A new era in Wimmera football-netball is closer to reality, with the appointment of a new board of management.
In late 2020, Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association members voted unanimously to join the two entities, ending years of discussion and speculation.
The Wimmera Football Netball League was born as a result, and Pauline Butler will be tasked with leading the league into a new frontier.
Butler will serve as chairperson of the WFNL for the 2021 season, continuing a long-held association with football and netball in the region.
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Butler most recently served as the Wimmera Netball Association's senior interleague coach in 2019, was once president of the Wimmera Netball Association and was previously a Wimmera Football League netball commissioner.
Angela Ballinger will serve as Butler's deputy. Ballinger is a Wimmera Netball Association life-member and sat on the independent body that explored the logistics of a merger between the football and netball leagues.
Decades of sports administration experience will return to the fold, with Bruce Petering taking on the league's football director's role.
Petering spent seven years with AFL Victoria and was AFL Wimmera-Mallee's region manager before his role was made redundant in a restructure of the sport's governing body.
Stawell Warriors stalwart Toni Stewart will serve as netball director. Stewart has held countless roles with the Warriors and was the last president of the standalone Wimmera Netball Association.
Shavaughn Neale will take on a role focused on netball umpiring.
Longtime administrator Neil King shoulders a secretary role that will branch out into football umpiring and events and sponsorship.
Wes Illig will oversee junior development, an area he looked after while on the Wimmera Football League commission.
The Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association were separate bodies, despite the leagues coordinating their fixtures.
Governance of the Wimmera Netball Association rotated around the participating members, with each club asked to provide a president, secretary and a board for a season.
The Wimmera Football League had its own independent commission, chaired by Trevor Albrecht.
Albrecht opted not to seek a position on the new board, and instead enjoy some down time after seven years on the commission.
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