NTFA clubs given deadline for restructure survey

UP FOR DEBATE: NTFA president Paul Reynolds and Perth boss Scott Bellinger. Picture: Supplied
UP FOR DEBATE: NTFA president Paul Reynolds and Perth boss Scott Bellinger. Picture: Supplied

The NTFA will survey all 20 clubs before making a final decision on whether its planned 2019 restructure will be pushed back by a year. 

The NTFA met with division 1 and 2 presidents at its Wellington Street office on Tuesday night, which was the result of an independent presidents’ meeting at Rocherlea last week.

Clubs will now have until Monday to advise the board of their position on a preferred restructure date, with the final decision to be made by a ‘conscience vote’ of NTFA executive members.

NTFA president Paul Reynolds said the major concern raised by clubs was the lack of time given to meet criteria guidelines for the premier division; particularly the requirement of an NTJFA program or alignment.

Reynolds said the NTFA was sympathetic of clubs trying to enter into negotiations with junior outfits and would take clubs’ “capacity and intent to meet criteria” into account. 

“There was no animosity or anger and there was unanimous support that something had to be done, so that’s a great endorsement for what we’re trying to do,” Reynolds said.

“Some clubs are finding it difficult to meet deadlines which I understand but we’re driven by the need not by the process, and that’s the main consideration the moment.

“I don’t know what delaying it by a year will actually achieve when the issue is right now, but again, it was about communication and they felt comfortable enough to come and talk to us about it and I think that really demonstrates a level of openness and communication that we’re trying to build.”

Bracknell, Hillwood, Bridgenorth and Rocherlea are among the division 1 clubs without a clear junior pathway.

Bracknell, Hillwood, Bridgenorth and Rocherlea are among the division 1 clubs without a clear junior pathway.

The NTFA has also softened its stance on having a six-team premier division, with Reynolds indicating the board now expected to have “seven or eight” teams competing in the top flight. 

“I think if you went to six or below in the premier division I wouldn’t like that.

“I don’t think that’s a healthy number and that was a comment that was made (Tuesday) night and I think that’s very true, but I don’t think we’ll get to that point.”

The one-team one-club model proposed for the third-tier, division 2 competition was also a point of contention at Tuesday’s meeting, with some concerned the model would spell the demise of several clubs. 

Presidents are expected to comment on the division 2 model as part of their submissions on Monday.

Reynolds also revealed that the NTFA had been in contact with a handful of clubs who had expressed an interest in joining the association, including Winnaleah, Mole Creek and ODFA side Campbell Town. 

“I don’t know (if we’ll have 20 clubs after the restructure), that’s the most honest answer,” Reynolds said. 

“I don't know whether as a result of the restructure we may get two or three other clubs.”

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