Corowa-Rutherglen needs reserve grade team for the future, says coach Rob Black

COROWA-Rutherglen reserve grade coach Rob Black believes the Ovens and Murray club would be making a mistake by scrapping the team from the league.

While Black acknowledged the proposal to align with Hume league club CDHBU had merit, he said dropping a side could have serious repercussions.

The Roos’ plan was set to be discussed at a league delegates meeting on Wednesday night with further discussions in the pipeline.

“I think we need our reserves,” Black said.

“If you look at our registered players, 14 boys have played seniors or reserves, 11 boys are coming out of our under-18s next year and another 16 boys have been helping out the rest of the club.

“The issue is not with the reserves, it’s actually not recruiting enough senior footballers.

“A lot of volunteers at a club come from the reserves as well so it’s not just the football part of it that will be hurt.

“I think we need to look at doing things differently.”

Black, who has coached Corowa-Rutherglen’s reserves for the past two seasons, played 74 players last season and is up to 53 this year.

He said many had been on permits as the Roos battle a crippling injury list.

“The players have been fantastic in changing work rosters and other things,” he said.

“A lot of stuff is happening behind the scenes so i think there is a lot of positives ahead of us.

“We need a good core group of regional players that is topped up with a couple from outside the region.

“Beau Longmire has put in thousands of hours about the sustainability of football over the years and we aren’t the only club facing problems.

“It’s right across Victorian clubs and leagues.”

About 120 people attended a future direction meeting on Monday night with steering committee spokesman Beau Longmire saying reserves were unsustainable.

The Roos spent $30,000 on the reserves last year.

Corowa-Rutherglen’s proposed alignment means it would contract about 35 players next season with the top 21 playing Ovens and Murray seniors and the rest filtering back to CDHBU or other neighbouring clubs.

The netball structure would remain the same.

Corowa-Rutherglen’s reserves have won one match over the past two seasons.