AFL Western District has revealed a reference group is being formed to look at the footy landscape in south-west Victoria.
The group will have representatives from Hampden FNL, South West FNL, Warrnambool and District FNL, Greater Southwest Jnr FL and Mininera and District Football League.
MDFL president Dale Bruns and board members John Box and Gary Cameron are the Mininera and District Football representatives in the AFL Western District focus group.
AFL Goldfields and AFL Western District regional manager Jason Muldoon said the group was "very much" in the preliminary stage and were just getting ideas on the table.
"It was decided we would get a discussion group together to start to gather ideas and thoughts around what the structure and what things could be done to reduce the hurdles that oppose people playing football," he said.
"We will start the discussion around what the structure of the region looks like going forward. This is not a 12 month process, we need to probably get some easy recommendations out in the next month or six weeks if we can.
"Some (of the ideas) will be very far fetched and unattainable but there might be some simple things that we can do really quickly to release the pressure on volunteers and players and increase the participation numbers."
Mr Muldoon said the focus group aimed to address the poor numbers across the reserves and juniors competitions.
"It is no secret that some of the teams in the AFL Western District are struggling for numbers, it is something we need to address. If there are some easy things to do we will certainly entertain them," he said.
"An example (of an idea) might be as simple as aligning all of our area agreements across the five leagues so that junior players can move easily across the region.
"We might look at some easier flexibility at reserve players moving on a basis that allows them to move to another club quite freely."
Mr Muldoon believed COVID-19 has instilled a new attitude amongst clubs in the region.
"Pre COVID-19 clubs were definitely thinking about what is best for my club but COVID019 has broadened our thinking that if we don't help each other out the reality is that we won't have enough teams to play against," he said.
"The bigger clubs are starting to understand they do need to be good football people and think of the region as a whole and not just their club.
"Some of the bigger clubs will have reserves players missing out on a game but we're saying that possibly they could still be that club's player but I think we need to expand the way we think and alleviate the administration of putting in clearances so players can easily move around the region."
The group is set to hold its first meeting on Monday May 30.
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