GROUP 4 will retain the five-team finals series in 2019 – whatever the make up of next season’s competitions.
That was the opinion of all 11 clubs at this week’s Group 4 general meeting at the Tamworth Services Club.
The recent Group 4 grand finals at Jack Woolaston Oval drew a gate in excess of $18,000, a huge increase on 2017, despite an entry price of just $10 per adult.
Group 4 chairman Ray McCoy said the top-five final series proved a huge success in 2018.
“It received an overwhelming endorsement to carry on in 2019,” McCoy said.
“A general overview of the 2018 season had all clubs agreeing the standard of finals football in all grades was exceptional.”
He said all 11 clubs are expected to play in next season’s league tag competition in 2019 and that provides Group 4 with a quandary, as not all 11 clubs will have first and second grade teams, as occurred in 2018.
McCoy said a two-tier league tag competition to mirror first and reserve grades is anticipated.
But with most clubs with first and reserve-grade teams hesitant to field an extra league tag team, a lot of thought needs to go into the one-tier draw so that it compliments the men's draw, he said.
He said Group 4 and its clubs are striving to have draws “so that all teams can play on the same day at the same venue when possible”.
He said all clubs also “acknowledged they need to create partnerships with all the local and regional high schools to attract more players-teams into our Group 4 under-18 competition”.
“All clubs were asked to express their opinion on playing either a two or three-round competition in 2019, with a three-round 21-game competition to commence on March 22 and with the grand finals on September 14, whilst a two-round 14-game competition would commence on April 27 and have the grand finals on August 31.
“A final decision will be made after all team nominations have been lodged at the AGM on November 4.”
He said the 2019 pre-season will include a league tag gala day at Barraba and the Jack Woolaston men's nines knockout at North Tamworth.
“These dates will be confirmed following the finalisation of the 2019 draw,” he said.
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