THE Hampden league has been blindsided as AFL Victoria considers throwing interleague on the scrapheap.
A decision on the future of interleague - officially called the AFL Victoria Community Championships - is expected to be made next week.
But Hampden board member Gary Attrill said AFL Victoria was yet to communicate its findings to the league.
He said the board was surprised to discover the news when contacted for comment by The Standard on Thursday evening.
The data that has come back shows clubs are not in favour of it - that's across the state.Matt Ross
Attrill said the Hampden league was proud of its interleague legacy and of its progress under AFL legend Jonathan Brown.
"We love it and the players have loved it," he said.
"I think that's part of the battle a lot of other leagues have had, getting the best players to play, but everyone loves playing under 'Browny'.
"We would be disappointed to see it go."
Many competitions - including the Warrnambool and District league - have withdrawn in recent years as the financial strain of playing increases.
The Standard understands leagues face total costs of almost $30,000 to take the field in the community championships.
AFL Western District operations and commercial manager Matt Ross confirmed a review was underway.
"AFL Victoria conducted a survey of clubs to gauge their interest in interleague, to get an idea of their enthusiasm," Ross said.
"The data that has come back shows clubs are not in favour of it - that's across the state. There's no local data but that's the picture across the state."
The Standard contacted AFL Victoria for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.
The Hampden league was set to battle Victorian powerhouse Ovens and Murray in 2020.
Brown, a triple premiership player with Brisbane Lions, guided the Hampden league to victory against the Ballarat Football League in May.
The South Warrnambool export first signed as coach in 2017.
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