THE shockwave following the AFL North East Border review into the Ovens and King Football Netball League have been massive this week, with former Benalla and District league clubs expressing a sense of “anger and disappointment” at the findings put forth.
The AFL NEB Commission has recommended the OKFNL field no more than 12 teams from 2014 onwards, primarily to put an end to constantly one-sided football matches, with former B&D clubs Tatong, Goorambat and Swanpool under the most pressure to merge or fold.
Magpies president Felicity Munro has been the most vocal opponent of the findings, drafting an open letter to media outlets denouncing the process and the OKFNL’s “lack of support” for her club since its arrival at the end of 2009.
Speaking to the Wangaratta Chronicle, Munro said she understood the review was “something that had to happen”, but felt Tatong was always in a no-win situation.
“John O’Donohue (region manager, AFL NEB) is only doing his job – it’s difficult for him to tap into the passion that exists in the community for this club and to realise what this means for us,” Munro said.
“The problem for us is that there has never been any balance.
“We came into a league that is dominated by Wangaratta-based clubs, and we have never really been accepted.”