THE Mininera and District Football League’s Wimmera-based clubs are disappointed one club’s bid to join the competition was knocked back.
Smythesdale Football Netball Club’s future looks grim after its bid to join the Mininera league for next season was blocked.
The club’s request to join the Maryborough Castlemaine District league was blocked in September and a subsequent appeal to AFL Victoria also failed.
Following that, the Central Highlands league – which has been the club's home since 2011 – indicated it did not want the Bulldogs back in season 2019.
From there, the approach to Mininera and District gained momentum, but has amounted to nothing.
Mininera and District league president John Box confirmed on Thursday afternoon that a vote by member clubs had gone against the Bulldogs.
He didn't wish to expand on how many clubs voted against Smythesdale’s transfer request, but it is understood the Bulldogs needed 75 per cent of the competition’s 12 existing teams to give them the green light.
Tracy McCartney of the Great Western said the club had welcomed Smythesdale’s pitch to join the league.
“We are very disappointed that they are not allowed to join the league,” she said.
“To have another team join was the best thing for the league.”
Ararat Eagles was another club who had publicly declared their support.
Newly appointed president, Mark Smithewick, said he disagreed with the decision.
“I am against it,” he said. “We had to accept them in. We were in the same boat three or four years ago, and in a bad way.”
The league’s chairman John Box issued a statement on the decision.
“Our clubs and the league board have spent a lot of time considering Smythesdale’s application. We don't want to see any club without a league to play in, but our clubs, rightly, have to consider their interests first,” the statement read.
“We thank Smythesdale for expressing an interest in joining the MDFL and are appreciative for the consideration our clubs gave to this application.”
Smythesdale president John Cranny was a disappointed man when contacted on Thursday afternoon, saying people at the club had been acting angrily at the news.
He said it was like his club was a virus that nobody wanted to touch.
“Whatever they (Mininera and District clubs) wanted us to do we would do because we have a club that wants to play footy and netball,” he said.
Cranny said the most likely scenario was that Smythesdale would now go into recess throughout the 2019 season.
“We can apply for Colac and District league maybe, but it’s all too late now,” he said.
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