League aims for independence

Woodend-Hesket Football Netball Club president Paul Podbury is enthusiastic about the Riddell League moving away from the AFL Goldfields hub and being self administered in 2021.
At the weekend, Podbury elaborated on the benefits the club presidents and current league board members saw in being more independent.
“The league wants to still be affiliated with AFL Victoria, different to what the Picola League did a few years ago,” he explained.
Podbury said the club presidents were pleased with the leadership being shown by RDFNL president Brenton Knott and the current board, and would welcome current league operations manager Jordan Doyle continuing in his role.
“It seems like we’ve been dictated to (by AFL Goldfields) in recent seasons and we can get a better outcome and can save on some administration costs,” he said.
The Ballarat League is also understood to be going down a similar road.
Podbury, who has been closely involved with football at Woodend for 20 years, said the most recent meeting of club presidents was very positive, and there was agreement that the league was tracking in the right direction.
He said the club presidents were passionate about grassroots football and netball, and there was confidence the new direction for the league would lead to better outcomes in 2021 and beyond.
It is no secret that some clubs have been unhappy about being tied up to services and direction provided through AFL Goldfields for some time.
With clubs departing from the league – Sunbury Kangaroos, Broadford and Rupertswood have gone in the past two years – remaining clubs have been taking a harder look at the pros and cons of continuing to be tied so closely with AFL Victoria.

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