Play on Picola

March 07, 2018

Picola District Football Netball League operations manager Shane Railton is confident he has taken every measure to ensure the league will be viable this season.

After choosing to do away with its affiliation agreement with the AFL, the league was cut off from a host of services including insurance and online system Sports TG, a database used for fixturing and clearances.

But in an email sent to clubs following a board meeting on Monday night, Railton detailed the processes in place for the season.

Railton said he had secured insurance through broker Arthur J. Gallagher, while it is in the process of transferring its online information to another database.

‘‘We have insurance in place and active, our website was planned to be ready by Friday, but it’s well ahead of plan at the moment and we’re working through some stuff with the fixture and envisage in a day or so player contracts will be available for clubs,’’ he said.

While clearances will no longer be a part of the league’s guidelines existing contracts will still be honoured, as will suspensions.

Railton said clubs would need to provide proper documentation for recruits in order for the player to be cleared from the club they were wanting to transfer from.

The league will continue with the player points system despite not being bound by the cap.

The PDFNL adopted player points last year after much debate, but will continue with the cap in the future.

Railton said the league would continue to have that common element with the region’s other leagues so they would not be disadvantaged.

‘‘We opted to stay with the player points and will continue to operate with them on the understanding that it will operate in the same manner that it currently does,’’ Railton said.

‘‘We felt that it was an integrity issue, we could have quite easily whipped out (and abolished player points), but that would have put mounting pressure on leagues that weren’t responsible for the decisions, so it was in the broader interest of football not just ourselves.’’

About 15 football and netball leagues across Victoria met in Bungaree last month to discuss the future of football in the state and Railton said he had received support from many following the decision not to affiliate.

‘‘We’ve had overwhelming support from leagues locally and abroad through Victoria which has been phenomenal and that comes from people I’ve never spoken to like ex-league presidents,’’ he said.

‘‘The support from people in country Vic has blown my mind.’’

AFL Goulburn Murray region general manager Martin Gleeson yesterday reiterated the possibility of starting up a rival competition in which PDFNL clubs who wished to be affiliated could join.

‘‘If there is interest from clubs in remaining within the system, including insurance, player transfer regulations and pathway programs then it’s important that they be provided with an option to do so,’’ he said.

‘‘As well as retaining the current benefits of affiliation the alternate competition will be governed by a local advisory committee, be administered from the AFL GM office and will engage the services of an affiliated umpiring group to officiate matches.’’

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