Smythesdale Football Netball Club’s plan for one last throw of the dice to join the Mininera District league this year has been denied.
Club president John Cranny said AFL Victoria had advised him the Bulldogs they were not eligible to appeal the MDFL’s vote rejecting their application to join the competition.
He said AFL Victoria told Smythesdale its rules did not allow two appeals.
Smythesdale turned its attention to joining the MDFL after losing an appeal late last year against the Maryborough Castlemaine District league’s decision to knock back the club’s application to join that competition.
Smythesdale left the CHFL at the end of last season with the hope of joining the MCDFNL.
The CHFL has told the Bulldogs that it is not prepared to take them back into the fold.
Cranny said the latest news from AFL Victoria was yet another frustrating development for the club in its search for a competition top play in.
He said while going into recess was now the most likely outcome, it was still too early to make a call.
“We need more information.”
Cranny said Smythesdale needed to know the implications of going into recess if this was the direction it took. “We just don’t know. We don’t understand what’s involved..the nuts and bolts of the process.”
He said if the club did go into recess, it needed to know the process for finding a new home.
Cranny said the next move was to sit down with AFL Goldfields and look at what options the club now had.
He said this was not likely to take place until AFL Goldfields staff returned from their Christmas-New Year break at the end of January.
The Bulldogs are not yet ruling out some elements of the club, such as juniors, playing under their banner in another competition this year.
Cranny said Golden Plains Shire Council and state members of parliament were continuing to work with and for the club in an attempt to resolve the dilemma.
“They’re still in our corner, fighting for us.”
Golden Plains mayor Cr Owen Sharkey wrote to AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan, AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper, Minister for Sport Martin Pakula and Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams at the end of December – asking that they ensure Smythesdale is not left high and dry without a competition in 2019.
Cr Sharkey sought an immediate response, but there has been no major movement as a result of this local government campaign.