WESTERN Border Football League (WBFL) wants proposed changes to the make-up of its competition put on hold until the 2014 season.
League chief executive officer David Heard said the WBFL would use its response to the Southern Border Review to call for an extension to its current set-up.
If accepted, a proposed expansion of the Hampden league for 2013 would be put on the backburner until 2014.
The review, undertaken jointly by the Victorian Country and South Australian Community football leagues, made a series of draft recommendations, with an expansion of the Warrnambool-based Hampden league the centrepiece.
The Mount Gambier-based Western Border league, home to Victorian clubs Hamilton, Hamilton Imperials, Portland and Casterton, would be pushed back over the Southern Australian border.
It recomemnded Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials merge and join the Hampden league, but if unable to reach an agreement, each would be free to make their own choice on which competition they wanted to play in next year.
Portland would have a strong case to move to the Hampden league, the review panel said, while Casterton or a merged Casterton/Sandford would play in the WBFL.
Heard said the WBFL had not yet finalised its submission to the review but when it lodged it by Wednesday’s noon deadline, it would call for another year.
He said the league met all clubs on Wednesday night at a scheduled forum, where the issue was widely discussed.
Heard said the general consensus was that clubs and leagues did not have enough time to properly consider all the options and ramifications.
He said the league was not trying to force any clubs into any particular option.
He said the review had opened up a lot of points for discussion and clubs and leagues needed to get their heads around them.
Portland, a club entertaining a move to the Hampden league, had not been able to hold a special meeting of members in line with its constitution because the period for a response to the draft recommendations wasn’t long enough.
Hamilton Imperials president Darren Templeton yesterday said the Bulldogs were meeting with members on Sunday night and all options would be canvassed.
He said the Bulldogs would not release its position publicly until Wednesday.
The Bulldogs, which have tried seven times in the past 21 years to join the Hampden league, are expected to vote to leave the WBFL, but the sticking point will be whether they do it on their own or pursue a merger with arch-rival Hamilton.
Portland met its members last Saturday night but a committee discussion on Tuesday night will finalise its stance.