Farrer League clash with Aggies race day 'not ideal' but best fit says AFL Riverina

Part of the crowd during the Farrer League grand final between Marrar and Temora.
Part of the crowd during the Farrer League grand final between Marrar and Temora.

AFL Riverina has defended its decision regarding the timing of the Farrer League grand final.

The 2018 decider will again clash with the Aggies race day despite a request from the competition’s bosses to avoid having both events held on September 15.

AFL Riverina operations manager Shane Buchanan has stood by the decision, believing the dates announced suit the four competitions under their control the best.

“It is not ideal obviously but with the way the draw is structured in 2018 they will be clashing but in 2019 they won’t be,” Buchanan said.

“The reason being there is five weeks in September this year and next year and after that it reverts back to four weeks.

“In the end the RFL will go up against the Ag races so one competition, unfortunately, is going to go up against the Ag races all the time.”

Buchanan emphasised that three of the four competitions, the Riverina League, Wagga and District Juniors and South West Juniors, all voted for Option 1 that was ratified by the board.

The Farrer League was the only ones looking for an alternate date.

Farrer President David Oehm remains happy to work with the date given despite it remaining the preference to avoid the clash.

“We would have preferred to avoid the clash with the Aggies races, and it won’t happen for a couple of years after,” Oehm said.

“You are not going to please everyone.

“You are always going to have clashes at that time of year.”

When announcing the dates, AFL Riverina discussed the clash but decided to give priority to the junior competitions.

Most of the discussion surrounding the start of both competitions in order to minimise the number of rounds played in the April school holidays.

The Wagga and Districts grand final will be on September 8 while the South West’s is on September 1.

Buchanan said there were many other factors that went into the decisions including the flow of each competition’s finals series.

“The Farrer League are always concerned about their own competition, but it has an impact on three other competitions as well,” he said.

“The under 17s competition is very reliant on the South West under 15s topping that competition up for numbers so we have to be mindful of that competition as well.”