Board looks further afield to fill vacancies

WANGARATTA will be represented on the Ovens and Murray board for the first time since 2004.

In a move that has drawn plenty of praise from clubs based outside Albury-Wodonga, Wangaratta-based businessman Jason McPhail and former member for Murray Valley Ken Jasper have been elected onto the board for the remainder of the year.

Yarrawonga president Glenn Brear, who in May described the Albury-Wodonga centric nature of the board as “unhealthy”, said it was great news for the league.

“It’s certainly a great decision,” Brear said.

Wangaratta Rovers president Mark Booth shared Brear’s view.

“We’re more than happy with it,” said Booth, who along with Phil Nolan was the last Wangaratta-based board member.

They both departed the board eight years ago.

Wangaratta president Paul Challman was also happy with the appointment.

“We’ve very pleased,” Challman said.

“I’ve been trying to canvas Ken ever since he retired from politics.”

Jasper and McPhail will fill the void left by former members Gavin Cator and Linsday Poy.

Poy’s spot has been vacant for almost two years while Cator recently joined the Goulburn Valley league board after becoming chief executive of Greater Shepparton Council late last year.

Acting chairman Graeme Patterson said the presence of board members based outside Albury-Wodonga was handy but it did not play a major role in their election.

“I wouldn’t say it was a significant part of the process but it’s certainly handy,” Patterson said.

“I maintain the board is transparent but it doesn’t hurt having representation outside Albury-Wodonga.

“Mainly because those members become more accessible to the clubs that aren’t based here.”

The pair will fill vacancies on the board until the annual meeting on December 3 where they are free to seek re-election.

“It is fantastic to have the two vacancies filled by highly skilled gentleman,” Patterson said.

“Jason and Ken will bring their own experience and character to board.

“The league looks forward to their involvement for the remainder of the 2012 season.”