THE SOUTHERN Mallee Giants have been granted approval to compete in the Wimmera FL for season 2018.
The four-step process has been achieved within a two week period, with all parties conscious of time and the effect on the other members within both the Wimmera FL and the Horsham District Football Netball league.
The concept of that now sees the SMG move leagues initiated within the interview process of the Future Directions Review that is currently underway.
The concept was put to the SMG executive who were initially hesitant due to timing, however the idea quickly became a realistic prospect that the club was keen to explore.
Both local league presidents were consulted on the concept and agreed that if it could be arranged for this coming season, then why not, if it is what’s best for football and netball in the region.
Bruce Petering, AFL Wimmera Mallee Region General Manager said, “once the Giants were keen to explore possibilities, the concept quickly gained momentum to the situation we have now that all governing parties have approved the move.”
“It is exciting for the region. We now have another very competitive team in the Wimmera FL and the HDFNL is much more even at the top end with a host of team’s real premiership contenders,” he said.
HDFNL board voted to release the Giants, the WFL and WNA voted to accept the new team and finally the AFL Wimmera Mallee Commission has approved the move.
“This represents a real positive within the AFL Wimmera Mallee Commission and the governing process locally that we can achieve a result quickly. What it also displays is that clubs and leagues can be fluid in their makeup,” Mr Petering said.
“If a club is better suited within another league, then why shouldn’t there be a process that allows that to take place” said Bruce Petering. “This decision in no way is a negative towards the Future Directions review process, in reality it complements what the review’s aim is, in structuring the game for the best possible result for the game,” he said.
“As seen with the Edenhope Apsley’s discussion and decision, 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,” Mr Petering said.
“What this all looks like is yet to be finalised and more consultation will be required”, he said.
A revised draw will be released within days that will allow clubs to finalise their planning.
A mark of the excitement is that a number of WFL clubs are scrambling to host the Giants first up.