Central North two-tier system could be junked

CENTRAL North clubs will vote on Sunday on whether or not to proceed with the  two-tiered structure.

The zone voted to implement a two-tiered system after the first round at last year’s AGM, hoping it would foster a more competitive competition.

But it’s now back on the voting table after Moree put forward a motion to rescind, which was seconded by Tamworth.

That brought it to an agenda item at the mid-year meeting.

To overturn the original decision, 66 per cent (two-thirds) of those eligible to vote have to support the rescission motion.

“If the rescission motion is upheld we’ll go back to the home and away draw we’ve played for years,” Central North president Peter Burke said.

“If it goes down, we’ll stay with the two tiers.” 

The main issue for the Moree Bulls is the impact on second grade and the U18s.

“Our main concerns are the effect the structure will have on the second grade and U18 competitions,” secretary Richard Officer said.

“The U18 competition is already feeling the effects.

“In Moree’s case our 18s haven’t been able to follow our seniors.”

He said there seemed quite a few holes in the system as far as the second grade competition went. 

“There’s quite a bit of confusion about how the second grade system will run,” he said. 

“We can understand why clubs like Quirindi that are struggling would want the two tiers.”

“But I don’t think enough thought has been put into second grade and the 18s and the long-term effect on those.” 

They are the lifeblood of any club.

“We wanted to make sure all the issues were raised and discussed before we go ahead,” Officer said.

The fact that neither Walcha nor Barraba is fielding second grade sides has also caused some discourse among the clubs.

With both involved in the bottom tier, it leaves some gaps in the draw.

“From my perspective it’s a positive thing that we’re going to thrash out at the next meeting all the issues involved,” Burke said.

He said they had come up with a solution to the problem in second grade that would keep “viability and continuity”. 

They are the key words, he said, although the idea of the team with the bye filling in has raised a few eyebrows. 

Burke would like to see the two-tier system go ahead.

“I think we made a decision that we needed a 66 per cent vote to put it in place.

“I’d like  us to see it through,” he said.

The results and mis-matches the last few weeks had, he said, really highlighted why something needed to be done.

“There’s a massive difference in skill,” Burke said.

“We really almost have three levels. We have a top level, a middle level and a bottom level.”

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