Warrnambool and District Football Netball League wants under 18s to remain despite junior review's shelving

Warrnambool and District Football Netball League wnat to keep an under 18 grade. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Warrnambool and District Football Netball League wnat to keep an under 18 grade. Picture: Morgan Hancock

WARRNAMBOOL and District league bosses are fighting to keep under 18 and under 15 grades as their preferred junior structure despite AFL Western District shelving its controversial junior review.

President Ken McSween said his executive was working with the football body to retain the structure after widespread support from clubs.

It comes after AFL Western District postponed the review, with “all rules and regulations” to remain the same as they were in 2017.

It means none of the proposed changes will take effect this year.

Recommendations in the review urged the league to rejig its juniors from under 12s, under 14.5s to under 17.5 to under 12s, under 15s and under 18s.

McSween said the district league had long wanted an under 18 competition, only for “powers above us” to deny the concept.

“It’s what the majority of clubs want. They mostly didn’t mind the review as a whole, except the 16-a-side and five on the bench and were at an impasse with the 26-player cap (on junior lists),” he said.

“The issue is that clubs have been setting themselves up for the new system (under 18s and under 15s) and have said they could lose players and coaches if it’s back to the old way.”

Hampden clubs were initially set to come back from under 18.5s to an under 18s, but AFL Western District allowed a year of transition to give clubs time to adjust to the changes.

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