AN expanded Hampden league competition for next season is just days away from being approved, according to president Bob Guiney.
Guiney told the league’s annual Maskell Medal presentation on Sunday the Victorian Country Football League was expected to make a formal announcement about the future structure of south-west football next Monday.
The VCFL confirmed it was waiting until after Saturday’s Western Border Football League grand final to make a final decision following the release of draft recommendations in July.
Guiney said the Hampden league was eagerly awaiting Portland and a combined Hamilton side’s entry next season after the clubs voted to make the move following the recommendations.
“We expect there will be an instant go,” he said in relation to the VCFL’s final decision.
Guiney said 10 teams would give a significant boost to the competition.
“It’s about time we take back the mantle of the south-west’s major league,” Guiney said.
He said a 10-team major competition was good for the structure of footy in the region.
“I believe there should be a strong major league and a good district league competition as a feeder into that competition.”
Guiney said the new Hamilton entity, born out of a merger between arch rivals Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials, had been well received in the city.
The original timeline for a final decision on the Southern Border Review was “on or before September 14” but the VCFL said it had been pushed back to allow all competitions to focus on their grand finals.
The review, which included the South Australian Community Football League, was instigated after a request from the Western Border league and supported by the Hampden league.
It came after Heywood last year decided to leave the Western Border league and drop back to the South West District league.
Hamilton Imperials also tried to leave the Western Border league but its bid was rejected by the VCFL pending a review.