WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country has backed a move by the Natimuk Football Netball Club and the Horsham RSL Diggers to amalgamate.
A vote by members at both clubs on Wednesday night confirmed the two clubs will merge and become the Natimuk United Football Netball Club.
The new entity will play in the Horsham and District league and be based at Natimuk with some games to be played at the Horsham City Oval.
Natimuk president Andrew Carine, who will also assume the presidency of the new entity, said it was a relief to have the merger finalised.
“Time was our biggest hurdle as we only had about six weeks to go through a process that normally would take three to four months,” Carine said.
“Ultimately we have made this decision in the hope of attracting players, supporters and volunteers which like most country clubs in a small town is our biggest challenge.”
“We think it strengthens our financial position and it’s obviously an attraction to play some games at the Horsham City Oval, but really it’s about the people.”
WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country Football Development Managers for the region, Bruce Petering and Jason Muldoon, have both taken an active role in supporting the talks between the two clubs.
“We’ve been in constant communication with the two clubs and provided support and advice to keep the process on track,” Petering said.
“There are a number of boxes that must be ticked for such a merger to occur and both club-votes on Wednesday night received above the 80 per cent approval from their respective members to confirm give the green light.”
Petering said it was a positive outcome for the local football community.
“It’s important that the Horsham Diggers have somewhere to hang their honour boards and for their members and past players to see their long and proud history continue.”
“On behalf of myself, Jason and WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country, we’d liked to wish the new club all the best in their endeavours to forge a sustainable future in the Horsham and District league.”
In other news in the region, the newly recruited Wimmera / Mallee commissioners were inducted on Monday night. The Commission, comprising of eight respected local football administrators and business people, will play an important role in developing a strategic plan for football in the region in a move to give local people a bigger say in decisions that affect the local community.