Media Release

South East competition restructure update

12 May, 2023

The South East Football and Netball Working Group, established in November 2022 following an independent review, has finalised its recommendation for the future structure of both sports in the region for 2024 and beyond.

SANFL Head of Country Football Shawn Ford said the Working Group and its sub-committees had been focused on determining the best structure for football in the south east, unanimously agreeing this week on a preference for the following:

  • Two senior competitions in the region, with the disbandment of the Western Border Football League.
  • Four Clubs moving to the current Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League (KNTFL) to create a strong 14-team competition.
  • Two Clubs (Casterton and East Gambier) to move to the current Mid South Eastern Football League
  • Establishment of a separate junior football structure for the youngest age groups (under 8s – under 11s) to help increase junior participation.

Mr Ford said that after reviewing several structure alternatives, the Working Group agreed that a two-competition model would achieve the best possible balance in competition size, evenness, proximity for participants, junior participation and pathways.

He said an important aspect in developing the new structure would be to find ways to introduce a more flexible junior structure which prioritises participation, creates inclusive environments, establishes stronger pathways through to senior club level and importantly ensures future sustainability in the region.

“Ultimately, there was a need to provide a structure which would ensure stability and sustainability for clubs in the longer-term, as well as to complement an overall regional footy strategy,” Mr Ford said.

Mr Ford said that central to the Working Group’s decision-making process was its vision for the region, which is to have:

  1. A strong foundation for future generations which provides a sense of stability for the region
  2. A reputation as a regional leader in:
    1. Governance & administration
    2. Competition structure and management
    3. Junior participation and pathways
  3. Thriving local clubs and communities
  4. Balanced competitions
  5. Growth in participation (players, volunteers, supporters, sponsors etc) driven by an engaged and excited community
  6. A rich history and tradition of footy in the region

He said the Working Group and sub-committee would continue consulting with all clubs and key stakeholders over the next month to seek input which would assist with more detailed planning in readiness for season 2024. The development of the longer-term south east football strategy also would continue.

Competition Structure

The two-competition model consolidates the Mid South Eastern FL, Western Border FL and KNTFL.

Competition 1 includes existing Mid South Eastern FL clubs, plus the inclusion of Western Border FL clubs Casterton and East Gambier.

Competition 2 includes the existing KNTFL clubs, plus Western Border FL clubs North Gambier, South Gambier, West Gambier and Millicent.

 Competition 1 (11 Teams)                                          Competition 2 (14 Teams)

Hatherleigh                                                                           Lucindale

Mt Burr                                                                                  Naracoorte

Port MacDonnell                                                                  South Gambier

East Gambier                                                                       Penola

Nangwarry                                                                           Border Districts

Kalangadoo                                                                          North Gambier

Casterton Sandford                                                            Padthaway

Tantanoola                                                                          Kybybolite

Glencoe                                                                                Kingston

Robe                                                                                     Mundulla

Kongorong                                                                          West Gambier




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