Horsham District Football League, netball association to merge

HORSHAM District Football League and Horsham District Netball Association will merge to form the Horsham District Football Netball League.

The merger was first officially proposed at the HDFL board’s annual general meeting in November, but plans to unify the bodies have been in the works for nearly two years.

The HDFL board voted in favour of the merger in November, but the move could not become official until the HDNA met to vote on the proposal.

The HDNA board met for the first time since the district league’s decision on Wednesday night, voting unanimously in favour of a merger.

The football league voted at its November meeting to change its constitution to allow netball representatives on the board in anticipation of the merger.

HDFL chairman Graeme King will continue to serve as chairman of the newly combined football-netball league.

District netball association president Linda Kelly, who will now serve on the football-netball league board, said the outcome was a great result for both leagues.

“I think it’s a great move and we should have done it years ago,” Ms Kelly said.

“It’s taken us two or three years to finally get it this far but now that it’s done I think it will lead on to bigger and better things.”

Ms Kelly said the merger would significantly cut the amount of time administrators spent in meetings.

Western Vic Football general manger Stephen McQueen said it was a good outcome for all involved.

“Operationally it will be an excellent move – it will streamline all the operational aspects of both leagues,” he said.

Mr McQueen said the newly combined league would now need new interleague uniforms and a new logo.

The netball association also voted on Wednesday night to include a fourth senior grade of competition this season.

The association already had A, B and C Grade senior competitions but a new C Reserve grade will be added this year.

Ms Kelly said with player numbers high around the league, the move would ensure junior and senior players did not miss out on the chance to be involved.

“We pride ourselves on being family orientated and this way it provides greater opportunities for players and families to have a game,” she said.

“With far out places like Harrow-Balmoral and Edenhope-Apsley, a lot of footballers won’t travel to play for those teams unless they know their partner can get a game there too, so it helps out in a lot of ways.”

Ms Kelly said seven of the league’s 10 clubs had indicated they would field teams in the C Reserve grade, with a further two undecided.

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