Football Wagga will look to expand their playing bracket with the introduction of a men’s fourth grade division in the upcoming winter season.
However, this move would come at the expense of the over 35s division – the Nankivell Cup – which is set to be dissolved into a wider pool and redistributed.
The proposed format would see the 15-team third grade split with the top 10 sides remaining in the Blake Trophy competition and the bottom five joining with the four Nankivell Cup teams in a new fourth grade division.
While the new-look structure is yet to be formally ratified, Football Wagga president Tony Dobbin said the change would be a “positive sign of the sport’s growth”.
“I think it’s a really exciting move for Football Wagga,” Dobbin said.
“The over 35s had six or seven teams a few years back but it was down to four last year, so I think it’s a good move to have them split the Blake in two and set up a competitive fourth grade division.
“15 third grade teams was a lot and this way we can make the game more accessible and let players find a team that suits them.”
It is unknown whether the fourth grade competition will retain the Nankivell Cup title or be rebranded.
Dobbin said a final decision would be made next month when the clubs had formally submitted their teams to the governing body.
Dobbin also confirmed the decision to remove dual registration for players looking to commit to both their local club and Wagga City Wanderers had not been challenged in any way.
He said it would be formally written in next month.
“Again, it’s the clubs’ decision and we will be administrating that decision when we look at the rules next month.”