The Goulburn Valley League will introduce an under-16s competition next year.
The idea, which was first raised following the 2017 junior football review, went through two rounds of applications from the GVL before being accepted by the AFL Goulburn Murray commission and announced last week.
Region general manager Jamie Macri said the commission was happy to accept the proposal from the GVL.
‘‘The AFL GM commission is satisfied the entry of the GVL under-16s is in keeping with its strategic plan as well as the findings of the junior review,’’ he said.
‘‘The junior review has been the largest body of work undertaken by AFL GM and, in association with strong junior player data, has provided a strong evidence base on which the decision has been made.’’
But commission chair Peter Foott admitted not all groups would be on board.
‘‘The size of this change to the junior structure in the area has been taken into consideration and the commission understands not all parties will be positive about the change,’’ he said.
‘‘The commission is confident the change will underpin positive reform in our region and serve the best interests of the game in the AFL Goulburn Murray region.’’
Cobram resident Peter Beasley was involved in the review and believed it would be a positive for GVL clubs, as it will added more of a family-feel, which was on show at Murray and Picola and Districts clubs.
Beasley felt the leagues needed to move towards a uniform structure but admitted any changes would need the support of the clubs.
‘‘It’s a win for the GVL, it will help add a family culture and also add more members,’’ he said.
‘‘In an ideal world, the age groups would be the same.
‘‘That would help stop players hoping from one club to another, especially near Shepparton.
‘‘Any decision would need all the clubs to agree.’’