Shuffle of bye on the cards

ANOTHER split round could be on the cards for the Ovens and Murray later this year as the league looks to combat the death of the Australian Country Championships.

The competition’s next bye, originally set down for July 5, is no longer relevant after Victoria Country made the decision earlier this year to withdraw from the national carnival.

AFL Victoria has instead fixtured a Country v Metro match, to be held on July 12.

A handful of the Ovens and Murray’s best players are expected to be selected to play in that game.

As a result, several clubs are now exploring the possibility of changing their round-12 games to Saturday, July 5.

Yarrawonga indicated yesterday it would move its round-12 clash with river rival Corowa-Rutherglen to a Saturday.

It had originally been scheduled for Sunday, July 13.

“Apart from big days like Anzac Day or Easter Sunday, we’re finding returns on a Saturday are better,” Pigeons’ president Glenn Brear said.

The Australian Country Championships, last held in Wagga in 2012, fell apart due largely to the dominance of Victoria.

Queensland and NSW indicated they would withdraw from the carnival to focus their efforts on the NEAFL, leaving just South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria to compete.