DEAKIN University has inquired about changing the name of its under-age football and netball sides to the Mortlake Junior Sharks.
Club president Luke Jackson said yesterday the name change would be a “true reflection” of the junior outfits.
“All of our junior teams are Mortlake based,” Jackson told The Standard.
“We thought the time had come that they have the recognition they deserve.”
Jackson said the majority of junior footballers and netballers who played for Deakin University have been recruited from the Mortlake district.
They also train at Mortlake’s D.C. Farran Oval during the week.
“It’s purely for the recognition of where they come from,” Jackson said.
“There’s a few teams that have the Mortlake name tacked on, but our juniors are the only full-time teams based there.
“It will give the people of Mortlake something to hang their hats on.” The Sharks junior football coaching panel includes Paul Wareham, Peter Hobbs and Jason Lehmann — all from Mortlake.
Jackson said it made sense for the youngsters to play under the Mortlake banner.
“The Deakin University name wouldn’t have much pulling power in Mortlake, in terms of recruiting,” he said.
“The juniors are run and administered out of Mortlake so we want to make something of it.
“Calling them the Mortlake Junior Sharks would be a true reflection of what they are.”
Jackson said the connection with the Mortlake region, which started about five years ago, was strong.
So strong, in fact, that the feeder town deserves some naming rights.
“Back when it started, there was no opportunity,”Jackson said.
We had to play under the Deakin University banner.
“People will see Mortlake Junior Sharks in the record and in the newspaper and hopefully that will help with recruiting from the area.”
Warrnambool and District Football Netball League president Justin Balmer yesterday confirmed Deakin had made initial inquiries into the process required for a name change.
“We told them we would require a formal application before our next meeting, which has to be signed by their president,” he said.
“They’re not changing the name of the club, just the junior sides. That’s what they’re asking for.”
The league’s next scheduled meeting is in the first week of June.