SFNL Accepts Hampton Park Transfer
The SFNL Board has accepted a transfer application from Hampton Park Football Netball Club, with the South East Football Netball League club now one step closer to joining the Southern League.
The SFNL Football Operations Portfolio, a subcommittee of the League Board, recently met with the Hampton Park FNC Executive to discuss their transfer application in detail.
Additionally, the League sought feedback from SFNL Member Clubs, with a particular focus on the impact to the existing clubs in the region. The survey results indicated that the majority of clubs were supportive of the inclusion of Hampton Park into the SFNL.
The League Board has considered all feedback at length, and at the recommendation of the Football Operations Portfolio, has determined that Hampton Park be accepted into the SFNL in 2018 in the Division 3 competition.
A transfer application will now be submitted to AFL Victoria, with approval required from the state governing body before Hampton Park can be formally accepted into the SFNL.
SFNL CEO David Cannizzo said that the acceptance of Hampton Park’s transfer request was in the best interests of all parties, while maintaining that the long-term health and stability of existing SFNL Member Clubs is the League’s number one priority.
“The SFNL has a responsibility to the health of the game and game development in the region. It is in the best interests of the AFL, SFNL and Hampton Park FNC to support a transfer that will allow a community football club to find viability,” Mr Cannizzo said.
“The inclusion of Hampton Park into Division 3 will have great benefits to both the club and our competition. Not only will it strengthen the SFNL’s footprint in the outer south eastern region, which is a considerable growth area in Melbourne, but it will create new and exciting local derbies with existing SFNL clubs in the vicinity.
“With Hampton Park being an existing entity, rather than a brand new start up club that is building a list from scratch, we don’t believe their acceptance into the competition will have a profoundly negative impact on existing SFNL clubs in the region.
“However, the League remains fully committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of SFNL Member Clubs, and as such we have taken on board the feedback and put in place provisions to address some concerns regarding the impact this may have.”
These provisions include implementing a financial bond for a five-year period connected to a Memorandum of Understanding, as well as capping the number of players that can be transferred from one SFNL Member Club to Hampton Park.
No more than one player will be permitted to be transferred from one SFNL Member Club to the HPFNC in the preparation to and during the 2018 season, with this cap to be increased to two players for the 2019 season and beyond.
Hampton Park Co-Presidents Mick O’Brien and Tim Ziegeler said that while it hasn’t been an easy decision to transfer to the SFNL, it is one that the club needed to make to ensure its survival.
“We at HPFNC believe a move to the Southern Football Netball League is in the best interests of our club. This decision hasn’t been the easiest to make, however, we think this will be the right move for the club going forward,” Mr O’Brien and Mr Ziegeler stated.
“We have had our struggles on the field in recent seasons and this has directly led to difficulties in player recruitment and retention. We believe a move to the SFNL will assist us to find our competitive balance, which will ensure the survival of our club not only for the 2018 season, but for the next 10 plus years.
“Everyone knows that it’s time for a change, one that will help us rebuild, develop and hopefully help us find that bit of success all clubs are striving for.”
The SFNL has also commenced informal discussions related to a review of the current competition structure moving forward, particularly Division 3, with a discussion paper on proposed divisional structures to be distributed shortly.