MEMBERS of Allansford and Panmure are being urged to vote on a proposal which could bind both clubs as a merged entity.
The clubs' proposed merger, which started in February, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but both committees have now endorsed the move.
New Allansford president Steve Aberline said members of both clubs had until July 25 to cast their vote on the motion.
Aberline told The Standard the merger would allow both clubs to preserve their history and enjoy long-term sustainability.
We're pretty confident with how it all looks.Steve Aberline
"We're pretty confident with how it all looks," he told The Standard.
"We've provided members with a lot of information on what it will look like and how it will benefit them, basically.
"It's a very exciting time to come in and be president with a potential influx of players and even more support."
He urged members with concerns or queries to reach out to the club.
Under the proposal, the merged club would be called the Allansford-Panmure Cricket Club. The club would be nicknamed the Gators - as Allansford is currently - and would wear green and gold colours.
The club would use Allansford's Uebergang Oval as a base but, pending Warrnambool and District Cricket Association approval, would play some matches at Panmure. Aberline said the combined club would look to field a second division two side and was wary of freezing out juniors already at the club.
"We're not quite sure what that influx of players would look like yet, if there will be extra teams and that kind of thing," Aberline said.
"We have a good amount of juniors at the moment and we're pretty excited by that. It's our main focus for the whole club.
"There's probably less of a focus on seniors and more of a focus on working to develop our kids.
"We had three or four kids play division one last season and most of the others had the chance to play division two.
"We want to give them the opportunity to do that again."
Aberline said while strong numbers and opportunities for players was an obvious positive of the merger, potential growth in female cricket was also a bonus.
He said both clubs were passionate about growing female cricket and would continue as a merged entity.
Panmure's departure from the Grassmere Cricket Association would leave seven division one clubs.
The Bulldogs, led by skipper Paddy Mahony, finished second overall in division one last season.
Aberline said Allansford's swelling committee meant the workload was spread throughout the club and influenced his decision to take on the role.
He said the unification with Panmure would only improve volunteer numbers and the strength of the club.
The members' vote is the final step in making the merger official.
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