Clunes’ appeal against MCDFNL shift has been decided

Clunes will play on in the Central Highlands Football League after winning its appeal against a shock AFL Goldfields recommendation.

An AFL Victoria Country appeals panel handed down its verdict on Friday, agreeing that the Magpies should be able to remain in their current home and not be forced to move to the nearby Maryborough Castlemaine District competition.

Clunes president Brendan Sheehan described the news as a “relief” and a “monkey off the back” for the club, which he said had never wanted to leave the CHFL.

“It is good just to get it out of the way and get on with the footy and netball this year,” he said.

“We can put it to bed now, move on and bring on the 2018 season.”

Sheehan expected to have $1500 of the $2000 appeal payment returned to the club following the successful result, but wouldn’t rule out pursuing a full refund.

We can put it to bed now, move on and bring on the 2018 season.”

Clunes president Brendan Sheehan

In December last year, AFL Goldfields recommended that Clunes be transferred out of the Central Highlands competition and to the Maryborough Castlemaine District league for the 2019 season. This was one of the major findings from the exhaustive senior competition review.

In an earlier interview with The Courier, Sheehan said the saga surrounding the club’s future had impacted the Magpies’ ability to attract players and sponsors.

Meanwhile, the CHFL was unsuccessful in its two appeals.

The league had challenged AFL Goldfields’ recommendations about exploring a merger of the football and netball administration and that it work with AFL Goldfields to investigate weighted fixture options for implementation for the 2019 season to promote competition equalisation and club sustainability.

Clunes is booked to take on Skipton in round one of the new season on Saturday, April 7.