GGG NPLV Articles

Galaxy NPLV bid spurred by youth (MFootball 06/06/13)

 

By Donald Sutherland Thursday 06/06/13

Source: http://www.mfootball.com.au/galaxy-nplv-bid-spurred-by-youth/

 

Greater Geelong Galaxy Chairman Joe Madunic says he is motivated by the fact local junior footballers could look elsewhere for elite competition should his consortium be unsuccessful in its National Premier League Victoria (NPLV) application.

Speaking exclusively to MFootball, Mr Madunic also said his entity has received support from “traditional” clubs within the local region, a stance quite different from the metropolitan area.

“We’re a new entity, and we’re working towards getting a united bid for Geelong and we owe it to our kids basically to say hey, we’re going to do this for you guys so we can nurture talent and nurture good coaches and nurture good football in our region so we don’t miss the boat and be left behind,” Mr Madunic said.

“That’s probably one of the major reasons why we are actually going ahead with this bid and I think we’re getting a lot of support because of it.

“I think everyone is coming to the realisation that being excluded out of the NPL will pretty much shut the gate in terms of the next three years of football development in Geelong.”

The Galaxy chairman outlined the landscape of Geelong’s football community, where the ‘big’ sides play in FFV metropolitan competitions, saying that if a Geelong side wasn’t accepted into Victoria’s top tier, young footballers would go elsewhere.

“Over the journey, the local competition has been up and down. Most clubs who are FFV affiliated or clubs that are basically playing in Melbourne as a senior club try to get their juniors clubs through at some stage, and that’s been pretty good for player development but it’s got to a stage now where with the new NPL requirements that juniors will not be allowed to play in Melbourne as of 2014.

“In the presentation slides from the FFV … I think on page 24, [it says] all regional clubs will not be allowed to put in teams into the Melbourne competition.

“So teams like Ballarat Red Devils, if they don’t get a license in the NPL, all their juniors would have to go back and play in the Ballarat competition. Or if Geelong didn’t get a license in the NPL, all our kids would have to go back and play in the Geelong competition.

“Traditionally what’s happened in the past when Geelong teams haven’t been allowed to play in Melbourne, players will go up the highway and find a club in the western suburbs somewhere where they can ply their trade and even some coaches have moved up the highway.”

Mr Madunic, who is a passionate supporter of North Geelong Warriors, said he was empathetic to particular metropolitan clubs who have snubbed the new competition due to the licence structure.

“It is a bit of a cultural change, it’s moving away from tradition but they’ve got the opportunity to work out if they want to keep their traditional club’s name, colours, heritage, history, culture – whatever you want to name it.

“Some clubs feel that their clubs culture and tradition are above the NPL, and in some cases, I do agree with them. Melbourne Knights – 60 years of history, North Geelong – 45 years of history, do they want to put all their eggs in one basket and go in a new direction? That’s a big call to make.

“A lot of those metro clubs … the Victorian Premier League clubs, they’ve been clubs for a long, long time. You’re talking about the Oakleighs, you’re talking about the South Melbourne Football Club, you’re talking about the Melbourne Knights, you’re talking about clubs who have been around ever since post-war migration in Australia.

“They’ve got a lot of tradition; they’ve produced a lot of great players – not just for Victoria but also for Australia. So I can’t say much for them, I can’t speak on their behalf but I do understand why. I honestly, as an individual, do understand why they might not want to take the plunge into the NPL because they’re protecting the community club that they are.”

Madunic, who was also secretary at North Geelong Warriors when they were State Champions, acknowledged the financial burden an NPLV license could incur, but said it was something his group had to address in order to provide opportunities for the young Geelong-based footballers.

“The other side of it is the cost factor and charging fees of up to seventeen hundred dollars,” Mr Madunic said.

“Yeah, it is a concern for some clubs, and in the climate of sport and finding dollars through sponsorship – yeah, they are challenges but they are challenges that we in Geelong definitely have to have a decent crack at because if you don’t have a decent crack at it, like I said, we don’t want to be left in the wilderness and we’ll have a mass exodus of players going up the highway to chase their dreams.

“We’re working through that (sponsorship) at the moment. We’re talking with external stakeholders; we’re working with internal stakeholders. We have got a little bit of backing from the local region within our organisations here.

“We’re pretty confident that we can cover the criteria that’s there. We’ll know a little bit more once the expressions close … and we’ll know a little bit more in the next phase once they start releasing more information about the application process itself and what the FFV can do to help us in a lot of the strategic areas.”

The chairman of the bid also revealed that the Greater Geelong Galaxy identity, which was born out of the Victorian Champions League, would exist for one season before a vote would be put to its members to change.

“This new entity, if we do get the NPL, will run for one year or basically for one cycle. Once the membership and the governance is up, then the members will decide which way they want to go in terms of ownership, in terms of colours, in terms of name, in terms of the board structure and things like that.

“So we’re doing this as an interim measure until the governance up and going, until we get the membership base up, and until we get an AGM where obviously the members will vote what direction they want to take the NPL licence if we are successful in getting one.”

 

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