New South East Working Group announced
January 30, 2023
By SANFL Media
The SANFL has today announced the members of the South East Football and Netball Working Group to consider the future structure of competitions in the region.
Following an open nomination process, a list of nine club, league and community football representatives will form the working group which will meet for the first time on Wednesday 1 February.
SANFL chief executive Matt Duldig said he was pleased to confirm the working group would be led by chairman Tony Irvine OAM, a former local government chief executive for more than 20 years and football administrator.
“With 30 years’ experience in local government and community service in Port Lincoln and surrounding areas, Tony has a great understanding of the importance of football and netball clubs in regional communities,” Mr Duldig said.
“We are delighted that Tony is offering his support and chairing the South East Working Group, as he has been a key player in leading leagues and clubs through a successful process of change on the Eyre Peninsula.”
Chairman of the Eyre Peninsula Football Council since 2019, Irvine continues to make a valuable contribution to the future of football on the west coast, having previously served as President of the Ceduna Blues and Chairman of the Mortlock Shield Committee.
Mr Duldig said joining Irvine on the task force would be some of the most respected names in the region, including former Glenelg captain and 212-game SA Football Hall of Famer Ben Mules and renowned Limestone Coast football- identity Adam Merrett.
The formation of the working group follows a comprehensive review of South East competition structures undertaken last year and a commitment to change. As endorsed by the SA Football Commission in October 2022, a decision was made to form the working group and begin league structural review with change to take place for the 2024 season.
Mr Duldig said the working group would be supported by three sub-committees with a key focus on Juniors, Leagues and Clubs.
The Juniors sub-committee will be chaired by Heath Sims, while outgoing SA Football Commissioner Tom Zorich will head both the League and Club sub-committees.
League managers from the Mid South Eastern Football Netball League, Western Border Football and Netball League and Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League are among members of the Junior and League sub-committees.
The League Sub-Committee will then nominate nine club representatives from the region to form the Club Sub-Committee with a specific focus on club-related information.
“Importantly, the structure and people who have come together to form the working group and sub-committees are of a high caliber and are respected local figures who will ensure the best outcome for the region,” he said.
The first meeting of the working group on Wednesday will be held in Mt Gambier with an action plan to be drawn up and implemented over the coming months.