Dual registration is no longer an option for junior and senior players looking to compete in the Football Wagga competitions and with Wagga City Wanderers.
A motion to end dual registration was last week submitted to the Council of Clubs – a representative body comprising of Football Wagga club presidents and delegates from across the region – and passed, ending a long-standing stoush over dual-registered players and their eligibility.
Previously, players have been permitted to represent both their club and Wanderers with a series of provisions; namely, that they prioritise Wanderers fixtures and refrain from playing in the Football Wagga finals.
Now, players will have to choose between club duties and pursuing higher honours.
Council of Clubs spokesman Ian Hardinge was relieved to have finally put the topic to bed.
We believe that senior players who want to play at rep level should be putting everything they can towards Wanderers.Ian Hardinge
“At the end of the day, I think it was always going to be too hard for juniors to dual-register,” Hardinge said.
“But we’ve also decided that there will be no dual registration for seniors players as well.
“We believe that senior players who want to play at rep level should be putting everything they can towards Wanderers and what we want to do is show our support to Wanderers.”
Hardinge said it was important for players not to feel divided between club goals and representative aspirations.
“I think it eliminates a whole lot of headaches for coaches and administrators as well with player availability and that sort of thing – there were a whole lot of issues there.”
“Obviously there was also that old chestnut about Wanderers not being able to play in Pascoe Cup finals but this way there’s no confusion and players can focus on one or the other.”
The issue was first raised earlier in the year during an internal meeting of Wagga-based clubs before being put to the Council of Clubs via email.
From there, Hardinge said, all club presidents and delegates had been communicating via email and telephone prior to a formal vote.
Hardinge did not reveal which way individual clubs had voted but admitted the decision was not unanimous.
“We can’t really name votes but the vast majority were in favour of removing dual registration. There were a couple of clubs that felt they were happy for dual registration to stay.”