the decision was a positive one for his league.

Originally published in The Courier