BALLARAT’S anticipated football showdown with Goulburn Valley has been scrapped.
AFL Victoria has shaken up its interleague structure, with both country and metropolitan leagues now set to face each other in a single head-to-head competition.
The radical change means the end of the AFL Victoria Country Championships, which the Ballarat Football Netball League and Central Highlands Football League have traditionally competed in.
Instead, it will be now be known as the AFL Victoria Community Championships.
The current rankings of both leagues will also be altered, with 38 leagues set to be officially ranked in 2017.
BFNL Operations Manager Aaron Nunn told The Courier he had mixed feelings about the new formula.
“There are good parts and bad parts to it,” Nunn said.
“We worked hard to maintain a top four ranking (in the Country Championships). With the other teams, it means we have now slipped down.
“But it is definitely refreshing, to be able to play different teams. It allows us to play against the best of the best.”
The BFNL will now clash with the Western Region Football League, rather than its original match-up against Goulburn Valley.
Meanwhile, the CHFL will face off against the Geelong District Football League.
Nunn raised concerns that the new structure may pose problems with netball, as some metropolitan leagues do not have netball sides.
He also mentioned that a shortlist of candidates to replace Shane Skontra as the Ballarat interleague coach had been established, with an announcement potentially due before Christmas.
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