The Mininera and District Football League’s 96th season of community football commences on Saturday with a replay of last season’s grand final.
A number of clubs have recruited strongly seeking to improve on their last season’s final position and join in September action.
The loss of a few top players from community clubs is disappointing to the league and football in general.
The junior competition is now made of seven teams with the withdrawal of Ararat Eagles from the junior competition.
The largest town in the league has approximately 180 eligible players in the age grouping of the competition to provide a junior team in the competition.
Between seasons, major changes have taken place with the current doyen of football Managers, David Wade retiring.
Wade is a life member of the league and his transparent and effective management centred on community clubs having total democratic input to decision making.
All clubs, players and supporters salute David for his magnificent and creative contribution for local community football.
The position is now supplied by AFL Victoria Country, opinions suggest clubs may lose the local democratic process of community football with this major change.
The points allowed under the salary cap limitation have risen to 47 for some clubs, whilst the rest remain at the previous level.
The reserves and the junior competition will be going without boundary umpires during the first five games in a trial of a new rule.
When the ball is adjudged out of bounds the ball will be brought in 10m and thrown up by a central umpire.
The league has also been announced as being within the Western Bulldogs talent area which controls the player pathway programs that progress young talent to a higher level.
A report lodged by Moyston-Willaura arising from a finals game was lodged to the Wickliffe-Lake Bolac club which included two incidents.
The final tribunal hearing was held in December with the panel finding Brad Keilar was found to have no case to answer while Mick Otto was given a two match suspension to commence in 2018.
The process must have created a time record between start and finish, stretching out to three months.
Reports prior to the new system were held within seven days after lodgement of the incident, including some the morning of the game.
Glenthompson-Dunkeld v Woorndoo-Mortlake (Dunkeld), Lismore-Derrinallum v Wickliffe-Lake Bolac (Derrinallum), Ararat Eagles v Tatyoon, Hawkesdale Macarthur v SMW Rovers (Macarthur), Caramut v Great Western, Moyston-Willaura v Penshurst (Willaura).