THE Ovens and Murray could be without interleague football next year with the AFL Victoria Community Championships on the brink of collapse.
A decision on the future of the championships is imminent with AFL NEB advising the Ovens and Murray to explore other options.
The move has come about following the withdrawal of many of the 30 competitions, including the Eastern, Essendon and District and Central Highlands leagues, in recent years.
AFL NEB region general manager John O'Donohue confirmed a review was underway with a decision likely to be made next week.
"A number of metro leagues have pulled out in recent years and other leagues are starting to do the same now as well," O'Donohue said.
"My advice to the O and M the other day was while it's all still pending have a plan B and source out leagues who may want to play.
"Consultations are still being done but I would think it's unlikely the championships will continue next year."
If the championships fall over, the Ovens and Murray's best chance of securing a representative match could be against neighbours and fierce rivals Goulburn Valley.
Representative matches would depend on whether AFL Victoria funding is still available.
Ovens and Murray general manager Sean Barrett said the league had always been a strong supporter of interleague football and would be disappointed to see it disappear.
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"If it doesn't go ahead, we would certainly be open to exploring other avenues," Barrett said.
"Whether that's with traditional interleague adversaries like the GV, Ballarat or Bendigo, we will go through that process once we find out more from AFL Victoria."
The Ovens and Murray was set to play Jonathon Brown's Hampden league on the Border next season.
"If you go back over 15 or 20 years, interleague has gone through different phases and formats," he said.
"It needs to be re-energised every couple of years and, whether it still has the energy left, is the question."
The Ovens and Murray is eager for a decision on the championships so it can finalise its draw.