PORT Fairy wants to remain a single entity in the Hampden Football Netball League and build on its 154-year history.
Seagulls president Noel Black said the club - winless in both senior football and netball after 10 rounds and struggling to field a reserves side on a weekly basis - was determined to reverse its fortunes.
He said a committee meeting last week determined merger discussions was not a path it wanted to tread.
"Small-town communities rally in times of difficulty and I am starting to sense and see that," he told The Standard.
"We do have a good group of kids in our under 18s, our under 16s and our under 14s and we have two primary schools which are choc-full of kids.
"We still have a core of hard-working people with the drive to try and rectify this.
"When you put all those together - you just don't walk away on 154 years of club history.
"It is going to be a tough last eight games of the season but that gives us a chance to re-group and nurture the young blokes and bring a few recruits in."
Koroit issued a statement to its members this week dousing merger talk speculation with Port Fairy after the "rumour mill" took off.
Black said the Seagulls, coming off a scoreless senior football game, "see a lot of positivity about moving forward".
"We had a committee meeting last week and as president I threw all sorts of ideas out in the current environment," he said.
"We had discussion points about what might benefit and what might not. We didn't vote on anything.
"Mergers came up in our conversations and it was pretty unanimous we don't feel it's necessary at this stage to have those talks.
"I have in the back of my mind the reason they're talking about all these restructures (with the AFL Western District discussion group) is almost to protect the independence of a community like Port Fairy."
Port Fairy is confident it "can turn things around pretty quickly", with Black highlighting an injury crisis as a major factor for its woes.
"We have a good bunch of kids, a great bunch of netballers. We're just struggling horrendously with injuries," he said.
"I've been in sport since I was 10 and played cricket until I was 45 and I have never seen a situation like this."
Black said it was unlikely the Seagulls would field a reserves side this weekend but had not ruled a line through the season.
"It is a real battle. We're in the second part of the season and quite a few of our injuries are season-ending," he said.
"I think that is going to be very difficult for the remainder of the season. I am not putting a pencil through it just yet. We talk to other presidents regularly to see if we can get a game up."
The president praised the Seagulls' coaching panels and volunteers for their dedication during a challenging season.
"They (people) might look at the scoreboard and judge a club. What they don't see is how hard a workforce of people and volunteers actually work," Black said.
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