GVL remains committed to interleague

By Alex Mitchell

As the future of interleague football hangs in the balance, the Goulburn Valley League remains committed to fielding a representative team next year.

AFL Victoria is reviewing its Community Championships and a decision on their immediate future is expected in the coming days, with a strong possibility they will be cancelled for next season.

But GVL operations manager Grant Wilson said his league had communicated to head office its support for interleague and, while he waited for a decision, remained expecting to play Geelong Football League next season.

“The Goulburn Valley League loves interleague footy and wants to be a part of it,” Wilson said.

“That's what we put in our survey and we still see a need for it. Until we get final notification from AFL Victoria, we're at this stage still expecting to be part of that three versus four game next year.

“There's a lot of rumours going around and we do hear those, but until we're let know what's going on we have to assume it's on.

“It's currently scheduled in our fixture for next season based on the same weekend as this year, but we'd hope to know one way or the other by the end of the week because it has dragged on a bit.”

Typically an interleague powerhouse, the GVL has found strong buy-in from its players in recent years, leading to consecutive wins that have shot the league up the rankings to number four.

Should the championships continue, the GVL is slated to play Geelong for the chance to move into the first-versus-second clash the following year.

Wilson said the support from players and clubs in his tenure had been strong and suggested the league would look at alternate representative fixtures should AFL Victoria pull the plug.

“It varies a bit between the clubs, some don't really like seeing their players play,” he said.

“But the overall buy-in in my four-and-a-half years has been one of support.

“I'm sure regardless of what AFL Victoria decides we will pursue some sort of interleague football and netball next season.”