GREG Schultz is Wimmera Football League’s new chief commissioner.
Schultz was elected to the position at a league commission meeting on Wednesday night.
He takes over from departing chief commissioner John Smith, who was in the role since 2008.
Smith will head up the new AFL Wimmera-Mallee Region Commission next year.
Schultz has been on the commission for seven years but was not nominated as chief commissioner last year.
He helped organise this year’s interleague campaign.
The commission will have three new faces in 2014. Gary Jones, Trevor Albrecht and Howard Russell have all joined the commission, while Ray Hutchinson and Neil King will continue serving.
Hutchinson is the deputy chief commissioner and Jones will serve as treasurer, while the remaining commissioners have yet to be assigned portfolios.
Also on the commission are Wimmera Netball Association representatives Carly Werner and Cathie Weidemann and umpires representatives Anthony Croke and Ian Clough.
Schultz paid tribute to the outgoing Smith, saying his predecessor left the league in a strong position.
“John has done a wonderful job,” he said.
“He’s a good leader and he’s been a good mentor to everyone who has been on the commission – we’ve all learnt from him.”
Schultz said his approach to the job would be largely the same as Smith’s.
He said his main priority would be governing in the best interests of the Wimmera league’s clubs.
“I don’t think we’re going to do anything too differently because you can’t change things first up,” he said.
“You’ve got to feel your way into the role and work with the other commissioners and learn what the other clubs want.
"We might be governing the league but we’re here for the clubs and we can’t lose perspective on that.”
Schultz said while he did not want to make any major changes, he would be taking over as chief commissioner at an interesting point in the league’s development.
With Horsham missing the grand final for the first time in a decade, Schultz said the league was becoming more even.
He said another priority was getting the interleague squad back on the winners’ list.
The Wimmera league has slipped down the Victorian Country Football League Country Championship rankings with losses in past years.
“I worked hard in that interleague role with Brendan Hoffmann last year and we got pretty close to a formidable side in Casey Cardinia,” he said.
“We’ve got North Central next year, so that would be a major goal – to try to put the Wimmera league back on the map and win an interleague game.”
Schultz is a former Horsham District and Wimmera player and has coached in the Mallee Football League.