Peak footy body comes to Wodonga

AFLNEB will open offices in Wodonga’s Trotman Towers. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
AFLNEB will open offices in Wodonga’s Trotman Towers. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

AFL North East Border is about to have a bigger presence in Albury-Wodonga with the opening of offices in Trotman Towers in Wodonga in a fortnight.

The governing body for football in the area, which employs 11 people, will move into the multi-storey Hume Street building for 18 months before looking for more permanent headquarters.

AFL regional manager John O’Donohue said it was still in discussions with Albury and Wodonga councils about respective options at Lavington Oval and the yet-to-start Baranduda Fields sporting area.

Two staff members, Jeff Chandler and Mark Bywater, will move out of the Ovens and Murray Football-Netball League’s headquarters in Fallon Street into the Trotman building.

They will be joined by a soon-to-be-appointed operations manager for the Tallangatta and Upper Murray leagues.

Mr O’Donohue and another AFL North-East Border staffer, Grant Saunders, presently bas- ed in Wangaratta, plan to spend more time in Albury-Wodonga.

The AFL also has staff based in Dean Street, Albury, under the guidance of AFL NSW-ACT.

Plans for a sporting administration centre at the Albury Council-owned Lavington Oval were rolled out in 2009.

Funding for the pro- ject was switched to the Albury art gallery redevelopment when the NSW government failed to match the $3.5 million provided by the federal government and city ratepayers.

Mr O’Donohue said plans for Lavington were more advanced than Baranduda Fields.

“They are putting together a terms of reference for a working party to look at the possibilities of Lavington,” he said.

“It is with Albury Council at the moment.

“We’ve put submissions to Wodonga Council in terms of what our needs are and thoughts on facility needs are.

“Part of that would be the possibility of a regional administration centre.”

A thawing of tensions between AFL Victoria and AFL NSW-ACT over Border areas of responsibility would need to occur before all staff could work under the one roof.

“In the end it will be what is best for footy in the area,” Mr O’Donohue said.

The Ovens and Murray league has previously flagged its intention to move into a shared administration building.