THE Hampden Football Netball League (HFNL) is looking to further develop its pre-season competition after attracting a finals-type crowd last Saturday at Port Fairy.
HFNL president Bob Guiney said the third running of the footy competition, which also included a senior netball tournament for the first time at Gardens Oval, had been a success.
“I think it is here to stay,” he said.
“I think the community, the people, have spoken with their feet.
“There are better things we can do to make it better and more of a family day and we will look at that.
“I know our sponsor, Boag’s, would be rapt with how it went.”
Guiney said the league had wanted to assess the concept over three years but, following Saturday’s crowd-pulling event, he had no doubt about its future.
He estimated the crowd at 2500 people, a number which saw the canteen sell out of refreshments.
But he said with the event growing in popularity, the league had identified several areas that needed improving.
Guiney said there was a possibility 17 and under netball would be added next year and he floated the idea of a gold coin donation entry fee to be given to a charity such as Peter’s Project.
He said the league and clubs would need to provide player lists and there needed to be prominent boards where results and ladders were updated. He suggested the league needed to look at a jumping castle and other entertainment to add to the family atmosphere.
Guiney said the timing of the pre-season competition had been set after consultation with football coaches.
“I think the coaches have all got behind it,” he said.
“It’s not a kick-and-giggle and some of the clubs take it very seriously.”
He said when the league started the competition in 2011, only five of the league’s then eight clubs were involved. But it had grown to include all 10 clubs and the timing was one of the reasons.
Guiney said the league could be open to avoiding a clash with cricket grand finals, but it would depend on what was best for its clubs.