JUNIOR awards will continue and a proposed merger of boards will be delayed following the release of final AFL Wimmera-Mallee review recommendations.
The recommendations come at the end of a year-long review, aiming to secure the future of football and netball in the region.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee region manager Bruce Petering said clubs had provided strong feedback that they wanted continued acknowledgement of the best junior players in the leagues.
“Clubs were happy for the goal kicking awards to be removed but were adamant that the nominating best players would remain,” he said.
“The intent was to try and remove any pressure that might be placed on coaches by individuals looking to win awards.
“I think we have enough safeguards in the coaching policy that we can still do both.”
Petering said clubs wanted more clarity around what the merged board would look like and how different areas would be represented.
“Rather than race into it, we thought it would be a better idea that we all get together on a regular basis to pursue this outcome for the 2020 season,” he said.
“It’s a really good step in the right direction because they’ll get the opportunity to work together for a 12-month period.
“The unanimous feeling within the working party that the singular board is the way to go but it’s just that there needs to be more work done to get us there.”
Draft recommendations to change the under-12 competition to an under-11 format have also been overturned.
“We thought we could still ensure players were not being overplayed with an under-12s competition and that is what the feedback told us clubs wanted,” he said.
“Clubs will also be able to agree to play with 18 players on the ground in reserves, under-17s and under-14s competitions whereas we initially set to change to a maximum of 16 players.”
Petering said he was happy with how the review process had unfolded.
“The feedback process from the club has been fantastic,” he said.
“It was constructive and the changes we’ve made have reflected that.”
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