From left, AFL South East Region General Manager John Anderson puts pen to paper, watched on by MPJFL President Andrew Souter.
The Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League (MPJFL) and its 15 member clubs will enjoy the benefits of affiliation with AFL South East after signing agreements with the regional governing body.
On a landmark occasion at Hastings on Thursday 15 November, AFL South East Region General Manager John Anderson gained the signatures of the 15 MPJFL member clubs on Club Affiliation Agreements with all now affiliated with AFL South East.
MPJFL President Andrew Souter also signed the League Affiliation Agreement, binding the MPJFL to the rules and regulations of AFL South East and AFL Victoria for the next three years.
Anderson said the signing of the agreements was a feather in the cap of AFL South East and the MPJFL and created an exciting opportunity going forward.
“The formality of signing the affiliation agreements brings the two organisations much closer together and means we will be working in a more positive and constructive environment,” Anderson said.
“AFL South East has provided the benefits of affiliation in good faith in the past, but these agreements signify a closer working relationship with the league and the clubs.
“Under the affiliation agreement AFL South East and the MPJFL will continue to work together to identify additional services that the Commission can provide for the benefit of the MPJFL and its clubs.”
The MPJFL will now receive all of the benefits that come with affiliation, such as insurance through the Australian Football National Risk Protection Program, access to databases operated by Sports TG, and support for talent and participation pathways, including Auskick and TAC Cup.
The MPJFL will continue to be a part of the AFLSE Regional Junior Championships, with leads to V/Line Cup representation, and will also benefit with access to the Melbourne Football Club Next Generation Academy.
In terms of participation growth, AFLSE Football Development Manager Cam Roberts has an excellent relationship with the MPJFL clubs and now has the formal agreement in place to work closely with the clubs to grow participation in the region.
Anderson said AFL South East and the MPJFL could now work together to bring a competitive environment to the upper echelon of junior football.
“One of the first major issues we will look at addressing is the potential for a combined competition between the FDJFL (Frankston Districts Junior Football League) and MPJFL at the top age groups, under 16 and 17, to provide a divisional structure that provides for more competitive football at those age groups,” Anderson said.