LPFLNA set to break up?????

THIS year's Lexton Plains Football League grand final could be the last as a restructure of the region's footy gains momentum.

The LPFL appears increasingly likely to be absorbed into an expanded, potentially two-tiered Central Highlands league, effectively ending the competition that was formed by the merger of the Lexton and Western Plains leagues

in 1999.

The Victorian Country Football League will release its recommendations on restructuring football leagues to the west and north-west of Ballarat in July.

The review is driven by a Natte-Bealiba request to join the Maryborough Castlemaine District competition and the Ararat Eagles' desire to join the Mininera league.

VCFL area manager Brett Anderson said there had been discussions with all clubs and leagues involved.

He said a previously released proposal for a Goldfields Football League formed out of a merger of the LPFL and MCDFL did not have widespread support.

"I don't know if it (the end of the LPFL) is a fait accompli," Anderson said.

"We've met with all the LPFL clubs and the league, and MCDFL clubs and the league and the Central Highlands. The clubs still have an opportunity to get back to us.

"There is a fair amount of discussion still to be had. We're hoping to have something out by mid-July. We wouldn't want to jump the gun with what is out there now."

Four former Western Plains Football League clubs - Carngham-Linton, Rokewood-Corindhap, Illabarook and Skipton - along with Lexton, would likely join the Central Highlands group if the LPFL was dissolved. Navarre would

likely join Natte-Bealiba in a move to the MCDFL, although club president Wayne Driscoll said the Grasshoppers enjoyed their existing rivalries and would have preferred the LPFL remained intact.

MCDFL club Trentham has been linked to a potential move to the Central Highlands as part of the restructure. King Print LPFL general manager Rod Ward said the league's future would not be known until after the VCFL

review.

"We were aware of the story gaining momentum on the Lexton Plains Football League future. I asked the Victorian Country Football League on Friday on the status of the review and were told the recommendations would not

be made until mid-July at the earliest," he said. "If something comes to light earlier than that we'd expect to hear from the VCFL."

Article: Gavin McGrath - Ballarat Courier




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