O and M boss says league must have another grade of football and netball

O and M chairman David Sinclair says AFL Victoria's equalisation policy will take another half a decade to gain the greatest benefits.
O and M chairman David Sinclair says AFL Victoria's equalisation policy will take another half a decade to gain the greatest benefits.

New O and M chairman David Sinclair says another grade of football and netball is on his wish list.

Sinclair says the league most combat district football’s “cradle to grave” mentality, where players can join a club at under 12s and retire at senior level.

A candid Sinclair spoke on a number of topics, including

  • Equalisation will take another four-five years
  • The league must immediately fix the poor grand final crowds 

Sinclair has spent 13 years on the board and was vice-chairman to recently retired Graeme Patterson.

“Major league football is trying to compete with district football, that has under 14s and 17s, as well as six or seven grades of netball,” he said.

“On my wish list it would be for the Ovens and Murray to get another grade of netball and another game of football.

“But it’s not something we can control, it’s got to be ticked off by AFL Victoria and AFL North East Border.”

On my wish list it would be for the Ovens and Murray to get another grade of netball and ... football.

David Sinclair

The Goulburn Valley will include under 16s in 2019.

The Saturday-centric O and M has three grades, with the Border’s under 16 players affiliated with the Albury-Wodonga Junior Football League, which plays on Sundays.

Equalisation has been a red-hot topic for a number of years, with clubs envious of Albury’s powerhouse status.

AFL Victoria introduced a statewide salary cap and player points system, with Albury suffering a shock grand final loss to Wangaratta.

“I think it will be four to five years before we see the benefits,” Sinclair said.

“The points are starting to bite, but it will take some time for the salary cap to bed down.”

Sinclair says the flipside of a closer competition is the lack of superstars, such as Brendan Fevola.

“The standard of the footy will drop to a certain degree,” he said.

He admits the league must get 7500 to its grand final to break even, with the league losing $25,807 last year.