Rats and Warriors have ‘no qualms’ with Giants move despite travel distance

Southern Mallee Giants’ potential move from the Horsham District league to the Wimmera competition has been welcomed by what would be their most distant geographical competitors. 

The Giants confirmed on Tuesday evening their desire to compete in the Wimmera league this season.

The Giants held a committee meeting on Monday night where they arrived at a decision that their club would be best fit in the Wimmera league.

A club statement reads: “After much deliberation and consideration the Giants committee...voted strongly in favour of our club making a move to the Wimmera league.”

Both Ararat Rats and Stawell Warriors are open to welcoming the Giants into the Wimmera league, whether that be this season or in the future. 

Stawell president Tim Williams said he thinks the inclusion would be “pretty good” for the Wimmera competition.

“I think it would strengthen the league a bit,” he said.

“They have a pretty strong following as a club so they would not be out of place.”

Williams said there are only a few things which have cause him concern. 

“The big thing is making sure they can transition with their juniors – you don’t want a move like this to negatively impact their young sides,” he said.

“It is also pretty tight when trying to organise draws and social activities and organise things for members and sponsors. If it is going to happen it needs to do so as soon as possible.”

Ararat president David Jennings shared the sentiments of Williams.

“The draw will be the main issue that we have to deal with, so so long as that doesn’t change too much and the salary cap and points are all on a level playing field, then we would not have any issues with it.

If the move goes ahead, Ararat would likely be the club impacted most given the distance between the two clubs. 

The journey from Ararat to the Giants’ closest home ground in Beulah is nearly 2 hours long.

Ararat president David Jennings said despite the long trip he supports the move.

“The Stawell, Ararat and the Horsham teams would play them at Beulah, so we won’t have to go to Hopetoun,” he said.

“It will be a better competition, but obviously they are a fair way away from us.”