A HAMPDEN league club says a split between junior and senior football impacts families, compounding player shortages.
Terang Mortlake general manager Peter Watson said a major area of concern which stemmed from its review, which was open to club members, was "not being able to play all grades on the one day".
The Hampden league runs its senior, reserves and under 18 football and open, divisions one, two and three, 17 and under, 15 and under and 13 and under netball grades on Saturdays.
Its under 16 and under 14 football and and 16 and under and 14 and under netball matches are played on Sundays.
"Many surveyed spoke about the disconnection between junior and senior football," Watson said.
"It was highlighted it becomes very difficult when junior siblings from one family play both Saturday and Sunday.
"If you go to a (Warrnambool and) District league club, say we have the (Kolora-Noorat) Power five minutes down the road, they play on the one day.
"We fully understand that Terang Mortlake Football Netball Club can't change (the competition structure) but we can certainly advocate that is what our members, who have been involved in this process all the way through, have put as their major issue which is quite interesting."
Hampden league president Tim Mason said there were no plans to change to format.
"Just the number of games that need to be played means that we will at this stage continue to be playing on both Saturday and Sunday," he said.
"Many teams having under 12, 14s and 16s on the football side means that it is just not possible to fit them all in on the one day."
Watson said a declining population and players aged in the 16-to-35 year old age bracket moving away for work and education were also concerning factors to stem from the Terang Mortlake review which had over 170 responses.
"The whole east side (of the area) is suffering from player shortages," he said.
"We suffered player shortages this year but they may shift next year away from somewhere and come to Terang.
"There are solutions, whether it means Hampden Football Netball League and AFL Western District look at restructuring the way the league is run."
Watson floated the idea of Hampden clubs having affiliations with other outfits within their area.
There are eight clubs in the eastern side within a 50-odd kilometre radius.
"The shift of players between clubs is very significant because of the short distance. We have suffered this year but it might be another club next year," Watson said.
"We are not advocating for less clubs, we're just advocating for a structure or strategy to be put in place to help clubs out in the eastern side."
Watson, a past Hampden league president, said the Bloods wanted to shore up their future.
But he said the decision to "get on the front foot" was also about strengthening its rivals.
"I am not being a mouth-piece for the other clubs, this is Terang Mortlake speaking out, but the other clubs are more than welcome to have a discussion with us about our findings at any stage," he said.
"We have done a review but this affects every club on the eastern side."
Watson hosed down speculation the Bloods could be part of a merger in the near future.
"There has been no talks whatsoever in regards of a merger," he said.
"We are more about a long-term strategy that will help all clubs.
"Off field we are going better than ever with the management and finance of the club."
Mason, in his first season as league president, said change was inevitable.
"There is no doubt that population movements have an impact on all areas of our game and it would be amiss of us to think that we are immune," he said.
"You only have to look at the history of our league to see that there is always change, we have had clubs merge, clubs join our league and clubs move to different leagues so for many reasons the structure of the league will evolve over time."
Mason said the league wanted to proactive in that area.
"The Hampden league is looking to complete a strategic plan by the end of this calendar year," he said.
"The AFL Western District were to hold a strategic planning day in July this year but unfortunately the facilitator fell ill and this has been rescheduled for later in the year.
"As a board we thought that it would be beneficial to participate in that planning day and understand AFL Western District's strategic plan and then set about developing our own.
"We believe that it is important to have a longer-term vision for the league and we should be working with all our stakeholders to develop a plan."
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