“They are not part of the Central Highlands Football League – it’s not going to happen, we’re adamant.”
Central Highlands Football League president Eddy Comelli could not have been clearer on the league’s position surrounding flailing club Smythesdale returning to the competition.
Last week Smythesdale’s bid to join the Maryborough Castlemaine and District Football League was denied, leaving the club in a tedious position.
On Friday both the AFL Goldfields commission and the club said it would have to explore the Bulldogs’ options, with the CHFL seemingly in the conversation.
But Comelli slammed the door shut on that motion, saying the club resigned from the league and would have to go through the application process like any other club, but he felt they would be “wasting their time”.
“I’m disappointed for Smythesdale...but at the same time, the option of coming back into the Central Highlands Football League – that’s not there,” Comelli said.
“They resigned from the CHFL...the commission have had two years to sort this out.
“We’ve moved on.
“They’d have to go through the process...but I think they’d be absolutely wasting their time.
“I would imagine the attitude of the Central Highlands clubs would be much the same as (the) Maryborough Castlemaine (clubs).”
Comelli spoke passionately about the issue, believing that this was a problem that stemmed from the disbanding of the Lexton Plains Football League in 2011, which saw four clubs join the CHFL, all of which have struggled – Smythesdale the most critical case.
“We were handed this mess seven years ago and the chickens are coming home to roost now.
“We will try and fix the CHFL, but they (the commission) will have to fix the rest of the region, it’s not up to us.”
The commission is expected to meet with Smythesdale during the week to discuss options moving forward ahead of the club’s annual general meeting on November 12.
The AFL Goldfields commission and Smythesdale were not available for comment.
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