As the dawn of the football and netball season rapidly approaches, the hype surrounding Gippsland’s newest competition is reaching fever pitch.
The inaugural Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition campaign kicks off Saturday, 25 March when two-time reigning Ellinbank and District Football League premier Cora Lynn hosts last year’s Alberton Football Netball League grand finalist Inverloch-Kongwak.
While much of the focus has understandably revolved around the fortunes of the member clubs, there has also been plenty of interest regarding the competition’s unique off-field structure.
In lieu of a traditional club-appointed board of management or delegates system, governance of the competition lies with AFL Gippsland.
An advisory committee has been established, with some of the region’s most experienced football and netball people providing guidance and knowledge on matters relating to the competition.
Korumburra osteopath Mat Holmes, Warragul Greyhounds general manager Adrian Scott, retired police officer Col Rielly and Gippsland business manager Tony Moxey offer a diverse range of skills and will serve as another point of contact for the football and netball community.
“The idea is for our advisory committee members to act as our eyes and ears on the ground and provide a sounding board for ideas before we take them to clubs,” Switzer said.
“Volunteer time is precious and we often find there is not enough time at monthly meetings to have the sorts of broader discussions that football and netball competitions often face so it makes sense to have people in place to have some more of those preliminary conversations in a more suitable and less formal setting.”
Administration is also being handled by AFL Gippsland, with former Latrobe City events and international relations coordinator Jason Membrey as senior league operations coordinator.
Alongside Membrey in the AFL Gippsland office are umpires coordinator Nick Cullis, West Gippsland-based football development manager Matt Cracknell and media and marketing manager Damen Francis, who offer an array of additional resources at the competition’s disposal.
The office is shared with Netball Victoria.
Football match officials will be provided by the Gippsland and South Gippsland umpires associations, which have both been working hard to recruit and retain members for the upcoming season.