Cats primed to pounce

The Casterton Sandford Football and Netball Club executive has issued notice of a special general meeting, calling for members to vote on a motion proposing a move to the Mid South Eastern Football League and Mid South East Netball Association for the 2023 season.

The move would see the Cats playing against the likes of Robe, Port MacDonnell and Kongorong, expanding that league to 10 teams and eliminating an existing bye.

Casterton Sandford president Dylan Ayton said the decision to put the matter to a vote had been a collaborative process between the club’s football and netball departments, committee and junior co-ordinators.

“We believe this will be the best fit not only for our playing groups, but for supporters, sponsors and wider community, going forward,” Ayton said.

“Over the last few years we have tried to work with SANFL, the Western Border and surrounding leagues to have changes implemented which would assist us to maintain connections to the current Western Border clubs, however nothing has come to fruition, leading us to this vote.

“We’re really excited that now there’s a potential opportunity for change.”

Casterton Sandford vice president Shane Foster said while changing leagues had been a topic of discussion for “seven or eight years”, the issue of finding the ‘best fit’ for the Cats was brought to the fore by the members’ vote not to join the South West District Football League in January, last year.

He said the difficulty in fielding junior sides in line with Western Border grades – one of the key points raised in the club’s submission to the SANFL’s review of the state’s eastern regional football leagues in 2021 – would be one matter for members to think on, when casting their vote.

“One of the considerations is the best fit for juniors … the Western Border at the moment, the junior structure for football for us, trying to field Under 18, Under 16, Under 14 and Under 12 sides, it just does not work,” he said.

“The Mid South Eastern is a better fit for us, in all grades of football and netball.”

Travel distance has been another constant concern, particularly for young families, when league changes have been mooted in the past.

A shift to the Mid South Eastern would make Robe the furthest drive for Casterton Sandford players – around one-and-a-half hours each-way – however the league structure sees that journey on the draw once per year.

Unwilling to comment on the matter further, Mr Foster said the league structures and other details would be available to members in an information session to he held before the vote.

“As a club, we are very aware there will be a variety of opinions and a lot of discussion around the proposed move,” Mr Foster said.

“For that reason we will be holding in information sessions so that our members, players and supporters have all the correct information as to why the club has made this decision and the opportunity to ask any questions they may have, before the special general meeting where our members will cast their vote.”

He said the information night would be held at the Casterton Sandford Football Netball clubrooms at 7pm on Monday, August 1 and the entire community is invited to attend.

The special meeting and vote is for members only, to be held on Sunday, August 14 at 11am sharp.

Members will be asked to vote on a resolution to “enable the CSFNC to cease its affiliation with the WBFL and become a member of the MSEFL from season 2023”.

Members can make their vote by proxy (pre-arranged with the club) or attend the special meeting via Zoom link; further information for members is available by emailing the club at castfooty@bigpond.com phoning the secretary during business hours on 0447 196 721.

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