Clubs are at risk of folding unless junior footy structures are overhauled.
The blunt assessment was outlined to clubs by AFL Western District region general manager Kate Williamson following a recent forum of 42 team representatives in Warrnambool.
“When nothing is done clubs fold, and when clubs fold, leagues are at risk,” Williamson said.
“Issues still exist despite clubs saying no to the recommendations.
“So even if clubs don’t like the recommendations, it doesn’t change the fact there are issues.
“It’s our job to do something.”
In a memorandum sent to all Hampden and Warrnambool District league presidents after the forum, Williamson said there was an agreement age groups in both leagues would change next season.
Hampden’s under 18.5s would change to under 18 and Warrnambool and District age groups would switch from under 14.5 to under 15, and under 17.5 to under 18.
The statement said clubs did not support the introduction of player caps and 16-a-side matches.
The memo said only 52 per cent of clubs currently had 21 registered players.
“It’s our view that the status quo cannot continue,” Williamson said in the statement.
AFL Western District said it would meet with each club committee over the next two months.
Several clubs were contacted but they declined to comment.