AFLNC Board ready to go

The AFL North Coast Board was officially presented on Monday and are keen to start work in the New Year to improve the strategic direction of the game in the area.

The Board has a wealth of experience, with all having high level business expertise and more importantly, share a passion and desire for AFL to become a sport of choice on the North Coast.

The Board will be headed by Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Club CEO, John Rafferty (chairman), and will be well supported by Carol Carrigan (Deputy Chairman), Shane Eichmann and Cheryl Dixon. Greg Jenke was originally elected onto the Board but will be unable to fulfill his role given his recent selection as CEO of John Flynn Hospital on the Tweed/Gold Coast. It is hoped his position is filled in the near future.

To ensure input from the Junior and Senior Leagues, Jamie Coad and Paul Sheldon (Seniors) and Tony Linnett and Greg Robson (Juniors) were selected as League Delegates to the Board at the recent AGM's.

Here is some of what the people on the night had to say:

Carol Carrigan: "The Board is looking forward to working with you to deliver a broader strategic direction with an eye towards the future. I am really excited and enthusiastic in working towards gaining a higher profile for the code in the area."

Shane Eichmann: "I enjoyed playing but in those days it was quite often Jim and Jill; 1 or 2 people there to run the game. I see opportunities and such as the AFL's expansion into the Gold Coast, much the same the area has been able to build a relationship with the Titans in Rugby League. Growth is needed for the code to be successful."

Tony Linnett: "For AFL to grow, Junior football is the future everywhere. We have to nurture and provide more for the kids, with full games and high levels of competition every week. Sponsorship is crucial for the game to go to the next level."

Greg Robson: "It is great to have the Board, now we can step back. It is hard to go forward when we (committees) are associated with clubs. We have tended to be a bit Coffs Harbour centric. We need to open our eyes for opportunities, particularly in outlier areas such as Port Macquarie, Grafton and Armidale, especially in terms of juniors. Greater numbers of players moving from the Under 16s to the Senior competition and more clubs in Coffs Harbour, as well as consolidating these other areas are needed to ensure a higher level of competition each week.

Jamie Coad: "Coming from predominant AFL areas, like a lot of other people, the thing that has struck me is the dysfunction relationship between Junior and Senior Associations and clubs. We need to work together and improve these relationships."


There was some passionate discussion on the night with everyone keen to look forward to a brighter future, one that will further the profile and success of AFL on the North Coast. Things look bright now with the code performing well in a competitive market. A strategic outlook will no doubt take the game to the next level, with your support.

Keep tuned for more exciting developments in 2009 and beyond.


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