Clubs calling for changes


A Western Football League coach is among those calling for changes to be made to the competition structure, or risk losing clubs and players.

In the off season, the league moved from three divisions to two divisions. The top division increased to nine teams, while division 2 has 14 teams after Glen Orden failed to get a team up.

Concerns about blowouts in the scores were circulating before the season started and they were validated in round one.

Sunshine beat North Sunshine by 252 points, while Albion and Newport also had 100 point wins, while Braybrook won by 92 points.

A division 2 coach, who didn’t want to be named, is calling on the league to make changes now.

“Had they listened to the people, this wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “When you have the top teams in division 2 that could comfortably beat some division 1 teams, it’s hard.

“Multiple clubs want it to be changed and it needs to be fixed before it is too late.

The coach said that they believed that it needed to return to three divisions or if it was too hard in terms of fixturing, keep the same fixture but play two different finals series, with a finals series for the bottom seven sides.

The coach said if changes weren’t made it would have a massive impact on the competition. He said other clubs shared the same view and wanted changes.

“People are leaving straight away,” he said. “Some teams struggled to field teams in round one.

“Tarneit was calling out for players and it’s only round one.

“We will see senior teams forfeit this season.”

The coach said he was expecting 400-plus losses during the season and that fans would turn away from turning up if they knew they were expecting big losses.

“The WFL has to act and respond to this before it’s too late,” he said. “They will kill the participation of people in sport.”

Sunshine coach Ben Chapman said after his side’s big win against North Sunshine, that top teams from division 2 should not be playing the low teams from division 3 so early in the season.

Meanwhile a petition has been set up by one fan who has accused the league of deliberately forcing lower category recreational clubs to extinction.

“The heartless decision to take away the third division in 2024 will shut the doors for multiple clubs,” the petition said.

The WFL said it wouldn’t be commenting at this stage.

Tara Murray