THE Southern Mallee Giants had their request to compete in the Wimmera Football League for 2018 approved on Friday.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee commissioner Bruce Petering said moving the Giants to the Wimmera league was a positive for everyone involved.
“We now have another very competitive team in the Wimmera league and the HDFNL is much more even at the top end with a host of teams as real premiership contenders,” he said.
The approval was the final step in the process, after the Horsham District Football Netball League granted the club its application to leave the league on Wednesday night.
The Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball association then approved the club’s application to join their competitions. Netball association president Pauline Butler said delegates voted unanimously by email to welcome the Giants.
“During January it’s a very busy time with a lot of people away on holidays so it was an extra-ordinary meeting by correspondence,” she said. “Our by-laws allow for that and it saves everyone driving down the highway just to answer one question.
“We’ll have a special general meeting on February 7 prior to the ordinary meeting to formally adjust our by-laws to include the Giants.”
The move is part of the AFL Wimmera-Mallee’s review of football and netball in the region, as clubs discuss ways to ensure country football’s longevity.
Mr Petering said more changes could be made in the future.
“There is certainly a need to create the best possible structure, provide the required resources and have the most competent people within the industry being committed to making the decisions that will benefit the game well into the future,” he said.
Southern Mallee Giants president Brad Moore said everyone at the club was looking forward to competing in the Wimmera league this season.
“We were hoping it would go through and the result is good,” he said. “Everyone is looking forward to the season, right from players through to supporters.”
Mr Moore said the move was important in keeping interest at the club.
“We wanted to keep all of our players happy. Most of the senior football side were definitely looking for some more competitive football, so that was one part of it,” he said.
Revised fixtures for both leagues are expected to be released on Monday.