Statement from OJFC - Under 17 Div 1 Grand Final.
The Ormond Junior Football Club (OJFC) has received confirmation from the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) board and executive upholding their decision to award the U17 Div 1 Preliminary final to the Beaumaris JFC. OJFC is extremely disappointed with this outcome however we are enormously proud of our U17 players, and we congratulate them on their 2017 season, where they have continued to display the Ormond values resulting in a season to be proud off.
The SMJFL applied this sanction due to an administrative breach relating to filing of player exemptions as required by the bylaws for players participating in additional U19 games.
The SMJFL have accepted at all times that:
- OJFC has adhered to the intention and spirit of the bylaws
- The club has not gone out of its way to breach the rules nor was the breach deliberate
- OJFC were not stacking teams in order to manipulate results
- No competitive advantage was gained during the Preliminary final
The club requested the SMFJL apply its discretionary powers available to the SMJFL General Manager in the bylaws (specifically bylaw 7.11) which state exemptions submitted after the prescribed cut off period will only be processed at the GM’s absolute discretion.
The SMJFL refused to apply these discretionary powers to retrospectively grant exemptions.
The SMJFL rejected outright any other sanctions that could have been applied in lieu of team disqualification including financial penalties and sanctions against the club administration.
Despite the SMJFL initially stating that their decision was final, OJFC have continued to pursue this matter escalating to meetings with the league CEO, Chairman of the board which was followed by a submission to the full board. Following receipt of communication from the SMJFL Board Chairman rejecting our request for mediation the club executive has decided not to take any further action relating to this immediate sanction. We recognize that there are two other clubs preparing for Sunday’s Grand Final. OJFC wishes the players of these two clubs all the best in Sundays U17 Division 1Grand Final.
The club expresses its dissatisfaction that we were not given the opportunity to directly communicate to our players prior to the SMJFL announcing their decision to the other affected clubs along with an online update. This resulted in unnecessary angst and emotional distress for players competing in their final year of junior football at the highest level. The SMJFL acknowledges that the notification process has not met the standards and values that we expect from the SMJFL and that this gap has unnecessarily impacted on the good standing of the Ormond Junior Football Club and the welfare of the U17 player group.
The OJFC will be following up with the SMJFL on these gaps and will work to ensure that appropriate reforms are introduced to avoid these circumstance occurring in the future.
The OJFC committee, supporters and parents remain incredibly proud of the way that our players have handled themselves during this difficult and unexpected situation and the continued resilience they have shown.
The OJFC will be making no further statements on this matter.
OJFC Executive Committee