The Eyre Peninsula Mortlock Shield will undergo a new look in 2019 after key changes were ratified by all competing Leagues at a Mortlock Shield Committee Meeting on Sunday.
Outgoing Chairman Richard Horgan announced the Far North Football League had opted to withdraw from this year’s carnival, reducing the number of competing Leagues to seven.
All competing leagues also agreed that the Eyre Peninsula Sharks, led by former EP Footballers Joe Pedler and Daniel Girdham, will also not compete at this year’s carnival as a stand-alone team.
This is to enable an even, six-team format at Australia’s longest running country football carnival, under the motion raised by Pedler.
The EP Sharks, made up entirely of former EP Footballers, have been an outstanding addition to the carnival in recent years, and will still actively be involved in this year’s carnival under a new “League of Origin” format.
This will result in each competing League from the EP’s zone being allowed to add up to four ex EP players originally from their Leagues, who are currently playing in other competitions outside of the Eyre Peninsula.
Incoming Chairman Tony Irvine praised the mature and selfless approach of the Sharks’ leaders in putting football first to enable another successful Mortlock Shield Carnival in 2019.
Under Irvine’s guidance, the Mortlock Committee will continue to actively work on preparation for this year’s carnival with some exciting new opportunities ahead, including the potential for a women’s exhibition game to be played throughout the weekend.