NORTH Ballarat Roosters’ decision to cut their development league team is set to boost the region’s football leagues.
The Wimmera, Mallee and Horsham District leagues all have Roosters-listed players, which means they could play larger roles with their home clubs in 2014.
The Roosters aim to keep a list of about 35 players.
Those not required – about 10 to 12 each week – will return to their nominated clubs.
Warrack Eagle Jesse Murphy played 10 of his 14 matches in the development league this season, while team-mate James Kirby played all 15.
Horsham’s Chris Giampaolo played four games, with Hopetoun-bred pair Lucas Cook and Coleman Schache playing five and four games respectively.
Taylors Lake’s Sam Clyne and Pimpinio’s Pat Barber played all 15 of their games in the reserves.
Murphy, who played too many games for the Roosters to qualify for WFL finals this year, said he was a good chance to choose Warrack Eagles as his home club for 2014.
“If we don’t get a game in the seniors, then we go back to our local clubs,” he said.
“They won’t force us to play in the Ballarat Football League.
"I’ve played my best footy at the Warrack Eagles and I know everyone.”
Former AFL Victoria Wimmera development manager Geoff Burdett believes the move is a positive one.
“It will be a good thing,” he said.
“It will be played similar to North Ballarat Rebels, which means players are eligible to play for their local clubs more often.
“I’ve been on that for a couple of years, because I think you’re better off playing senior country football rather than VFL reserves.”
Burdett said it was a win-win situation and had the potential to make the region’s football leagues stronger.
Wimmera Football League chief commissioner John Smith welcomed the announcement and said it was great news for the league.