AFL Riverina has urged clubs to use competition restructures as a chance to improve after confirming they are open to reassessing proposed name changes for leagues if clubs can suggest a suitable alternative.
AFL Riverina announced last last month the new-look premier league for 2023 would be known as the AFL Riverina Premier Division, while the 'old' Farrer League will become AFL Riverina Community Division One.
The latter has been strongly opposed by Farrer League teams, arguing it would erase years of history and not prove attractive to prospective recruitment targets. It is understood Riverina League clubs supported that stance at Sunday's annual general meeting at Narrandera.
A memorandum was sent to clubs on Monday afternoon confirming they are open to receiving written submissions on the competition names for senior football and netball.
However, it made it clear the names would need to reflect the difference between the two leagues.
The memo said: "Recommendation five of the Competition Review Report stated "Revise senior football competition structures into a club-based tiered model to ensure club growth and sustainability, and enhance competitive balance and player retention."
It also highlighted the recommendation emphasised that names 'distinguish/define identity of the senior competitions'.
Submissions will close on Monday, March 28, and the naming issue is the only subject AFL Riverina has asked submissions for.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons also said no definitive numbers have been settled upon for competitions' salary cap and player points allocations. It was also a topic of debate on Sunday, with Farrer League clubs keen for the 'community' league to be given the same allocations.
"This is a plan for the future. Whether things greatly change next year remains to be seen until clubs submit their nominations," Irons said.
"But we're wanting to adopt a model that gives us flexibility and sustainability for these clubs into the future, so they still have a presence in their community."
AFL Riverina vice chairman Phil Rowston urged clubs to view the intentions of the review as a chance to make positive tweaks for the long term future.
"If the only thing that comes out of the reform is clubs have actually assessed themselves and maybe got their ship in a bit better order, then that's a win," he said.
"There seemed to be more concerns from the Farrer League clubs than the RFL clubs (at the AGM). A lot of it came from the proposed name change.
"All the information that was used to conduct the review was provided through the clubs. It wasn't created by the board or AFL House in Wagga or Sydney, or anywhere else.
"We think the jigsaw puzzle will fall into place. No one solution will suit everyone perfectly."
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