Media Release

New South East Working Group announced

January 30, 2023

By SANFL Media

The SANFL has today announced the members of the South East Football and Netball Working Group to consider the future structure of competitions in the region.

Following an open nomination process, a list of nine club, league and community football representatives will form the working group, to meet for the first time on Wednesday, February 1.

SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig said he was pleased to confirm the working group would be led by Chairperson Tony Irvine OAM, a former local government CEO for more than 20 years and football administrator.

“With 30 years of experience in local government and serving the community in Port Lincoln and surrounding areas, Tony has a great understanding of the importance of football and netball clubs in regional communities,” Mr Duldig said.

“We are thrilled to have Tony offer his support and stand as chairperson of the South East working group, having been a key player in guiding leagues and clubs through a successful process of change on the Eyre Peninsula.”

Chairperson of the Eyre Peninsula Football Council since 2019, Irvine continues to make a valuable contribution to the future of football on the west coast having previously served as president of the Ceduna Blues and chairperson of the Mortlock Shield Committee.

Mr Duldig said joining Irvine on the working group would be some of the most well-respected names in the region, including former Glenelg captain and 212-game SA Football Hall of Famer Ben Mules and well-known Limestone Coast football identity Adam Merrett.

The formation of the working group follows a comprehensive review of South East competition structures undertaken last year and a commitment to change. As endorsed by the SA Football Commission in October 2022, a decision was made to form the working group and commence league structural reviews with change to take place for the 2024 season.

Mr Duldig said the working group would be underpinned by three sub-committees with a key focus on Juniors, Leagues and Clubs.

The Juniors sub-committee will be chaired by Heath Sims, while outgoing SA Football Commissioner Tom Zorich will head both the League and Club sub-committees.

League executives from the Mid South Eastern Football Netball League, Western Border Football and Netball League and Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League are among members of the Junior and League sub committees.

The League sub-committee will subsequently nominate nine club representatives from the region to form the Club sub-committee with a specific focus on club-related information.

“Importantly, the structure and people that have come together to form the working group and sub-committees are of a high calibre and are well respected local figures who will ensure the best outcome for the region,” he said.

The first meeting of the working group on Wednesday will be held in Mt Gambier with an action plan to be established and executed over the coming months.

South East Football and Netball Working Group

Chairperson – Tony Irvine

Ben Mules

Adam Merrett

Joel Redman

Peter Allen

Stephen Day

Shane Ploenges

Tony Elletson

Bob Jones


Junior Sub-Committee

Chairperson – Heath Sims

Graham Dowie

Adam Salmon

KNTFL Junior Representative TBC

Netball representatives – Sara Gray (Mid South Eastern Netball) and Jo Gibbs (Western Border Netball)


League Sub-Committee

Chairperson – Tom Zorich

Country Zone Committee – Scott Duncan (ex officio)

SANFL Football Operations Coordinator – Michael Mourbey (ex officio)

Peter Mitchell

Dennis Muhovics

Michael Summers

Graham Gill

Peter McClellan

Nigel Clarke

Jo Gibbs

Sara Gray


Senior Club Sub-Committee

Chairperson – Tom Zorich

Country Zone Committee – Scott Duncan (ex officio)

SANFL Football Operations Coordinator – Michael Mourbey (ex officio)

[League sub committee to nominate 3 x representatives (inclusive of netball) from each league to participate in the club sub-committee]


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