COLAC’S last remaining link with the Hampden Football Netball League (HFNL) is set to end.
Tigers officials yesterday confirmed they would apply for their under 14 and under 16 sides to play in Football Geelong’s junior competition from next year.
The move would end the club’s 64-year association with the Warrnambool-centred competition.
The shift is not yet official but is likely to be a formality, with Colac having informed the HFNL and Football Geelong of its plans.
Club president Nick Lang said the move was intended to re-align the Tigers’ junior and senior football sections.
The seniors have been part of the Geelong Football League since 2001, while the juniors have continued playing in the HFNL. “We’ll be putting in an application to join the Football Geelong umbrella,” Lang said.
“Everything just adds up that way. It doesn’t make sense for us to be across two regions — one based out of Warrnambool, 110 kilometres away, we’ve got two junior sides there, and at Geelong.
“We’ve been pretty successful since we moved. It just makes sense.” Lang said the move had nothing to do with the running of the HFNL junior competition, which he applauded.
He said a merged Hamilton club and Portland entering the HFNL also did not influence officials’ thinking.
The two new clubs have junior football leagues in their towns and are unlikely to field under 14 and under 16 teams in the HFNL. “It’s more about us being aligned with the Barwon (administration) hub or whatever they’re going to call it,” Lang said.
“We need to align our junior footballers with our senior group, quite simply.
“It’s nothing to do with the Hampden competition. It’s just really to re-align the club as one.
“Our future is with the Football Geelong hub. We made that decision 10 or 12 years ago and we believe we made the right decision for our club.”
Colac withdrawing from the HFNL has left the league’s junior ranks with nine clubs and the prospect of clubs having two byes during the 14-round season.
League chief executive officer Mike Farrow was unavailable for comment yesterday.