The Hume Football League is set to back CDHBU in its bid to revive its Under 17 side in 2018.
After not having the numbers to field a Under 17 team in 2017, CDHBU will again drop one of its junior teams due to a player shortage.
Following a recent committee meeting, the club has withdrawn its Under 14 side in 2018, instead CDHBU will focus on reviving the older age group.
“We have sat down with the league (last Monday) and where we are with junior football – it’s hard,” CDHBU Football Manager Paul Rippingale told the Free Press.
“We are doing everything in our power to put an Under 17 side on the ground.”
After much debate surrounding the landscape of junior football in Corowa and surrounding towns, AFL North East Border released its findings in September last year with the recommendation that no additional teams be permitted or re-established at any club in the Corowa Cluster in 2018.
But CDHBU and the Hume League look set to push against the recommendations of the report.
“They have said that’s their recommendations, no one has agreed to that,” Rippingale said.
“We are in the Hume League and we are a NSW club, so they are saying that if you fold then you don’t come back.
“We have 14 registered kids at this stage.
“We have gone and registered kids that haven’t played footy the last few years and have walked away.
“The Hume League is supporting us 100 per cent.”
Hume League Chairman Brendan I’Anson confirmed CDHBU had its support.
“My preliminary discussions with the board is that it will be fine and we will let them go with the Under 17s,” he said.
“This is technically not a new side, it’s one that got older it could be said.
“From the Under 14s (in 2017) there’s about five that went up an age group and that’s why they are building an Under 17s.
“They are trying to do the right thing down there.
“It’s (still) got to be ratified by the board.”
Although the league is backing the Power, any final call will need to be ticked off by AFL NSW.
AFL NSW/ACT southern community football manager Paul Habel hasn’t closed off the revival of the Under 17 side.
“We are still in discussion with CDHBU with what numbers look like,” he said.
“There’s still a process to go through from our perspective and we will keep monitoring it.”
The Cluster report highlighted potential issues with implementing change citing “Emotional responses are expected and may influence the capacity of the community and clubs to embrace the recommendations and assume ownership”.
AFL North East Border Region General Manager John O’Donohue said they were aware of the situation unfolding with CDHBU.
“It highlights the complexities associated with managing the game in an area which in effect has dual governance models,” he said.
“The reality is the Cluster environment requires collaboration in decision making and whilst this development isn’t totally unexpected, it is a frustrating situation which creates further uncertainty in the area.”
The Hume League is set to meet tonight where it is expected the juniors’ situation will be one of the topics discussed.