Expect to see strong and vibrant top-age junior competitions across the AFL South East (AFLSE) region in 2019 after the coming together of the Frankston and Districts Junior Football League (FDJFL) and South East Juniors (SEJ).
The FDJFL and SEJ will unite in competition in both Under-17 Boys and Under-18 Girls after club representatives met with AFLSE Region General Manager John Anderson and Chief Operating Officer Shaun Connell last week.
The meetings came at the request of clubs, to explore the potential interaction of teams in both leagues to address competition concerns across the FDJFL and SEJ.
At both meetings, AFLSE received in-principle support from clubs and will now proceed with the challenging task of pulling the competition together. The composition of the new league could see up to six divisions of U17 Boys, complemented by a single division of U18 Girls.
The boys’ competitions will accommodate a mix of top age, bottom age and hybrid teams in graded divisional set ups.
Connell said there were many benefits associated with the new format and thanked clubs for understanding the unique challenges in creating even competitions for both boys and girls to participate in.
“The main objective is to create sustainable and even competitions that provide an incentive for boys and girls to continue to play football,” Connell said.
“The combined FDJFL and SEJ model is certainly in the best interests of football across the region, and clubs are certainly on board in that regard. Given we now have the mandate of the clubs, we will work on operational matters which need to be sorted out quickly including the creation of new competition rules.
“The clubs have been terrific, recognising that the new model is in the best interests of football and that working through some difficult operational issues will be seen in that light.
“We look forward to working closely with both the FDJFL and SEJ clubs to bring this new competition to fruition. It’s an exciting initiative for junior football in the region.”
AFL South East will release important information, such as competition management and grading-period fixturing in due course.