An alignment between the Portland Junior Football Association and Hamilton Kangaroos Junior Football League is one idea that will be considered with the AFL Western District Commission to review the health and sustainability of junior football in the south-west.
The South West Junior Review has been commissioned to investigate and make recommendations for the structure of the Portland Junior Football Association (PJFA) and the Hamilton Kangaroos Junior Football League (HJFL).
AFL Western District regional general manager Rod Ward said there was a need to look into those leagues.
He emphasised the review was completely separate from the one conducted last year, which involved the Hampden and Warrnambool and District leagues.
Ward said Hamilton Kangaroos' introduction into the Hampden league under 16 and under 14 competitions had impacted the HJFL.
He said some people from Portland had also expressed interest in having Tigers' under 14 and under 16 teams in the Hampden league next season.
He said the aim was make sure the best structures were in place to encourage participation and allow the best talent to be identified.
The PJFA has six teams in its under 16.5s, five teams in its under 14s and six teams in its under 12s.
The HJFL under 16s competition has three teams and each team has a bye every three matches.
The HJFL under 13s competition has five teams.
The South West District Football Netball League advisory group and the board of the Mininera and District Football League will be consulted during the review.
The Portland Football Netball Club and the Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club will also be consulted.
A panel, appointed by the AFL Western District Commission, will manage the review which will include interviews, consultation and subsequent recommendations from stakeholders.
The panel includes AFL Western District regional general manager (chairperson) Rod Ward and AFL Western District football development managers Jock Whiting and Alan Thompson.
Following consultations and analysis of the findings, preliminary recommendations will be made and presented to stakeholders for feedback.
AFL Western District will consider final recommendations, with any recommendations approved by the commission expected to be implemented from the start of the 2020 season.
Some recommendations may be flagged for a staged implementation.
The AFL Western District South West Junior Review's objectives are:
- To provide the greatest opportunity to increase and maximize participation in the AFL Western District region, with strong player pathways between junior and senior clubs, Auskick Centres and schools.
- To provide the maximum opportunity for junior players to develop their skills and love for Australian Football, and to provide them with the maximum opportunity to develop and play at the highest level possible.
- To ensure that junior teams are fielded in competitions that are as strong and evenly matched as possible, and designed to promote competition equalization.
- That the competitions will be structured to consider the growth demands of local areas and which consider geographic and economic factors, both in the immediate future and in the medium to long-term.
- To ensure sufficient stability in playing numbers of junior club teams to enable team spirit and continued support for football to be maintained.
- To ensure the review considers the future financial stability and viability of clubs and leagues, and that any recommendations does factor these considerations into the final recommendation/s.
- To prevent stronger junior clubs from dominating junior competitions at the expense and to the detriment of the weaker clubs from smaller communities.
- Provide clubs with an incentive to expend time, effort and resources in junior development of Australian Football.
- The structure of the various junior netball competitions will be considered as part of the scope of this project.
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