The Southern Football Netball League will welcome two new clubs into the fold in 2018 after AFL Victoria officially approved requests from the Hampton Park Football Netball Club and Frankston Dolphins Football Netball Club to join the SFNL.
The Redbacks join the SFNL after the state governing body recently approved a transfer from South East Football Netball League, while the Dolphins, an established junior club with no ties to the VFL side of the same name, will enter its inaugural senior team in the Southern league next season.
The SFNL Administration and Football Operations Portfolio met with representatives from both the HPFNC and FDFNC on multiple occasions throughout the year to carefully assess their applications to join the League.
SFNL General Manager – Operations David Jennings praised both clubs for their diligence through the application process, while also reaffirming the League’s commitment to ensuring that the viability of existing Member Clubs is not adversely affected.
“It was a very thorough process. We asked a lot of questions of the clubs and had to come back to them several times. To their credit, both of their submissions were outstanding and we’re confident with where we have landed,” Jennings said.
“The obligation of the Board is to weigh up the needs and wants of all existing Member Clubs to ensure any new club joining is in the best interest of the League. Both Hampton Park and Frankston Dolphins have demonstrated their commitment to the SFNL and we are confident that both clubs will continue to add value to our football and netball community.”
Mal Lewis, President of Frankston Dolphins JFC’s start-up Senior affiliate, expressed his delight at club’s acceptance into the SFNL and the opportunities it presents for the club’s junior players to pathway into senior football.
“The Frankston Dolphins Football Netball Club are very excited to have been accepted into the SFNL. The divisional football that SFNL offers is perfect for our new Senior club to enter,” Lewis said.
“Since going public with our intention to launch Under 19s, Reserves, Seniors football and netball, the response has been amazing. Our current Senior Women’s team will also come under the Frankston Dolphins FNC banner.
“This will now give our junior club players a pathway into senior footy and be able to stay at a club they love, while also providing an opportunity for players that want to get back into footy or that are maybe struggling to get a kick in the higher levels to be able to play at a local club.
“A lot of work has gone on to get to this point and… the strategy that we set out is all falling into place. It’s a truly exciting time for the FDJFC and the newly formed FDFNC.”
In a statement, Hampton Park FNC co-Presidents Tim Ziegeler and Mick O’Brien said they were thrilled to join the Southern league and hope to rebuild after a lack of on-field success in recent seasons.
“We are really pleased with the outcome and thank the SFNL Board and football operations department for their assistance with our move to the SFNL,” they said.
“We are looking forward to becoming a productive member of the SFNL and seeing the club become competitive again.”
An announcement will be made shortly on the SFNL’s competition structure for the 2018 season.