RENOWN Wimmera football enthusiast Fred Mellington has taken on the role as chairman of the Horsham District Football Netball League for 2020.
Mr Mellington takes the reins from outgoing chairman Graeme King, who served as league chairman for nine years, since 2011.
"When someone has been in the role for that long, they certainly leave big shoes to fill," Mr Mellington said.
"Graeme has moved down to Geelong and it's obviously too difficult for him to continue with the role.
"He's also done more than his fair share of work with nine years in the job."
Mr Mellington brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served on the board of the Horsham District Football Netball league for 19 years. He has also previously served as chairman in 2009 and 2010.
Joining Mr Mellington on the board is deputy chairman Les Power, Tom Houlihan, and four new board members, Jan Dunlop, Seona Maybery, Sharon Fedke and Anthony Robson.
Mr Mellington hoped his experience would prove helpful.
"With so many new board members coming on, I thought it was prudent for me with my experience to step up and have another go as chairman," Mr Mellington said.
"We've basically got a whole new board coming in with fresh ideas and fresh motivations.
"We're looking forward to working with them and understanding some new methods and their hopes for the league."
Mr Mellington said one of his main focuses as chairman would be to maintain healthy relationships with the district league's 11 competing clubs.
"I just want to maintain a working relationship with our clubs, with a big emphasis on communication and accountability," he said.
I just want to maintain a working relationship with our clubs, with a big emphasis on communication and accountability.Fred Mellington
Mr Mellington said one of the biggest concerns facing the Horsham District league - and country football across Victoria - was playing numbers.
"The issues of junior numbers and junior retention are fairly evident, and through that the viability of clubs," Mr Mellington said. "There's no secret about that, and that is a state-wide issue.
"That is certainly something we need to be thinking about."
Nevertheless, Mr Mellington said the district league looked prime for a terrific 2020 season.
"A lot of clubs seem to have recruited really well and that is a big positive for the league," he said.
"We're looking forward to another great and hopefully competitive season."
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