BINGARA Bullets and Warialda Wombats have decided to go ahead with a “joint venture” that would see the combined new entity apply for entry into next year’s Group 19.
The joint venture discussions have been fanned by officials from both clubs wanting to improve and develop the juniors in both clubs.
Bingara president Rod King is excited about the prospects of the joint venture but wary of the many pitfalls that have scuttled any previous merger of the clubs in the past decade.
He stressed the new united club was not a merger.
“The discussions were driven by a desire to boost junior league and open up a pathway through the age groups to under 16s, under 18s and then into senior ranks,” King said.
“Forming a joint venture has probably been building for at least a decade and both clubs decided that the time is now right to take what will be a difficult, but well worthwhile step.”
Wednesday night’s meeting between the hierarchy of both clubs voted “unanimously to go ahead”, King said.
The structure will retain both clubs and share home games 50/50.
The clubs will each conduct the home games, run all facilities, raise sponsorship and remain totally independent.
When playing in Bingara, the four teams will be in Bullets’ colours and in Wombats’ colours when in Warialda. They will alternate on away games.
Traditional town colours will be retained, providing independence by linking with the minor leagues and the existing cultures.
A management committee will be formed to run the football side of things, with each president a member in addition to three additional members appointed from each club.
The management committee will be funded 50/50 by each club in terms of a pre- approved budget.
King said the next steps would be to “advertise for coaches and continue discussions to decide more detail and attend the Group 19 AGM”.
“It will be difficult to make the joint venture work, however we are serious about overcoming any problems and ensuring we are competitive,” he said.